Photo shoot from The Chicago Way
|Birth name||Toronzo Cannon|
|Born||February 14, 1968|
Chicago, Illinois, United States
|Labels||Alligator Records, Delmark Records|
Toronzo Cannon (born February 14, 1968, in Chicago, Illinois, United States) is an American electric blues guitarist, vocalist and songwriter. He grew up on the South Side of Chicago near the Robert Taylor Homes and Theresa’s Lounge where he heard blues artists including Buddy Guy and Junior Wells.
Cannon played guitar with Tommy McCracken, Wayne Baker Brooks, L.V. Banks and Joanna Connor beginning in 1996. He started his own band, The Cannonball Express in 2001. He recorded My Woman (self-released in 2007), Leaving Mood (Delmark, 2011) and John The Conqueror Root (Delmark, 2013). The third album was nominated for a Blues Music Award as Rock Blues Album of the Year in 2013.
Cannon has performed at the Chicago Blues Festival nine times. He headlined in 2015. He has also performed in many United States and European cities. His overseas tours include Mexico (2010), South Africa (2011), Armenia (2013 and 2014), France and Netherlands (2013), France and Spain (2014) and Sweden, France, Spain, Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg (2015). His UK debut came at the Edinburgh Blues Club Voodoo Rooms in 2017.
His daughter, Gayun Cannon, is also a talented, multi-instrumentalist who goes to Whitney M. Young Magnet High School.
Blues Matters (UK) said, "Toronzo is the real deal. Blistering guitar and inventive songs: jealousy, double-crossing, knives and harnd grenades... Chicago style."
The Chicago Tribune said, “Chicago-based Toronzo Cannon, who performed for the first time as a festival headliner, made the most of this opportunity to win over a new audience. His extroverted guitar style sounded especially compelling when he closely engaged with keyboardist Ronnie Hicks' sturdy chord changes. Cannon also has a forceful singing voice, whether narrating an original murder ballad or on his upbeat "Sweet Sweet Sweet."
The Chicago Reader said, “Local singer and guitarist Toronzo Cannon shows off his impressive range on 2013's John the Conquer Root (Delmark), tackling full-band soul ("Cold World"), airy acoustic ballads ("Let It Shine Always"), and rough-and-tumble biker-bar rock 'n' roll ("Sweet, Sweet, Sweet"). Cannon excels when he lets his ax take the lead: on the title track, for instance, he doles out slow, shimmying riffs and smoldering licks.
Blues & Rhythm (UK) said, “Without sounding like I'm going over the top with praise, this release is terrific and top heavy with superb musicianship and quality material and is worthy of any blues lover's attention. It also highlights the cream of the next generation of blues musicians starting to make their names on the Chicago blues scene."
- 2007: My Woman (Ta Music)
- 2011: Leaving Mood (Delmark)
- 2013: John The Conquer Root (Delmark)
- 2016: The Chicago Way (Alligator)
- 2019: "The Preacher, The Politician Or The Pimp" (Alligator)
Honors and awards
Current band members
- Toronzo Cannon - Vocals, lead guitar, rhythm guitar, background vocals
- Luca Chiellini - Piano, Hammond organ, background vocals
- Dave Forte - Bass guitar
- Melvin "Pooky Styx" Carlisle - Drums
- Guarino, Mark Toronzo Cannon Is a Travelin’ Blues Man Chicago Magazine. June 9, 2016
- Marshall, Matt. "35th Blues Music Award Nominees Announced" American Blues Scene. 10 December 2013. Retrieved 14 January 2016
- Lipkin, Marc. "Chicago Bluesman Toronzo Cannon Signs With Alligator Records" Alligator Records. 15 June 2015. Retrieved 14 January 2016
- Marshall, Matt. “Leaving Mood by Toronzo Cannon Knocks one out of Wrigley Field with Great Chicago Blues" American Blues Scene. 16 February 2012. Retrieved 14 January 2016
- Toronzo Cannon Official Biography Alligator Records. Retrieved 14 January 2016
- Blues Matters. Issue 87, January 2016
- Cohen, Aaron. "At Blues Fest, Buddy Guy pays homage to King" The Chicago Tribune. 14 June 2015. Retrieved 14 January 2016
- Fragassi, Selena. "2015 Chicago Blues Festival All About The Legends" The Chicago Sun-Times. 10 June 2015. Retrieved 14 January 2016
- Galil, Leor. "The Reader's guide to the 32nd annual Chicago Blues Festival" The Chicago Reader. 10 June 2015. Retrieved 14 January 2016
- Stephenson, Mike. "TOronzo Cannon: Leaving Mood" Blues & Rhythm (UK). January 2012. Retrieved 14 January 2016
- "The Blues Foundation Announces its 2017 Blues Music Awards Nominees". Blues.org. Retrieved 2017-04-27.