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“Shemekia Copeland has established herself as one of the leading blues artists of our time.” –NPR Music
Award-winning blues, soul and Americana singer Shemekia Copeland possesses one of the most instantly recognizable and deeply soulful roots-music voices of our time. She is beloved worldwide for the fearlessness, honesty and humor of her revelatory music, as well as for delivering each song she performs with unmatched passion. Copeland — winner of the 2021 Blues Music Award for B.B. King Entertainer Of The Year— connects with her audience on an intensely personal level, taking them with her on what The Wall Street Journal calls “a consequential ride” of “bold and timely blues.” NPR Music says Shemekia sings with “punchy defiance and potent conviction.” The Houston Chronicle describes her songs as “resilient pleas for a kinder tomorrow.”
In a very special collaboration for Waterfront Blues Festival, Texas vocalist Ruthie Foster will join Shemekia Copeland and her band Sunday night. Though longtime friends, this will be only the second time the two award-winning blues women have appeared on stage together. It’s sure to be an unforgettable encounter—for the artists as well as the audience.
“Shemekia and I are really, really good friends,” says Foster. “She’s my girl. I love her. I love her band, everything she does and what she stands for. I’m more than excited about this. I’m just gonna get up there and hang on, whatever she wants to do, that’s where I’m gonna go. We’re gonna have a good time!”
Ruthie Foster, a four-time GRAMMY-nominated singer-songwriter mixes a wide palette of American song forms, from gospel and blues to jazz, folk and soul. Described by Rolling Stone as “pure magic to watch and hear,” her vocal talent was elevated in worship services at her community church. Drawing influence from legendary acts like Mavis Staples and Aretha Franklin, Foster developed a unique sound unable to be contained within a single genre. That uniqueness echoes a common theme in Foster’s life and career – marching to the beat of her own drum. She walked away from a recording contract with Atlantic early in her career because she didn’t want to be the pop artist they had in mind. She wanted to do roots-informed music like the kinds she grew up with in Texas. So she self-released an album that launched her career as the artist she wanted to be, and has never looked back.