Dubbed “the goddess of Canadian Blues” highly acclaimed roots & blues artist Rita Chiarelli has struck again! Home-grown from Hamilton Ontario, Rita has just been selected as the recipient of the 2013 Heritage Award of Distinction for Arts, Culture and Entertainment by Festitalia Hamilton.
Over the past decade Rita has won every major Canadian blues award, including multiple Maple Blues awards, CBCs Great Canadian Blues Award, Toronto Independent Music Awards, Hamilton Music Awards, Manitoba Blues Society and the Hamilton Blues Society’s Lifetime Achievement Awards. Most recently Rita was awarded the prestigious Maple Blues ‘Blues With A Feeling Award’ for Lifetime Achievement.
As if creating beautiful music wasn’t enough, Rita has entered the film world & has recently released the soundtrack for her award winning documentary, Music From The Big House – which is her 9th recorded album.
Music From The Big House takes Rita on a pilgrimage to the birthplace of the blues, the Angola Prison Louisiana State’s Maximum Security Penitentiary. This musical journey is a glance into what used to be the bloodiest prison in America, but now gives lifers something to live for through the power of music. In contrast to sensational stories of convicts, we witness remarkable voices of hope as their love of music radiates humanity and redemption on their quest for forgiveness.
Rita never imagined that her love of the blues would lead her to a historic jailhouse performance with inmates serving life sentences for murder, rape and armed robbery. But their shared bond of music, and Chiarelli’s vivacious personality draw striking revelations from the inmates.
“It’s a beautiful film and one that all music lovers, regardless of preferred style, can appreciate because the music speaks to something deeper in our souls. It speaks to love, redemption, forgiveness and understanding.”
Showing no signs of slowing down, Chiarelli continues to tour in North America & Europe and is a veteran & featured artist at this year’s 21st Annual Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival. Rita’s many albums include Road Rockets, Just Gettin Started, What a Night Live!, Breakfast at Midnight, No One Is To Blame, Cuore: The Italian Sessions, Uptown Goes Downtown and Sweet Paradise.
Rita is currently ‘road testing’ material for her up coming album ‘Back to Blue’.