Nola Blue Records signs Keeshea Pratt, plans July 2024 album
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© Kara Achten 2023
LANCASTER, Pa. & HOUSTON - eMusicWire -- "Nola Blue Records is proud to announce the signing of 2018 International Blues Challenge (IBC) winner, Keeshea Pratt.  The Jackson, Mississippi native was born to musical parents; her mother a lyric soprano and her father a first tenor, a duo who traveled the world performing spirituals and R&B.  Pratt herself began singing at age six, and by high school was singing in choirs, pageants and talent competitions. While attending Tougaloo College (Jackson, MS) as a psychology major Pratt also studied opera, and was quickly recruited by the legendary Grace Bumbry to tour Europe with her Black Musical Heritage Ensemble during the summer of 1994.  It was then that Pratt discovered and embraced her God-given performance skills and knew that she was destined to be an entertainer.  She has been captivating diverse audiences with her dynamic vocal range, broad musical proficiency and powerfully entertaining presence ever since.

Pratt's debut as a blues artist occurred in 2009 at Jackson's Jubilee Jam, when she appeared with Eddie Cotton (2015 IBC winner) to perform a tribute to Koko Taylor, after her recent passing.  By 2012 Pratt was named Female Artist of the Year in the Jackson Music Awards. Since winning the IBC in 2018, she has become a favorite on the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise and has performed at leading festivals including Chicago Blues Festival, Telluride Blues Festival and many more.  Her first European blues performances in 2023 left no doubt that there is an appreciative audience eagerly anticipating her return.

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Her 2018 album debut, Believe, was named Best Debut Album in the Living Blues 26th Annual Blues awards. American Blues Scene praised Believe, saying, "Memphis soul and Southern Gospel walk hand-in-hand all glazed in Pratt's honey-dipped, Mississippi vocals." Now, Pratt approaches a personal milestone and professional turning point, enraptured with enthusiasm and enveloped in support for the next phase of her musical journey.  Her new album will showcase and expose the many facets of Keeshea Pratt.

"This signing has been years in the making, and I couldn't be more thrilled that this day has come during such a significant anniversary year for the label," says Nola Blue owner, Sallie Bengtson.  "Keeshea and I have shared experiences that connect us in a way that makes this project especially powerful and celebratory at this time in both of our lives."

"The teaching and the training I experienced along with the wisdom imparted under the mentorship of the phenomenal Shawn Allen over the last six years has catapulted me to this very moment in time," says Keeshea Pratt. "I am excited to see what God has in store for this 'Eagle Queen' with this new union."

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Pratt is in Memphis, Tennessee this week for the 2024 International Blues Challenge.  Always a sentimental homecoming with her blues family, she has a busy week planned, including:
  • Wednesday, January 17: IBC Challenger Check-In outside at Alfred's, 197 Beale Street (12 - 2:30PM)
  • Thursday, January 18: Hall of Fame Jam at Rum Boogie Cafe, 182 Beale Street (after competition)
  • Friday, January 19: Host of the Women in Blues live stream
  • Saturday, January 20: A Rockin' Soul Blues Blowout at Rum Boogie Cafe, 182 Beale Street (8:00PM)

Visit www.keesheapratt.com and follow her on Facebook and Instagram @keesheaprattbandexperience for all the latest news.

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Source: Nola Blue Records
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