"A true class act! Enjoyed watching you give us the best that you've got ... we felt it ... the entire house! THANK YOU! My favorite, thus far, is your rendition of Afro Blue!" Anita Williams
Over the years, Anita Canada has mesmerized audiences with a contralto range that adds jazzy urban folk, funk and swing to the most memorable standards of yesteryear and modern day classics, leaving you wanting a little extra for the road. Bottom line, Anita surrenders her soul to the words of a song, conveying its deepest depth of meaning.
Raised in Seattle, Washington, Anita was introduced at an early age to five specific genres of music by her father, the late Charles Paul Canada, a U.S. Navy veteran who served in Vietnam and who played the harmonica in a band during regular performances at the former Desert Inn and Stardust hotels in Las Vegas. "Dad gave me keepsake albums -- the afro beat sensations of Fela Kuti, the swinging blues of Bessie Smith, the folk rock of Bob Dylan, the passionate jazz of Billie Holiday, and the reggae rhythms of Bob Marley -- all of which "have impacted my evolving jazz versions."
Influences include Dee Dee Bridgewater, Dianne Reeves, Cassandra Wilson, and the greatness of Abbey Lincoln, Sarah Vaughn, Anita O'Day, Billie Holliday, Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee and Nina Simone. And, she never leaves a show without her vocal finesse being compared to that of smooth jazz vocalist, Phyllis Hyman. "She is one of my all time favorites. I am humbled by this compliment that speaks to the passionate vocals she brought to every performance."
In addition to her allegiance to jazz, Anita served as lead vocalist for an indie rock band, Ulterior Motives; was lead vocalist for The Timothy Griffin Jazztet; provided background vocals to a gospel CD produced by renowned pianist, Dennis Nunnelley; has served as an understudy in the local stage play, Waiting for the Rainbows of Life®, where she recorded and performs one of its most highly acclaimed tracks, "Do Right Man©;" has been the featured vocalist at numerous private special events such as end-of-the-year galas, weddings, receptions and fund raisers.
Indoor Venues include performances at the renowned Cafe 290, Legend Cafe, 191 Club, Footprints Cafe, Olde Towne Tavern and Grille, South DeKalb Music Festivals, Metro Fuxon, Moondance Restaurant and Lounge, CalaBar Grill, The Atlanta Botanical Gardens, with monthly performances at Ziggy's Jazz and Blues, Marlee's Coffee House, and Riley's on the Square.
Outdoor Venues include performances on the stages of Jazz in the Alley, Jazz on the Lawn, Pine Lake Fest, City of Norcross' First Fridays, and the Suwanee Jazz Fest. Anita is regularly featured on radio promos by WCLK's 91.9 FM "Jazz in the City" radio for all outdoor festivals.
Seattle venues included a full performance at The Royal Esquire Club, backed by The Goody Bagg Band, and solos at the Paragon Bar and Grill, the Tea Palace, and Bake's Place, where Anita was welcomed to the stage by Seattle's Soul Songstress, Josephine Howell. Anita sends a shout out to the late, Benjamin Wicker, a songwriter, producer, musician dear friend with whom she also shared the stage. In tribute to him, her first solo project will feature a few selections from Ben's original work, including "Kingdom by the Sea©," "I've Got to Get Away©," and "Private Eye©."
Anita contributed background and lead vocals on the soundtrack for Waiting for the Rainbows of Life, a musical stage play about channeling the journey of the modern Christian woman, and she provided background vocals for three selections on the solo project of Contemporary Christian Artist, Candace Devaney, entitled Journey. Anita is an active member and lead acapella singer at Campus Church, and is excited about the start of her overdo and anticipated solo project featuring her songwriting finesse as well as selections by friend, mentor, composer and songwriter, the late Benjamin Wicker … coming your way soon, so stay tuned! Anita has been known to quiet the band in the middle of a set in order to incorporate a verse or two in a cappella. "Every once in awhile, I slip it in when the moment is right. My audience appreciates this unique freshness."
"Thank you very much for A FANTASTIC PERFORMANCE!!! You are an AMAZING singer and I love your stage presence; a natural with the audience! Everybody loved you! I would love to have you back with your band to do an entire show!" Della Williams