Born: August 1, 1957 Primary Instrument: Vocal
Deitra Farr - Blues Singer
Deitra Farr is considered one of Chicago’s top vocalists, fiery, energetic, and soul-stirring describes this woman, who has over the years been nominated for Traditional Female Blues artist of the year by the W.C. Handy Awards, Female Blues Artist of the year by the Living Blues Critics Awards, the British Blues Connection Awards, and the Les Trophees France Blues awards.
This Chicago native began her career in 1975, singing with local soul bands, before starting her blues career in the early 1980’s. She was the featured vocalist with the Jimmy Mayes band Mill Street Depot, and then with blues pianist Erwin Helfer’s trio.
While acquiring a reputation in the Windy City blues circles she surrounded herself with top tier musicians and the efforts paid off. She appeared on Dave Spectors “Bluebird Blues, record in ’91, “Chicago Blues Nights,” for the DIW label, and on “Chicago’s Finest Blues Ladies,” Wolf Records, all in the early ‘90’s.
From 1993 to 1996, Deitra was the lead singer with Mississippi Heat, and can be heard on their records “Learned The Hard Way,” (’93) and “Thunder In My Heart,” from ’95.
In 1997, Deitra resumed her own solo career, continuing to sing blues, while reaching back to her soul music roots. After recording on eight previous projects with others, she recorded her first solo CD, “The Search is Over,” for the London-based JSP records. In 2005, Deitra released her second JSP CD “Let it Go!”
The multi-talented Deitra Farr is also a published writer, poet, songwriter, and painter. A graduate of Columbia College (Bachelor of Arts in Journalism) Deitra has recorded many of her own compositions and has written articles for the Chicago Daily Defender, The Chicago Blues Annual, and the Italian blues magazine il Blues. Currently she has a column “Artist to Artist” in Living Blues Magazine.
In 1990, Deitra represented the Chicago Tourism Bureau in Düsseldorf, Germany and has toured England, Wales, Iceland, Finland, Norway, Canada, Holland, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Monaco, Italy, Yugoslavia, Greece, Israel, Austria, Latvia, Portugal, Sweden, Mexico, and Guadeloupe.
Deitra toured Europe with the 2000 Chicago Blues Festival with Lil Ed and the Blues Imperials. In 2003, Deitra completed a six week British tour with Otis Grand and Bobby Parker, as the American Festival of the Blues II. She did the 2004 Chicago Blues Festival European tour with Jody Williams and Andrew “Jr. Boy” Jones. The Italian newspaper, The Pistoia La Nationale, proclaimed Deitra Farr “Regina del Blues”. Be a witness.