Presented by Paul Benjamin Productions and the Strand Theatre

While only in her early 30s, two-time GRAMMY® nominee SHEMEKIA COPELAND is already a force to be reckoned with in the blues. COPELAND'S passion for singing, matched with her huge, blast-furnace voice, gives her music a timeless power and a heart-pounding urgency. Her music comes from deep within her soul and from the streets where she grew up, surrounded by the everyday sounds of the city – street performers, gospel singers, blasting radios, bands in local parks and so much more.

She’s opened for the Rolling Stones, headlined at the Chicago Blues Festival and numerous festivals around the world, scored critics choice awards on both sides of the Atlantic (The New York Times and The Times of London), shared the stage with such luminaries as Buddy Guy, B.B. King, Mick Jagger, and Eric Clapton, and has even performed at the White House for President and Mrs. Obama. Heir to the rich tradition of soul-drenched divas like Ruth Brown, Etta James and Koko Taylor, the singer was presented with Taylor’s crown by her daughter, Cookie, in June 2011 at the Chicago Blues Festival and given the honor of the new “Queen of the Blues” by official proclamation of the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois.

Promo video for her latest release: 33 1/3

Shemekia at the White House

…a superstar. - Maya Angelou, Oprah Magazine

…the next Tina Turner. - Robert Plant

 Incandescent …a diamond. - Carlos Santana

…As far as pure singers are concerned, we’re big Shemekia Copeland fans. - Billy F. Gibbons, ZZ Top

Lobby and Balcony Bars will be open for 21+


More about Shemekia Copeland

Born in Harlem, New York in 1979, COPELAND'S father, the late Texas blues guitar legend Johnny Clyde Copeland, recognized his daughter’s talent early and always encouraged her.

At only 19, Shemekia stepped out of her father’s shadow with the Alligator release of 1998 debut recording, "Turn the Heat Up!," and the critics raved. The Village Voice called her “nothing short of uncanny,” while the Boston Globe proclaimed that “she roars with a sizzling hot intensity.” A year later, she appeared in the Motion Picture Three To Tango, while her song “I Always Get My Man, was featured in the film Broken Hearts Club.

Her second album, Wicked, produced in 2000, scored three Handy Awards and a GRAMMY® nomination. Two years later, New Orleans R&B legend Dr. John produced her third recording, "Talking To Strangers."

"The Soul Truth," released in 2005, featured generous doses of blues, funk and Memphis-flavored soul. Then in 2009, "Never Going Back" captured COPELAND at a crossroads on her artistic path; the album took a more forward view of the blues, and in so doing pointed her music and her career in a new direction.

“I’ve had success in my career, and I’m happy with that,” she says. “But that doesn’t mean I don’t want to continue to grow. In order for an artist to grow – and for a genre to grow – you have to do new things. I’m extremely proud to say I’m a blues singer, but that doesn’t mean that’s the only thing I’m capable of singing, or that’s the only style of music I’m capable of making.”

She adds: “I want to keep growing. My main goal when I started this was that I was going to do something different with this music, so that this music could evolve and grow. I got that idea from my father. He didn’t do the typical one-four-five blues. He went to Africa and worked with musicians there. He was one of the first blues artists to do that. I want to be the same way. I want to be innovative with the blues.”

COPELAND'S latest  recording, "33 1/3," was released in 2012, and received a GRAMMY® nomination for Best Blues Album that year.

Show Dates & Times:

12/11/14 - Thursday

7:30 pm,

$20/General Admission.

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