Grana' Louise was an internationally and nationally known vocal musician, songwriter, and entertainer. Grana' had been delighting audiences of all ages since she was a child with music and performing in her blood. This Columbus, Ohio native had garnered praise as an Actress as well. Like her vaudeville era predecessors, Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith, Grana’ was the whole package – a true blue blues woman who respects tradition and her forbearers, yet brings a contemporary and original twist on that tradition, not to mention humor, theatrics, and a bit of winking naughtiness.
Grana’ was a music history buff with a theatrical background. In 1992, she won a talent contest that landed her on stage at the Apollo Theater, notorious for its audiences that “boo” acts off the stage. Grana’, however, earned a standing ovation. While Grana’ can belt out the blues with power and grit, she carries a lot more in her vocal bag of tricks. Her subtle nuances and clever vocal styling revealed her jazz background. You can hear this most clearly on her well-produced studio tracks. And then there’s her wardrobe. She delighted countless music fans around the world with her outstanding shows. Whether belting out Blues classics, rock ‘n roll, or soul, her music will move and inspire.
Unlike many blues artists who came to the Windy City from the South, Grana’ blew in from the North. After conquering the Minneapolis and St. Paul blues and jazz scene, she followed an avid fan’s advice to move to the world capital of the blues to advance her career, which she did in 1998. She instantly began performing at Blue Chicago and other top clubs and landed a spot at the Chicago Blues Festival in 2000. In 2009, she won the 'Windy City Blues Society’s Challenge' and represented her hometown in Memphis, for the 'Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge'. In 2003, she produced her CD, "Generations", released on her Crystal Blue label. She also contributed vocals for a couple of compilation CDs on the Delmark and the Blue Chicago imprints.
Her latest release on the famed blues label Delmark Records, "Gettin' Kinda Rough" in 2011, debuted in the 'Top Ten' on the 'Living Blues Radio Charts', and was #14 on the 'Blues Summit Top 50 Albums' of 2011.
Graná and her stellar band were a regular act at Chicago’s hottest Blues Clubs and she was a repeat act at the famed 'Chicago Blues Fest'. Graná Louise rocked the house at the Apollo Theater in New York and prestigious venues worldwide. She had headlined internationally acclaimed festivals from Detroit to Mexico, Reykjavik to the French Riviera, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, France, Brazil & beyond.
Grana' passed away on June 12, 2022.
(Courtesy of Grana' Louise)