Blackburn Brothers

An obvious uniqueness that identifies and sets apart Blackburn Brothers is that they are a  band of brothers. Led by Duane (lead vocals, organ, piano), Brooke (guitar, vocals, writing),  and Cory (drums, harmony vocals). Oldest brother Robert (guitar, vocal harmonies, writing)  and cousin Nathan (bass guitar) can be heard on recent studio recordings. Longtime horn  section bandmates include Neil Brathwaite on tenor saxophone and Ted Peters on  trombone. Touring bass guitarist is Andrew Stewart. The brothers musical lineage traces  back to R&B legend Bobby Dean Blackburn, whose legacy in the Toronto music scene  spans over six decades.

Beyond the music, other history runs deep. The Blackburn Brothers are 4th-generation  Canadians, descended of freedom seekers through the Underground Railroad and settling  in Southern Ontario. The Blues that the Blackburn Brothers create is part of their  inheritance, and always about a message of history, freedom, legacy, family, black unity,  and love.

The SoulFunkn’Blues album is a tribute to all the trailblazers, all of the ancestors and  forgotten tribes who taught the Blackburn Brothers the importance of history, blues, soul,  groove, rhythm and life. It is a tribute to 230 years of Canadian Roots and Blues.

Blackburn Brothers have graced stages alongside an illustrious lineup of globally renowned  icons, from the legendary Mavis Staples and Dr. John and The Nite Trippers to the  electrifying talents of Christone “Kingfish” Ingram and Cedric Burnside. Additionally,  they’ve shared the spotlight with esteemed Canadian artists such as Sarah McLachlan,  Colin James, The Bros. Landreth, among others. These collaborations highlight their  versatility and appeal across diXerent genres and audiences. They have performed at many  of the largest blues, jazz, and folk music festivals across North American and in Central  America.

The Blackburn Brother’s latest album SoulFunkn’BLUES (Sep 2023) has garnered  international acclaim, with reviews and features in several prominent music publications.  Additionally, the album has received three American 2024 Blues Music Awards  nominations for Album of The Year, Soul Blues Album of The Year, and Song of The  Year (a new precedent from a Canadian band), and a 2024 JUNO Awards  nomination for Blues Album of The Year. Considered the highest honours on the  Canadian Blues scene, Blackburn Brothers collectively earned a record-setting nine  nominations in the 2024 Maple Blues Awards including: Entertainer of the  Year and Electric Act of the Year.

Locally the band has received tremendous support and airplay from Canada’s CBC Radio  and their album SoulFunknBLUES was JAZZ.FM91 2023 Album of The Year.

In 2023, the band received the prestigious honour of being inducted into the Canada  South Blues Society Hall of Fame, a testament their commitment to continuing a legacy  of musical excellence and increasing the visibility of Black artists in the Canadian music  landscape.

Previous achievements and accolades include receiving the 2017 Coup de Coeur  Award from the Festival International Du Blues De Tremblant, earning a 2016 JUNO  Awards nomination for Blues Album of The Year, and winning the 2010 Maple Blues  Award for Best New Band.

Blackburn Brothers’ consistent excellence is reflected in multiple Maple Blues Award  nominations across various categories over the years including Electronic Act of the  Year in 2024 and 2022, the Maple Blues Award nomination for Drummer of the Year (Cory  Blackburn) in 2024, 2022, 2020, the Maple Blues Award nomination for Piano/Keyboard  Player of the Year (Duane Blackburn) in 2024, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2017, 2015, and 2024  Maple Blues Award nominations for Entertainer of the Year, Songwriter of the  Year, Recording of the Year, Producer of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year (Brooke  Blackburn), Guitarist of the Year (Brooke Blackburn).