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Artists As Activists: Joni Nehrita

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46 Essex Street

Ontario N1H 3K8

Canada

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Toronto-born Jamaican-Canadian singer/songwriter Joni NehRita is not easily forgotten after seeing her live. Since re-locating to Guelph, this soul/jazz artist has become a staple on the local scene, known for steadily releasing great music, being fiercely loyal to her community and having a heck of a live show. It’s no surprise that she has become one of the Guelph/Waterloo Region’s best known and loved independent artists.

The release of her 3rd album, Bloom showcases her best writing and production yet. The songs are infectious, poignant and groove hard. It is noticeably more "pop/funk" than her previous releases yet the themes of social consciousness and inner reflection that has connected her to her listeners remain. NehRita has a gift for writing well-crafted songs that are deeply personal. Much of her music hearkens back to a time when soul and funk music made you dance while also serving up social commentary and a call for change.

She shines brightly during her live show & demonstrates her strength in be able to reach and connect with an audience. You know she feels the music and she leads you into feeling it too.
Raji Sohal from CBC 3 Montreal may have put it best, “I can attest that in live performance her voice and stage presence are stellar and come off as endearingly natural. Joni had me hollering and cheering like I haven’t at an R&B show in a while.”

As a vocalist, NehRita is a class act and has had varied experiences from professional musical theatre to singing with the KW Symphony Orchestra and Hamilton Philharmonic to selling out small theatres in Kitchener, Waterloo & Guelph. As a solo act and/or backing keyboardist or vocalist she has performed on such stages/events as The Montreal Jazz Festival, Hillside Festival, Waterloo Jazz Festival, Massey Hall, The Centre in the Square and countless venues across North America, Germany, England and Australia. In 2011 her single, “Are You Ready” peaked at #6 on the UK Soul Chart and received airplay on Canadian, US, and British radio stations. She is a voice coach, musical director of Guelph Glee and has sat on juries for The Ontario Arts Council. Her album The Bare Truth was made possible by a grant from the OAC.

In spring 2015 she signed with Guelph label, Chanter Records who released “Bloom” in the fall. It receives regular play on CBC in Toronto & Kitchener-Waterloo & has just been added to the CBC’s national library. Working with industry veteran Rick Hutt of Cedartree Recording Studio proved to be the best recording experience thus far in NehRita’s career. His ears, instincts and attention to detail proved invaluable. She also gained a mentor and friend and is already planning her next project with him.
In 2016 NehRita plans to keep the fire and excitement about Bloom lit with playing festivals and touring southern Ontario and parts of Quebec. She is also writing and demoing new songs with Rick Hutt and exploring what direction her new project(s) will take.

“Someone please call the people who decide the Juno Nominations and make sure they listen to…Bloom before making any big decisions. It will be a shame if the Canadian music industry gathers this spring & NehRita isn’t among the people being recognized for their work.”- Brian Williams, Editor of Guelph Life Magazine

“About 30 seconds into ”A Fine Time”, I was pretty damned confident that Joni NehRita was the real deal. The selections strike hard and soothe the spirit...” ~Addi Stewart Now Magazine

"What fans need to know is that I am a fan, first and foremost of music! I believe it to be a universal language and I believe in its power to evoke change.", says NehRita herself.

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46 Essex Street

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