Gaye Adegbalola & The Wild Rūtz is an a cappella blues quartet complimented by percussion and occasional guitar. The group was born out of get togethers where these talented friends found themselves spontaneously breaking into song. In 2013, they decided to create this unique sound focusing on the primary instrument of the blues, The Voice. The Rutz combine their four distinct voices to present a humorous, informative, harmonius, uplifting and entertaining show.
Gaye Todd Adegbalola, The Rutz’ front woman is a multi Music Award winner and a founding member of Saffire – The Uppity Blues Women (1984 – 2009). Gaye plays guitar, harmonica and is best known for her profound songwriting. As of 2015, her discography includes 10 CDs released by Alligator Records as well as being featured on several Alligator compilations. Gaye has released 5 CDs on her own label, Hot Toddy Music, and is featured in 3 DVDs including the recently released “The Old Black Dyke Show”. Gaye and The Wild Rutz released their debut CD, “Is It Still Good to Ya?”, in April, 2015. It is comprised entirely of Gaye’s original songs. Gaye likes to say that “JOY is her religion!” In this incarnation, with the Rutz, you will feel the spirit.
• Tanyah Cotton began playing the piano at age 4 and classical violin at age 10. Professionally, she has worn many hats — singer/songwriter, keyboard player, vocalist, arranger, event promoter & producer. She has worked with many noted entertainers including Patrice Rushen, Babatunde Olatunji, Toots and the Maytals, the Marleys, and in 1993, along with Gloria Jackson, formed Nubii (new-b-eye). Born and raised in San Francisco, her work has been in the genres of reggae, funk, jazz, African, Latin, and Caribbean music.
• Gloria Jackson, MD, is the primary vocal arranger for The Wild Rutz. She took a sabbatical from the medical profession to pursue music full time in 1989 with her group, One-ina, an a cappella trio. In 1991, she moved to Los Angeles to work directly with Grammy Award winning producer, Patrice Rushen. One-ina then expanded to Nubii, a full 7 piece band, playing World Beat and reggae music. Returning to the Bay Area, Gloria worked with Ras Midas, Babatunde Olutunji and Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead — arranging background vocals, performing and recording. Over the years, she has continued to perform in different ensembles. A move to the east coast in 2011, connected her with Gaye Adegbalola.
• Marta Fuentes is The Rutz’ primary arranger for percussion. Born in Puerto Rico, she moved to Alaska in 1993, then to Virginia in 1996. She attended the University of Puerto Rico with a concentration in Drama Studies. Growing up, family gatherings had everyone joining in song. She led the Praise and Worship Latino Group at the Tabernacle Christian Church in Laurel, MD, and performed with the 11 piece Unmundo Salsa Orchestra in Fredericksburg, VA. She creates a variety of rhythms and readily executes them on any percussive instrument she touches.
Aside from musical talents, these women are historians, healers, visionaries and activists:
Gaye, a former Virginia State Teacher of the Year (8th grade science) and named OUT Virginian in 2011, is often in demand for speaking engagements and workshops. In Herstory in 2014, she was named as 100+ LGBTQ Black Women You Should Know. She sees herself as a contemporary griot (a storyteller, historian, poet and musician) – keeping history alive, delivering messages of empowerment, ministering to the heartbroken, and finding joy in the mundane.
Tanyah’s formal training includes years of hands-on experience in Information Technology (IT) and as a paralegal often working in entertainment law.
Gloria, an MD, in addition to conventional medicine, has studied in China and West Africa focusing on integrative healing. Now working as a consultant, she specializes in medical nutrition and uses natural remedies for healing.
Marta, fluent in Spanish and English, is a family support worker who is able to communicate with and advocate for clients of diverse backgrounds.
For additional information: www.gayeandthewildrutz.com
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“But it’s that very uncompromising strength — of music, of imagination, of spirit — that makes this disc special. Here Gaye Adegbalola offers new proof — if we needed it — that the blues remains a music of relevance and social impact.”
~~ David Whiteis, Living Blues Magazine
“Adegbalola possesses a classic blues singer’s talent to breathe life into mere words. It’s the combination of prodigious singing, timely material and exquisite production that raises this effort above any mere “women’s blues” label . . . Her identification with humanity’s daily struggles — and her ability to articulate them — secure Adegbalola’s place within the tradition.” ~~ Blues Revue Magazine
“Adegbalola combines an impish sense of humor with hard-nosed feminist mettle; her effervescent theatricality allows her to infuse even her most politically righteous statements with life-affirming zest.” ~~ Living Blues Magazine
“Gaye’s voice is instantly recognizable; she’s made the classic songs her own and her own songs classics.” ~~ Bob Margolin, Blues Revue Magazine