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"There is a purity to Toshi's voice that is
electrifying, whether she's singing in a low whisper or raging
with a full-on shout, it is the sound of her soul speaking
through the music. A communicator of simple though often
forgotten truths and deep emotion, Toshi connects her audience
in an uncanny way" --Ray Rogers, liner notes for Kindness
Toshi Reagon is a powerhouse. Mixing her musical loves—rock, soul, funk, blues and folk—she pieces together a musical feast delivered with through her dynamic voice and fierce guitar playing. Based in Brooklyn, daughter of Bernice Reagon (founder of Sweet Honey in the Rock, last year’s Festival headliner), Toshi has steadily built her own career and fanbase since she began performing in Washington, DC sixteen years ago. Anyone who has seen her perform can attest that Toshi's strong, silky alto, sexy growls, torchy croons, and infectious wails seduce and embrace audiences, and set them off in a rapturous, hand-raising, foot- stomping delight.
Toshi Reagon is a powerhouse. Whether fronting her band Big Lovely or playing solo, Toshi kicks off her shoes and invites you into her spellbinding world.
Mixing her musical loves - rock, soul, funk, blues and folk- Toshi Reagon pieces together a musical feast delivered with humor and intelligence through her dynamic voice and fierce guitar playing.
Based in Brooklyn, New York, Toshi Reagon has steadily built her own career and fanbase. She began performing in Washington, DC over sixteen years ago and hasn't stopped earning the respect of musicians, the praise of critics and the love of fans since. From the New York Times to the Los Angeles Times to Variety to Billboard, Toshi's talent and generous spirit are applauded and celebrated.
Toshi can (and will) show up anywhere with anyone including the Hollywood Bowl with Miriam Makeba and Albita, the Brooklyn Academy of Music's 1999 tribute to Prince, the Central Park Summerstage benefit/Joni Mitchell tribute with Vernon Reid and Chaka Kahn, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, the International African Arts Festival in Brooklyn, or a sing along at her young niece's school. She has shared the stage with Nona Hendryx, Sweet Honey In The Rock, Lenny Kravitz, Pete Seeger, Lisa Loeb and many others. Elvis Costello invited Toshi to play with him for his appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman after hearing her perform at the Bottom Line in NYC; he then sat as a member of Toshi's band Big Lovely on the show. Chaka Kahn impulsively jumped on stage to join Toshi when she performed at NYC's Central Park Summerstage benefit honoring Joni Mitchell. Anyone who has seen her perform can attest that Toshi's strong, silky alto, sexy growls, torchy croons, and infectious wails seduces and embraces audiences, and sets them off in a rapturous, hand-raising, foot stomping delight.
The year 2000 was a busy one - with national tour dates, television appearances (Motown Live), festival performances (Vancouver, Newport and others), and national radio shows (World Music Café, Mountain Stage). Toshi and Big Lovely started the year playing clubs across the country and ended with a three-week West Coast tour with Dar Williams. Toshi is now headed to the studio to record her second album for Razor and Tie Entertainment. Her first Razor and Tie recording, The Righteous Ones, was released in September 1999 to rave reviews and was included in Ann Power's (New York Times) 10 best Alternative albums of 1999.
Toshi is a multi-instrumentalist who has self produced all her recordings. Of her first album, Justice (Flying Fish), released in 1990, Geoffrey Himes of the Washington Post wrote, "Toshi has taken the gospel, feminist, and protest strains of her mother's music and married them to 1970s rock 'n roll. . .The result is a most original hybrid; it's as if the Freedom Singers were backed by the Police." With each new album the praise for Toshi as a singer, songwriter, and guitarist increases. Her 1994 recording, The Rejected Stone, was hailed as "possessing both a passionate edge and rolling momentum. . . as a singer, Reagon projects a soulful intensity of her own" (The Washington Post). And the Village Voice, writing about Toshi's 1997 release Kindness on Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, wrote "Her voice and guitar alone are enough to move mountains."
Toshi is also high in demand as a studio producer and has produced recordings for Sweet Honey In The Rock (founded by Toshi's mother, Bernice Johnson Reagon) and Casselberry-Dupreé. Toshi participated on the Grammy-nominated Roots of Rhythm and Blues and is featured on the Putamayo compilations, Women's Work and Romantica. In 1996, Toshi scored the music for the Urban Bush Women Dance Theatre's critically acclaimed Bones and Ash, the Gilda Stories.
Born in Atlanta and raised in Washington, DC, Reagon cites her family as the source of her musical ability. Both her parents belonged to SNCC's (Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee) Freedom Singers, a folk group that sprung from the Civil Rights movement and toured the country to teach people about civil rights through song. Growing up in a house filled with music, Toshi naturally absorbed the soundtrack and lessons of the struggle for civil rights. She integrates her commitment to social justice into her own spirited blend of modern rock, funk, soul, and folk. As her other musical influences Toshi mentions Led Zeppelin, Bob Marley, Joni Mitchell, and Big Mama Thornton.
Like her parents, Toshi is a politically conscious musician, who channels her political energy through song. She once told Curve Magazine, "From where you are, from who your are in your everyday life, that's where you make change...Whatever your gig is, make change through your strength." Toshi Reagon never relents and never let's down.
For further information, please contact:
Razor & Tie Entertainment, LLC
P.O. Box 585
New York, NY 10276
For booking information, please contact:
MRA Artist Representation
Here are audio and video clips from Toshi's
first stop on her CD-release tour, at Joe's Pub in NYC. They're
bugjuice.com These audio clips are from Toshi's righteous
Make sure to check the gigs page to see if she's coming your way soon.
Buy Toshi's cds at Amazon.com by