Multi-Award winning Blues Diva ‘Dana Gillespie’ has been touring the world as the true ambassador of Blues. With over 65 albums to her credit, having performed with some of the world’s greatest music legends such as David Bowie, Mick Jagger and Bob Dylan, a Music Festival in Mustique in the Caribbean attended by celebrities and royalty, hit shows in London’s West End, Edinburgh Festival, and many other Festivals throughout Europe, the Middle East, USA, India, and beyond – Dana is truly an International Blues legend.
But after 53 years in the music industry and with over 65 albums Dana Gillespie is well qualified to sing the Blues. A career that combined radio, theatre, film and sport (Dana was the four times British junior water-skiing champion). Dana has been in the public eye since recording her first album at the age of 15 – “Blues was my first musical love because it’s earthy, spiritual and honest.” During the 90s, Bob Dylan invited Dana to support him on his UK tour.
Dana Gillespie, comes from an illustrious British Family, her great (x4) grandmother was the famous prison reformer Elizabeth Fry, whose face was on the British £5 note for many years. Her great (x4) grandfather was Sir Thomas Fowell-Buxton who helped abolish slavery across the World.
Along with Dana’s music career, her acting career also took off becoming even better known for her appearances in London’s famous West End theatres, in shows such as the first London production of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s Jesus Christ Superstar playing the original Mary Magdalene, The Who’s “Tommy” playing the Acid Queen and the rock Othello, “Catch My Soul”. Dana also appeared with Hollywood legend Dudley Moore in the film version of “The Hound of The Baskervilles” and starred in Ken Russell’s “Mahler” as well as the famous 70s cult classic “The People that Time Forgot’.
Dana’s management company moved her to USA, to host a leading radio Blues show in New York. Until recently, Dana continued her interest in radio in Austria where she completed a 11year stint hosting a famous weekly, international world music show on Blue Danube Radio called “Globe Trotting With Gillespie”.
In the 80s, Dana extensively toured Europe with the “Stars of Boogie Woogie” tour, singing either with the Mojo Blues Band or with Axel Zwingenberger. Whilst on tour in Europe, Dana recorded the single “Move Your Body Close To Me”, an Indian-influenced song which shot to Number 1 across the European charts.
A few years ago Dana was invited by the British Art Council, to perform across India with her London Blues Band, the first time a major tour by a western band over India. Dana filled stadiums from Mumbai to Calcutta and yet again demonstrated her infallible ability to take her music to a seemingly unlikely audience. Her song writing is without doubt a major asset. Bob Dylan has said how much he likes her songs… “her self-penned catalogue is phenomenal and sets her apart as a truly unique talent”,
In recognition of her talent, she was voted ‘Top British Female Blues Vocalist’ by the British Blues Connection and Blueprint Magazine between 1992 and 1996 and has now been elevated into their Hall Of Fame.