Donna Grantis

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Donna Grantis
Birth nameDonna Grantis
BornToronto, Ontario, Canada
Genres
Occupation(s)Musician, guitarist
InstrumentsGuitar
Associated actsPrince (musician), 3rdeyegirl,
Ida Nielsen
Hannah Welton
New Power Generation
Websitedonnagrantis.com
PRS CE22 (named Elektra)

Donna Grantis is a Canadian guitarist, best known for performing and recording with Prince & 3rdeyegirl.[1] On September 30, 2014, Prince and 3RDEYEGIRL released their debut album, PLECTRUMELECTRUM, which reached #1 on the Billboard Rock chart.[2] The album's title track, "PLECTRUMELECTRUM", was originally written by Grantis and later arranged by Prince.[3] Since 2013, Grantis has been a member of Prince's funk supergroup, The New Power Generation. On November 16th, 2018, Grantis released two new songs, “TRASHFORMER” and “VIOLETTA,” featuring Hall of Fame Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready, as a limited edition 7” via his vinyl label HockeyTalkter Records.[4] The tracks appear on Grantis’ debut album, DIAMONDS & DYNAMITE, released March 22nd, 2019, via eOne Music.[5]  The album and lead track reached #1 on iTunes Canada for top jazz album and top jazz song.

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Grantis grew up outside of Toronto, in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. She began playing acoustic guitar at the age of thirteen. Inspired by her older brother's classic rock record collection, she switched to electric guitar at fourteen.[6] She was awarded a music scholarship to McGill University where she received a bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Performance.[7] During her time there, she worked as a freelance musician, performing often throughout Montreal in various blues, jazz, funk and fusion bands.

2002-2012[edit]

Upon relocating to Toronto, Grantis worked as a session musician and bandleader, writing, performing and recording in the city's diverse music scene. She worked with artists such as blues vocalist Shakura S'Aida,[8] rocker SATE (formerly known as Saidah Baba Talibah), an all-female reboot of soul-funk band Sue de Nym led by singer-songwriter Suzanne Nuttall (in 2009), hip hop artist Kardinal Offishall,[9] indie artist Hill Kourkoutis (Hill & The Sky Heroes),[10] jazz vocalist Kellylee Evans, R&B songwriter Haydain Neale (Jacksoul) and multi-platinum pop singer Amanda Marshall.[11] As a band leader and composer, Grantis fronted an instrumental jazz-fusion trio called the Donna Grantis Electric Band. Her debut solo album, Suites, was independently released June 26, 2012.[12] The Donna Grantis Electric Band marked the release of the album with a performance at Toronto jazz club, the Rex Hotel, before touring Europe in support of the record through the fall of 2012. As a musical director, Grantis worked on special events with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and the Women's Blues Revue[13] among others.

Prince[edit]

In November 2012, Grantis received an invitation to Prince's Minnesota recording complex, Paisley Park.[14] Alongside drummer Hannah Welton, bassist Ida Nielsen and Prince, Grantis jammed a shortlist of songs as an audition for what would evolve into Prince's funk-rock recording and performing trio, 3RDEYEGIRL. The group toured throughout the UK, Europe and North America. On September 30, 2014, Prince & 3RDEYEGIRL released their debut album, Plectrumelectrum. Upon release, the album reached #1 on the Billboard Rock Chart in the USA.[15] The title track, "PLECTRUMELECTRUM" was originally written by Grantis and later arranged by Prince. From 2013 until the death of Prince in 2016, she was a member of Prince's funk supergroup, the New Power Generation.

Equipment[edit]

Grantis' primary instrument is a custom private stock PRS guitar. It is based on a Mira semi-hollow, with a Korina body, gold mirror pick guard and headstock, maple neck and whammy bar.[16] Her purple PRS CE 22, which she has used extensively in performances and recording sessions, is named "Elektra". Grantis has several specialized effects pedal boards, including one referred to as "the starship".[17] The board consists of twenty pedals across three interconnected boards. It was built by Craig Pattison specifically for her role in 3RDEYEGIRL to cover a wide array of tones. Grantis uses Delrin 0.73mm picks.[18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Toronto guitarist jams with Prince". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. April 25, 2013.
  2. ^ Mendizabal, Amaya (October 9, 2014). "Prince Crowns Dual Charts, Scores First Top Rock Albums No. 1". Billboard.
  3. ^ Goodridge, John (October 8, 2014). "THE AU INTERVIEW: DONNA GRANTIS OF 3RDEYEGIRL (MINNEAPOLIS) CHATS ABOUT WORKING WITH PRINCE". The Aure Review.
  4. ^ Gabler, Jay (November 20, 2018). "Donna Grantis releases two tracks featuring Mike McCready of Pearl Jam". Local Current Blog.
  5. ^ Patrick, Ryan (March 22, 2019). "Ex-Prince Guitarist Donna Grantis Channels Prince, Toronto and Improvisation on New Album 'Diamonds & Dynamite'". Exclaim!.
  6. ^ Wood Rudulph, Heather. "Get That Life: How I Joined Prince's Band 3RDEYEGIRL". Cosmopolitan. Retrieved February 9, 2015.
  7. ^ Molenda, Michael. "Donna Grantis Rocks Prince, 3rdEyeGirl, and the New Power Generation". Guitar Player. Retrieved June 24, 2014.
  8. ^ Jones, Christopher. "Shakura Thrives on Taking Chances". Live With Culture. Retrieved November 18, 2010.
  9. ^ Wheeler, Brad (October 3, 2014). "Working with Prince is as purple as you'd expect, guitarist says". The Globe and Mail.
  10. ^ "Hill & The Sky Heroes". Rock Steady Music. 2015.
  11. ^ Wood Rudulph, Heather. "Get That Life: How I Joined Prince's Band 3RDEYEGIRL". Cosmopolitan. Retrieved February 9, 2015.
  12. ^ Fraser, Lee (January 14, 2012). "The Prowess of Donna Grantis". Sticky Magazine.
  13. ^ "25th Women's Blues Revue". Toronto Blues Society. Retrieved February 25, 2016.
  14. ^ Parker, Matt (January 7, 2015). "Donna Grantis on Prince, Paisley Park and PlectrumElectrum". Musicradar.
  15. ^ Magazine, Billboard (October 18, 2014). "Billboard". Billboard.
  16. ^ Guitar World Staff. "Prince Guitarist Donna Grantis Demos Her PRS Private Stock Custom Guitar". Guitar World. Retrieved February 8, 2016.
  17. ^ Parker, Matt (January 7, 2015). "Donna Grantis on Prince, Paisley Park and PlectrumElectrum". musicradar.
  18. ^ Shadrick, Jason. "Donna Grantis: Days (and Nights) of Wild". Premiere Guitar. Retrieved November 11, 2014.

External links[edit]