For over fifteen years this multi-talented native Detroiter has graced and dominated Michigan's most attended events. She has performed over two hundred shows a year with grace and stamina. Her voice is strong, commanding, melodic and smooth. She tells her stories with incredible delivery and leaves her audiences wanting more.
She first gained attention in 1987 when she became back up singer for the Detroit soul band "Lamont Zodiac and The Love Signs". Shortly after, the lead singer left the band and the name changed to "The Chisel Brothers featuring Thornetta Davis".
In 1996 Thornetta recorded her first solo album "Sunday Morning Music" on the Seattle based label "Sub Pop" which received a rave revue in the national Entertainment Weekly magazine. The song "Cry" from that album was featured on the HBO hit cable drama "The Sopranos".
Thornetta has opened for legendary blues and R&B greats such as Ray Charles, Gladys Knight, Smokey Robinson, Etta James, Buddy Guy, Koko Taylor, Junior Wells, Lonnie Brooks, Johnnie Johnson and many more...her history is extensive and her performances are memorable...like the time she opened for Bonnie Raitt at Michigan's Ann Arbor Blues & Jazz festival in 1992. Bonnie asked Thornetta to join her and Katie Webster (queen of the swamp boogie) for an encore song which received a standing ovation.
In 1999 Thornetta brought down the house with her astounding performance at the"Lillith Fair" at Michigan's Pine Knob Music Theatre hosted by Sarah Mclachlan...that same evening she attended the "Detroit Music Awards" where she proudly accepted 2 of the over 20 Music Awards that she has won over the last 15 years for "Best R&B/ Blues vocalist" and "Best R&B Group".
In 2000 Thornetta opened the VH1 Vogue fashion awards at Madison Square Garden with Detroit phenomenon Kid Rock. New York's star-studded event captured Detroit's "Princess of the Blues" in all her glory!
In 2001 Thornetta Davis is inducted into the Detroit Music Hall of Fame! Thornetta performed on Wednesday nights for 7 years at one of Detroit's favorite live music venues "The Music Menu" located in Greektown in downtown Detroit until it's closing in 2003. Three years before that final Wednesday, Thornetta recorded a live performance on one magical night at the "Menu" and called it "Thornetta Davis covered Live at the Music Menu". This CD is a collection of Thornetta's most requested cover tunes. The magic comes through and touches you and makes you feel like you're right there watching her as she takes you on a spiritual journey to the depths of her soul.
"Thornetta Davis covered Live at the Music Menu" won "Best R&B/ Blues Recording" at the Detroit Music Awards 2002.
Thornetta Davis has appeared on the covers of Living Blues Magazine and Big City Blues Magazine.
Thornetta has also performed background vocals for artists such as Bob Segeron his album "The Fire Inside", The Little Steven Van Zandt produced U.S. debut of Nigerian reggae artist Majek Fashek, on "Spirit of Love", Sub pop recording artist "alternative rock band" Big Chief on the album, "Mack Avenue Scull Game", and Kid Rock on his self titled 2003 CD "KID ROCK".
Thornetta also performed on the sound track for the film "Osmosis Jones" starring Bill Murray. Her powerful singing voice has been heard on the hit television show Xena Warrior Princess. Her Cadillac commercial aired for the first time during the 2001 Academy Awards
Thornetta was also chosen to represent the DETROIT PISTONS 2001-2002
If you're from Michigan you are sure to have seen Thornetta in the Michigan State Lottery commercials. Coca-Cola selected Thornetta to revive the late 1960's "I'd Like to teach the world to sing" commercial. Pizza Hut loved our blues diva enough to "twist and dip"
It's clear that the Motor City knows just who Thornetta is and now it's time the rest of the world found out. So we would like to introduce to you in all her splendor a Detroit talent as original as her name...
Born in Marianna, Florida, Johnnie Bassett recalls early encounters with blues artists Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup and Big Bill Broonzy during weekend events at his grandmother's home. The Bassett family relocated to Detroit, Michigan, where Johnnie would begin his career as a member of Joe Weaver & The Blue Notes - working as studio musicians for Fortune Records. After serving two years in the Army, he moved to Seattle, performing with Johnnie "Guitar" Watson, Tina Turner, and providing advice and encouragement to an aspiring young guitarist named Jimmy James, later to be known as Jimi Hendrix. In 1965, Johnnie returned to Detroit to raise a family, working on weekends as a sideman with notable local artists, including Chicago Pete, Clarence Price and Ben Baber. Since its inception in 1992, Johnnie Bassett & The Blues Insurgents have recorded four albums and toured throughout Europe and North America, performing at The Blues Estafette, The Chicago Blues Festival and The San Francisco Jazz and Blues Festival.
The Brothers Groove formed in Detroit in the summer of 1999. Singer/songwriter/keyboardist Chris Codish met bassist James Simonson at a casual coffee house jazz gig. Both were in demand side men regularly performing with established groups, but the duo knew they could put their own stamp on the Detroit sound. Michael Caskey was brought in on drums and the trio released their first CD "Clamp it Down" to rave reviews (The Detroit Free Press included it in the top 5 Detroit Discs of 2000). After Mike Caskey left in 2001 (ultimately moving on to Chicago) guitarist Erik Gustafson (Larval, Blue Dog) and drummer Todd Glass (Hemigod, Twistin' Tarantulas) joined the group and The Brothers Groove released "So Glad You Came" in 2003. The band went through a few more changes but is now back to a trio featuring Skeeto Valdez(Trey Anasatsio 70 Volt Parade, King Konga) on drums.
They have performed at the Detroit Jazz Festival, NXNE, SXSW, as well as holding house gigs at venues like The Music Menu, 5th Ave Billiards, and The Buzz Bar. The band was hand selected by Bose corporation to use and demonstrate the revolutionary L1 Personal Amplification System (a state-of-the-art loudspeaker system that provides a hi-fidelity listening experience.) They backed up Johnnie Bassett on his award winning release "The Gentleman Is Back" (which Chris Codish produced with Keith Kaminski for Sly Dog records.) The band also appears in the upcoming motion picture "Little Murder" shot in Detroit, as well as appearing on the award winning "Local Boys" CD and DVD from The Motor City Horns (Bob Seger, Alexander Zonjic). The band and it’s members have won over 30 Detroit Music Awards as well as other accolades and continue to perform regularly for enthusiastic audiences as well as create and record music in their mid town studio (less than a mile from Motown’s original location.)
The Motor City Horns are among Detroit's most versatile musicians. Individually, MCH members have worked with a variety of artists, bands, and orchestras including: Justin Timberlake, The Temptations, The Four Tops, The Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble.
As a group, they have joined forces with Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band (2006 – 2007 Face The Promise Tour), as well as Clarence Clemons and the Temple of Soul. Locally they have appeared with The Brothers Groove, Johnnie Bassett and the Blues Insurgents, Thornetta Davis, Root Doctor and Alexander Zonjic. With Zonjic, they have shared the stage and crafted horn arrangements for many well-known jazz artists, including Bob James and Jeff Lorber. RecentCD releases include Bob Seger, The Verve Pipe, Alexander Zonjic, TheReed Dickinson Band, The Silent Years, Root Doctor, Carl Craig and Tribe, bluesman Johnnie Bassett and singer/songwriter Liz Larin. The Motor City Horns are a full service production team, able to assist in any aspect of a live performance or recording project (producing, recording, writing/arranging, etc...)
Visit: http://www.motorcityhorns.com for more info.