BLUES HARMONICA DIVA
In a business where safety nets are non existent and successful female harmonica players are a rarity, you have to admire the plucky and positive spirit of Tracy K. She’s a terrific entertainer with a committed sense of purpose. Through shear determination and talent she has indelibly stamped her versatility on the Canadian blues/roots scene with her singing, songwriting, and playing that little tin biscuit which has become her trademark asset. She’s a gifted award-winning writer whose broad catalogue includes songs for a Hollywood movie, for CBC's "Canada Reads, Ontario Rocks", and themed originals for festival workshops.
Tracy K immerses herself into the audience at every live show, with fiery passion and an engaging energy that sets her apart as a performer. She’s shared stages with today's 'A-list' international blues performers and hires first rate players who give her music the professional edge. Among her personal reinventions is her contemporary blues band, wherein Tracy K kicks it up a notch with amplified harp and tests the limits of her throaty rasp inspired by vocal benchmarks Bonnie Raitt and Koko Taylor. Her acoustic Blues Duo with partner Jamie “Snakeman” Steinhoff reflects some of Tracy's fondest musical influences. Jamie's mastery on acoustic, dobro and lap steel guitars derives from his well-informed history of early blues and folk. 'Snakeman's Canned Heat Salsa' and 'Tracy K's Stolen Apple Jelly' sold at their shows create the homey vibe that you'd find at Chicago's legendary Maxwell Street Market back in the day. With their five-star rated album "Canned Heat" they tour house concerts and soft seaters, and have opened for Ramblin' Jack Elliot and shared a double bill with John Sebastian. Tracy K’s rarer forays into jazz range from single guitar accompaniment to a Billie Holiday tribute given the most lavish treatment with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra.
Tracy K has always been sought out for her harmonizing skills over the years for live work and sessions, recently recording harmonies on a project at Ardent Studios in Memphis in early 2015. In the late 1980s Tracy K worked as a live and session vocalist in Toronto. Years later she would be included to perform at the Toronto Blues Society's Harmonica Workshop and their prestigious Women's Blues Revue. Tracy K's gig history lists blues, jazz and folk festivals, concerts, various tributes, fundraisers and women-in-blues events. Her touring map spans Canada into North Dakota, Minnesota, and Montana to Tennessee and Mississippi, and as far south as the Caribbean. Tracy K has been booked multiple times by many events including the Winnipeg Jazz Fest, Saskatchewan Mid-Winter Blues Fest, Live from the Rock Fest, Red Rock, Ontario (headlining in 2014), Thunder Bay Blues Fest, Greatwoods Music Fest in Manitoba and the Winnipeg BBQ & Bluesfest. She’s opened for blues legend James Cotton and shared a playbill (and photo) with Koko Taylor.
Tracy K was unknown to locals at the inaugural Thunder Bay Blues Festival. An instant hit with her crowd-pleasing manner she was back for an encore in 2003. She moved to Thunder Bay in 2004 positively impacting the local music community over the coming years. She created and hosted a weekly Sunday Night Blues Jam at the local Legion where she was dubbed by fans as 'Tracy K Jr.' whenever she sat in on drums! Twice she won regional competitions to represent Thunder Bay at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis Tennessee, as a band and then as a duo. In 2015 Tracy returned to Memphis as one of the judges. 2014 also saw Tracy K included by invite on Ruf Records 'Harmonica Ladies' compilation album and on the globally popular Mary4Music's "Keeping the Blues Alive: Volume Six". She has now moved back to Manitoba and it’s renown music scene where she is recording her next release. Not bad for a musician doubling as mom to three kids - now an empty nester, time has come for this undeniable musician to soar herself.
International Blues Challenge Regional Winner/Memphis Participant - Thunder Bay 2013 band & 2014 duo International Songwriting Competition Award Recipient Blues and Performance Ontario Independent Music Award Best Blues Song Toronto Blues Society Talent Search First Runner Up Winnipeg Blues.com Harmonica Player of the Year Winnipeg Blues.com Female Vocalist of the Year Nominee for Winnipeg Blues.com Electric Act of the Year
Upcoming Album, Tracy K, 2015 Album "Harmonica Ladies" compilation, Ruf Records, 2015 Album "Keeping the Blues Alive Vol.6" Mary4Music, 2014 Album "Canned Heat" featuring Blues Duo Jamie Steinhoff & Tracy K ©2011 Single "Science of Being Distant" Tracy K/Jamie Smith, CBC Radio One "Bandwidth" Album “Old, New, Borrowed & Blues” ©2007Tracy K 3 Singles for “Prairie Fire Project”, Canadian Diabetes Foundation, 2003 Single “Rock This House” ©2002Tracy K, licensed to Zernick Von-Sertner Films, L.A. Album “Welcome to my Fantasy” ©2000Tracy K
Blown Away "The audience was blown away by the bold voice and harmonica playing of Tracy K ... an artist like Tracy K is what music festivals are all about." - Thunder Bay Chronicle Journal
". . . an impressive harmonica player, a voice that commands your attention. Add her songwriting, versatility, and on-stage charisma, you've got someone special." - B Bedesky, Canadian Blues interview
"Tracy's blessed with a magnificent voice, raw power and passion tempered by a tender fragility ... she's mesmerizing; there are moments here approaching the sublime." - John Taylor, Blues on Stage CD Review
Ability to Move an Audience
"Tracy's a sizzling vocal powerhouse, with style and ability to move an audience. Her blues harp and Right Hand Band rocked the Rainbow!"
- Jim Roy, Ottawa Blues, Jazz, and Swing Guide
Gutsy Stage Presence
"A fine harmonica player/guitarist/vocalist whose gutsy stage presence and twinkling-eyed charm are sure to connect with fans" - Scene magazine, from "On the one"
Most Exciting "When it comes to vocal stylists, Tracy K may be one of the best and most exciting of the lot." - J. Monk, Scene CD Review
Entertainment "She is an entertainment" - Randal Mcilroy, Style Manitoba
Vocal Powerhouse "A vocal powerhouse and top notch harp playing"
- Pres. Music & Folklore Assoc. of Eastman