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Nancy Wright and the Rhythm and Roots Band: CD Release
The Sound Room
Oakland, CA
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Nancy Wright and the Rhythm and Roots Band: CD Release
Nancy Wright is one of the most highly respected and in-demand sax players on todays blues, Americana and R&B scene. Major music writers have hailed her big-toned tenor and compared her to the all-time greats.

. . . one of the best horn blowers in the blues business . . . stunning command of the instrument that utilizes sputters, growls, honks and high-note wails while never losing sight of the strong melodies at the core of her improvisations . . . Wright has also emerged in recent years as a singer and songwriter of high order.
Lee Hildebrand, Living Blues

Her tenor is, by turns, slathered with Noble Thin Man Watts Southern-fried grease, robust with King Curtis soulfulness and buffed to a gleam with pungent Junior Walker funk.
Frank-John Hadley, Downbeat

Wright first appeared on the Bay Area music scene in 1984 with the critically acclaimed New Orleans Rhythm and Blues Band, Hot Links. Following a successful North American tour, Wright and Hot Links were tapped to perform with Swamp Boogie Queen Katie Webster, appearing on her Arhoolie Records release, You Know Thats Right. Wright and Webster also performed together at the Chicago Blues Festival and appear together on B.B. Kings album, Blues Summit, winner of the 1994 Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album.

After relocating to San Francisco, Wright spent the next two decades touring North America, Europe, and Asia with such artists as Lonnie Mack, Elvin Bishop; Commander Cody; New Orleans legends Johnny Adams and Earl King; Joe Louis Walker; Maria Muldaur; and Greg Fingers Taylor (accompanied by Debbie Davie and Janiva Magnus, opening for Jimmy Buffets top-grossing summer amphitheatre Outpost Tour). Wright recorded with B.B. King, Katie Webster, Elvin Bishop, Joe Louis Walker, Little Charlie and the Nitecats, Mark Hummel and many others in the 80s and early 90s, and chose to stop touring in the mid-1990s. During this period, she also performed with many top blues artists including Robert Cray, Bonnie Raitt, Pinetop Perkins, Hubert Sumlin, Lowell Fulsom, Son Seals, and Ike Turner. I have been blessed to play with and learn from so many wonderful musicians, says Wright.

While the blues thread remains the strongest in the tapestry of Wrights music, in the late 90s a new thread appeared the opportunity to work with local Hammond B3 organ artist Jackie Ivory (who also worked with sax luminaries Junior Walker and Willis Jackson). This rekindled her love of organ combo music, which led to a performance with monster Hammond star Tony Monaco and to the release of her critically acclaimed debut CD Moanin (produced by Monaco and backed by his trio) featuring a mix of soul jazz, blues, ballads, and boogaloo, including four original compositions. Like Texas Tenors Arnett Cobb and Illinois Jacquet, and Chicago Tough Tenors Gene Ammons and Sonny Stitt, Wright works back and forth between blues and jazz comfortably.

Wright performed regularly in Northern California with her own group and also performed regularly and/or recorded with blues and roots-based acts including the Blues Broads, Mighty Mike Schermer, Houston Jones, Lady Bianca, Steve Willis, Macy Blackman and others. In 2013, Wright was awarded the West Coast Blues Hall of Fame Blues Saxophone Player of the Year. In 2014, she hit the road again, touring in Europe, Canada and the US with Frank Bey (who received multiple Blues Music Award nominations in 2014) and Greg Nagy (31st BMA Best New Artist Debut), and continued to play in Northern California with her own group and other artists.

Wright is gearing up to release her third CD in five years, Alive and Blue, on the Direct Hit/Vizztone label in June 2019. Wright received her third consecutive Blues Music Award nomination in 2019 for Horn Player of the Year. She also appears as a sideman on multiple Blues Music Award-nominated CDs.

Wright continues to tour regularly, playing major festivals and clubs with headlining artists and her own band. She is a popular regular on the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise, performing with Tommy Castro and the Painkillers.


The Sound Room (View)
2147 Broadway
Oakland, CA 94612
United States


Music > Blues

Kid Friendly: Yes!
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


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