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Shamekia Copeland and Ruthie Foster Join Forces in Powerhouse Concert at Highmark Blues & Heritage Festival

Tickets, starting at $30, are on sale now!

Shamekia Copeland and Ruthie Foster Join Forces in Powerhouse Concert at Highmark Blues & Heritage Festival

Guitarist/vocalist Shemekia Copeland was literally born into blues royalty and founded her own kingdom of artistic expression. Composer/vocalist/ keyboardist Ruthie Foster established her own sonic citizenship by combining a melting pot of musical genres into her own distinctive sound. They come together to perform at Highmark Stadium, standing on the strong shoulders of Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, Ethel Waters and countless other blues women who paved the way for them.

The Harlem-born daughter of blues legend Johnny Copeland, Shemekia called "the greatest blues singer of her generation" by The Washington Post, started her career as a child prodigy, and was signed to Alligator Records in 1997 straight out of high school. She was crowned "Queen of the Blues'' by koko Taylor's daughter, Cookie Taylor, and has released 10 recordings as a leader, including her 1998 debut Turn Up the Heat, and her critically-acclaimed 2020 CD Uncivil War. She's also worked with B.B. King, Mick Jagger, Buddy Guy, Trombone Shorty and Gary Clark, Jr. Her newest recording, Done Come Too Far, has just been released. The album boasts an impressive roster of musicians including slide guitarist Sonny Landreth, Mississippi Hill country blues artists Cedric Burnside and Kenny Brown, Memphis soul keyboardist Charles Hodges, Oliver Wood of the Wood Brothers, Americana sensation Aaron Lee Tasjan and Pat Sansone of the group, Wilco.

"This album was made by all sides of me - happy, sad, silly, irate - they're all a part of who I am and who we all are," Copeland says. "I'm not political. I'm just talking about what's happening in this country." A perennial poll winner, Copeland recently won the Living Blues magazine Critics' Poll Award for Blues Artist of the Year (Female), and DownBeat magazine's Critics' Poll named her as its Blues Artist of the Year for the second year in a row. Copeland was also the subject of a lengthy feature story in the Washington Post Sunday Magazine, and appeared on PBS's Austin City Limits and NewsHour.

Austin-based singer/songwriter/guitarist Ruthie Foster has 11 albums as a leader, including her Grammy-nominated 2020 big band release, Live at the Paramount. She blends her elegiac vocals with the blues, folk, gospel and soul stylings. Elmore magazine declared that she "possesses a caramel-creamy and utterly breathtaking voice that electrifies and enhances everything she graces." Foster counts the influential singer/guitarist Sister Rosetta Sharpe, Sam Cooke, Mahalia Jackson, Aretha Franklin and koko Taylor as primary influences. She performed with the Allman Brothers, Bonnie Raitt and Susan Tedeschi, and she won seven Blues Music Awards, three Austin Music Awards, the Grand Prix du Disque award from the Académie Charles-Cros in France and a Living Blues Critics' Award for Female Blues Artist of the Year.

Foster calls her live shows "Hallelujah Time," for a good reason: She grew up singing in a gospel choir in church with her family. "Church was a huge part of the blues for me, and I think it still is," she says. "That's why I love bringing in spirituals in the middle of my set as well, because I think that's important. And I'd like to make that correlation when I'm in front of people." Foster's father was also instrumental in her introduction to the blues. "... those electric blues influences came to me through my dad. His record collection had all kinds of blues and went even into the soul arena with Ike and Tina Turner. So, there was a lot of blues, a lot of soul and a lot of gospel."

After high school, Foster studied vocal performance and engineering at McLennan Community College in Waco, and served in the Navy, where she played in several Naval bands. She released her first album, Crossover, in 1999. Her other releases include The Phenomenal Ruthie Foster, Let It Burn and Joy Comes Back.

Together, Foster and Copeland will deliver a stirring set for the ages and inspire new generations of female blues musicians.

Tickets, starting at $30, are on sale now at https://cloud.broadwayworld.com/rec/ticketclick.cfm?fromlink=2196424®id=74&articlelink=https%3A%2F%2Fblues.awaacc.org?utm_source=BWW2022&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=article&utm_content=bottombuybutton1. Individual day passes as well as two-day passes are also available. For additional details and the complete festival line-up, please visit https://cloud.broadwayworld.com/rec/ticketclick.cfm?fromlink=2196424®id=74&articlelink=https%3A%2F%2Fblues.awaacc.org?utm_source=BWW2022&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=article&utm_content=bottombuybutton1.


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