What Donna Grantis learned from playing with Prince

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Sunday March 17, 2019

From NOW Toronto

What Donna Grantis learned from playing with Prince
By: Michael Rancic

Mississauga-born Grantis played co-lead guitar in Prince’s 3RDEYEGIRL and the New Power Generation band, who backed him in the period before his death in 2016. On the road and in photos they were regularly outfitted by Call & Response’s Lori Marcuz and Cathy Robinson. Though Grantis is based in Minneapolis now, the clothes are one of the many ways she stays connected to her home city ‘” she wears them on the cover of her latest album, Diamonds & Dynamite (out March 22 on eOne).

It’s in Toronto where Grantis learned the skills that would take her to Prince. After studying jazz performance at McGill, she moved back home and gigged in clubs like the Rex and the Orbit Room, getting introduced to the city’s network of session musicians by dropping into the Monday night jam sessions at Revival in 2007. Her six-string skills led to her backing many local musicians, including S’Aida, Saidah Baba Talibah (now known as SATE), Kardinal Offishall and Amanda Marshall. She also formed the Donna Grantis Electric Band in 2010.

‘The music scene [in Toronto] is so diverse. I got to play with so many artists covering such a diverse range of music,’ Grantis recalls. ‘To keep busy as a session player, it’s important to play a lot of different styles.’

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