Salome Bey

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Salome Bey
Babs Gonzales and Salome Bey.jpg
Babs Gonzales and Salome Bey. Photo courtesy of the Fraser MacPherson estate
Background information
Genres Soul, Jazz, Gospel
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter, record producer
Instruments Vocalist
Years active 1964 - 2011
Associated acts Horace Silver, Andy Bey

Salome Bey (born 1944) is an American-born Canadian singer-songwriter, composer, and actress who has lived in Toronto, Ontario since 1966. In 2005, she was made an honorary Member of the Order of Canada.[1]


Born to a middle-class African-American family in New Jersey, Bey formed a vocal group with her brother Andy Bey and sister Geraldine Bey (de Haas), known as Andy and the Bey Sisters, performing in local clubs and touring North America and Europe. After moving to Toronto in 1964 and playing the jazz club circuit, she became known as "Canada's First Lady of Blues". Bey appeared on Broadway in Your Arms Too Short to Box with God, for which she was nominated for a Grammy Award for her work on the cast album. She put together a blues & jazz cabaret show on the history of black music, Indigo - which earned her the Dora Mavor Moore Award for outstanding performance. The show was later taped for TV networks.

Bey recorded two albums with Horace Silver, and released live albums of her performances with the Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir and at the Montreux Jazz Festival. She received the Toronto Arts Award for her contributions to the performing arts in 1992, and the Martin Luther King Jr. Award for lifetime achievement from the Black Theatre Workshop of Montreal in 1996.

Beginning in her early sixties, Bey began showing signs of dementia. As of 2011 her illness had progressed to the point that she can no longer perform.[2]

Bey is a member of the Canadian charity Artists Against Racism. [3]


She married Howard Berkeley Matthews on April 7, 1964. They had three children, including the singer SATE, formally known as Saidah Baba Talibah.


  1. ^ "Salome Bey invested as Honorary Member of the Order of Canada". Governor General of Canada. Retrieved 8 July 2016. 
  2. ^ "Night with Royal Family of Blues". Toronto Sun. October 29, 2009. Retrieved 8 July 2016. 
  3. ^

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