About Me imageAbout Me image

" At the age of 5, I had a hearing impairment, I was deaf"!

As a little girl, when my mother played her music, I would lie on our fluffy, shag carpet and place my ear to the loudspeaker, so that I can feel the joy, and the soul, of Aretha Franklin. I soon became deaf, deafened by the Queen of Soul's powerful vocals, which led me to start reading lips. I relied on lip-reading to understand what everyone was saying. After a few years, when my hearing was restored, I then had to focus on looking into people's eyes, their souls, to understand and reflect - and to become the woman, the athlete, and the blues and soul artist, I am today".

Losing my hearing was one of my many challenges, I faced and overcame. I never gave up. Having been raised with strong women in my life, I will never give up!
Performing with my white sneakers is a tribute to my athletic background.


Garnetta Cromwell, a magnetic lead vocalist, embarked on her musical journey as a young girl in Montreal. Being the youngest of eight siblings, she was raised in an Afro-Metis household, where music became her solace. Despite facing a hearing impairment, that required surgical treatment, during her early childhood years, Garnetta's passion for music remained unwavering. She found inspiration in Gospel, Blues, Country, and classic Soul. Loving music gave her the impetus to survive, the determination to thrive, the peace to heal and a reason to grow.

Garnetta was a child performer, perfoming in costumes tailored by her mother and performing hit songs from Aretha Franklin, Mavis Staples, Gladys Knight, The Supremes & The Jackson 5. With her mother and older siblings, Garnetta moved from Montreal to Ontario, where she was introduced to the reggae music scene.
As Garnetta continued her music journey, she became one of the lead vocalists and drummer for Toronto’s first female reggae band, "Sweet Sensation", in the 90's. Performing on the same stage with Platinum/Grammy Award artists Maxi Priest, Shabba Ranks, Shaggy, Gregory Issac, Sean Kingston and Platinum/Grammy soul legends Percy Sledge, Dorothy Moore and The Manhattans.

Retreating from the group, she packed up her life in Ontario and went to Nova Scotia, to be with family during a time of loss. Relocating within weeks, Garnetta scooped up any job she could, to pay the bills. She landed a promising career, (so she thought), with her employer, Leon's Furniture Inc. in Dartmouth, NS. After a restructuring promotion, Garnetta was placed under the supervision, while facing discriminatory and racial slurs, that led to a Human Rights investigation, of which, took approximately 5 years to be heard. Winning her Human Rights hearing in 2014, one of the stipulations for her ex-employer, was to provide education, through workshops, to all African & Indigenous Nova Scotians, to gain the skills needed to succeed, in many office settings and responsibilities. Garnetta now has a Human Rights Case Study, that is based around her hearing "Cromwell vs Leon Furniture Inc". Needing to move forward, she started another career as a Correctional Officer and registered with the Canadian Armed Forces, as a reservist. Garnetta was treated with incredible levels of disrespect, (due to her race and gender) and indecency, that put her in a dark and angry place.

Emerging from the darkness, Garnetta rekindled her love for music and joned a R&B band and set off for happiness, success and change. Garnetta soon experienced loss again when her eldest nephew, was shot and killed, at the age of 27, while being a "good samaritan". 5 months later, Garnetta found herself burying another nephew, from the same sister. Overwhelmed with sadness, anger, frustration and confusion, Garnetta was determined to find her purpose in life, while raising her 3 children on her own. After the sudden passing of her mother, lonliness and depression was knocking on her door, once again. So, instead of going down a "dark hole", Garnetta relocated from Nova Scotia to Ontario and channeled her energy, towards the sport of Olympic Weighlifting.

Focusing on weightlifting for physical and mental health, within six months of training, Garnetta won her first gold medal and set a new Ontario Provincial record February 2018, in th city of St. Thomas, which led her to compete in the Pan-Am Masters Canadian Games June 2018. Winning two gold medals and setting a new Canadian record.

In October of 2021, her eldest son was shot and injured, by this time, Garnetta admitted that she needed to heal. She turned inside with self-reflection about life and her music. After facing numerous personal challenges, she decided it was time for her to follow her passion of performing and entertaining music that reflects her life's journey. She has committed to creating the music that is the soundscape to her story and to live her best life. In 2022 Garnetta decided to form her own band, made up of exceptional all around musicians and record her first full length Album/CD, that has been newly released in September 2023, called, "Time To Shine".

GARNETTA CROMWELL & DaGROOVMASTERS is a classic soulful Blues Band that delivers a high-energy show. They are a reflection of Canada's multicultural society. Their upbeat music brings pure joy to all listeners. Garnetta has graced the stage with Juno and Maple Blues Award recipient, Mr. Kenny "Blues Boss" Wayne and Blue Rodeo. Within their first year together, GARNETTA CROMWELL & DaGROOVMASTERS won the Toronto Blues Society's Talent Search (July 2022), which earned them a spot to compete at the finals in the International Blues Challenge, held in Memphis, Tennessee, USA, January 2023. Garnetta has performed at the 24th Annual Southside Shuffle (September 2022), one of Canada's best known blues festivals. Garnetta performed at the 35th Annual Women Blues Revue held at Massey Hall, on November 25, 2022, where she received a full standing ovation, and has since been invited back to the 36th Annual Women's Blues Revue, on November 17, 2023 TD Toronto Jazz Festival (July 2023) and Union Summer Blues Monday (July 2023). Garnetta has just finished her well received Western Canadian "Time To Shine" tour, in August 2023. She performed at the Calgary International Blues Festival, Nanaimo BluesFest, Salmon Arms, Roots & Blues Festival and Bear Creek Folk Festival.
Garnetta's style of upbeat music brings pure joy to all listeners and she continues to spread her soulful blues sound throughout her performances. Garnetta's first full album/CD, Time To Shine, was released on September 8, 2023, produced by Ken Whiteley and has been nominated a 2023 Maple Blues Award for New Artist/Group.

Mark Howe (Bassist)

Mark Howe, also known as “DaFunkmaster”, who plays the bass. Mark, an extraordinary bassist, has mastered the groove across genres but specializes in Blues, Soul, and Funk. He played with the Jeff Healey Band in the mid-80s and led his own band, Spectrum, until 2020 when he became a full-time bassist for GARNETTA CROMWELL & DaGROOVMASTERS.

Robin Houston (Drummer)

Robin Houston was born in a small Northern Ontario community. His mother was a musician and he always listened to her play the piano, which inspired him to pick up a set of drumsticks. Robin received his first drumkit when he was 8 years old. Robin played with local bands and would often sub in when needed. Robin moved to Southern Ontario in 1980 and his drums were a hobby until he joined The Whiskey Chasers, a band from the Hamilton, ON region. He continued to play with The Whiskey Chasers until he fully committed to become the full-time drummer for GARNETTA CROMWELL & DaGROOVMASTERS.

Toshi "T-Bird" Otani (Guitarist)

Toshihiro Otani, the lead guitarist known as “Toshi”, was born and raised in Japan. Toshi taught himself to play guitar at the age of 12. He was part of Tokyo’s Chicago-style blues scene before moving to Canada in 2013.

Juan Arce (Saxaphonist)

Juan Arce, a Colombian born sax player. Juan graduated from York University with an honour’s degree in fine arts, specializing in jazz performances. He started his musical career in 2003 working with his father at an early age. Since then, he has developed a highly versatile playing style performing, recording, and touring with several jazz, funk, and pop ensembles as well as various Latin groups and salsa orchestras. Juan has collaborated on several projects with Toronto band Shuffle Demons, and performed with several international Latin artists, including Gabriel Romero, Luis Felipe Gonzales, and Armando Hernandez, among others.

Toronto Blues Society

Toronto Blues Society

MAPLE BLUES MAGAZINE, July 2023 Edition Garnetta Cromwell &  DaGroovmasters is one of resilience, passion, and transformative power of music.  Their songs are not just notes and lyrics; it’s a story, an experience, and a journey through the soulful realms of blues. Their songs are sure to touch your heart and move your spirit.  Don’t miss the chance to be a part of their enthralling musical voyage!!!! 

-Blair Blain (Toronto Blues Society)


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Living Blues Magazine-November 2023

Living Blues Magazine-November 2023

It is indeed Garnetta Cromwell’s time to shine!!  Top notch vocals and songwriting combined with impeccable musicianship make Cromwell and her band a welcome addition to today’s blues scene!! -Jon Kleinman

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December 2023 #5 on the Rock Doctor’s Hot Wax Review  Every now and then an album comes along that lifts you up and just makes life feel better, and “Time to Shine” is just such a record. This is Garnetta Cromwell’s debut and it’s a lively, soulful adventure with the energy of Gladys Knight and The Jackson Five. The songs are as deep as they are effervescent. 

-John “The Rock Doctor” Keireiff

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Blues Blast Magazine

Blues Blast Magazine

Issue 17-49 December 21, 2023

 “Time To Shine” is Canadian singer-songwriter Garnetta Cromwell’s debut release and is a very impressive soul/blues/R&B release. The album opens with a swinging tribute to Cromwell’s mother, “Miss Marva Ann”. Autobiographical lyrics are an excellent reflection of what is to be found on the rest of the album. Many of the lyrics on Time to Shine celebrate strong, powerful women! Cromwell is a superb soul-blues singer combining technical virtuosity with deep passion and humanity. Many of the songs have neat earworms of a chorus, for example on the funky “Weekend” or the irresistibly positive tongue-in-cheek “It’s A Woman World”. Time To Shine is a highly enjoyable album. Cromwell is a major talent, and it will be fascinating to see where this path leads her. 

- Rhys “Lightning'” Williams


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BLUES CORNER January 18, 2024

Canadian singer-songwriter Garnette Cromwell has an impressive soul/blues/R&B release firmly in her hands. The album contains eight original songs and two well-chosen covers. "Time To Shine" was recorded live with a band consisting of: Toshi Otani (guitar), Mark Howe (bass), Robin Houston (drums), Sabian Crosswell (keyboards) and Juan Arce (tenor saxophone). Together, they are DaGROOVMASTERS. "Time To Shine" offers us an exclusively female brass section, consisting of: Rebecca Hennessy, Colleen Allen, Carrie Chesnutt and Elena Kapeleris. Backing vocalists are Quisha Wint and Selena Evanageline, while producer Ken Whiteley actively participates in the recording and plays guitar, organ and backing vocals. Throughout the album, Ken insisted that no matter what, Garnetta's impressive vocals should be in the foreground, which he used abundantly and literally radiates throughout the album.

These two covers of Ruthie Foster's "Singing The Blues" and James Brown's "Think (About It)" took on a new meaning and took on that sophisticated female perspective.The album is almost entirely very playful and "joyful" only in the last song of the album, "Hey You Girl", where Garnetta sings about a sister, showing how deep a ballad can be regardless of what is being sung about. On the great foundations established by great singing divas like Aretha Franklin, there is always room for development to progress and go one step further! Garnetta uses it in her own way and doesn't care about anyone or anything, but simply moves on!Recommendation''Time To Shine'' by the excellent Garnette Cromwell is an example of a really enjoyable album, the content of which offers really fun and danceable moments and you just have to take advantage of it. There's no doubt, it's clear to all of us that Garnetta Cromwell is truly a magnificent!

- Mladen Loncar 

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Upcoming Events

Ferocity Live Showcase25 Jul 20243030 Dundas Street West, York, ON, Canada
Halton Freedom Festival03 Aug 20241400 Lakeshore Road, Burlington, ON, Canada
Moonshine Cafe10 Aug 2024137 Kerr Street, Oakville, ON, Canada
Appalachian Pub23 Aug 202468 Main St N, Georgetown, ON, Canada
Knights of Columbus' CornRoast Banger31 Aug 202412 Catharine Avenue, Brantford, ON, Canada
Garnetta's Sweet Saturday Blues JAM @Corktown Pub07 Sep 2024175 Young Street, Hamilton, ON, Canada
Supercrawl (Rooftop)13 Sep 2024324 James Street North, Hamilton, ON, Canada
Haliburton County w/ Garnetta Cromwell14 Sep 2024719 Mountain Street, Haliburton, ON, Canada
Wasaga Beach Festival15 Sep 2024291 Main Street, Wasaga Beach, ON, Canada
Westdale BIA16 Sep 2024
Masonic Lodge Erie #149 Port Dover05 Oct 2024425 Main Street, Port Dover, ON, Canada
Blues @ the Red Door10 Nov 2024TBA

Past Events

Blue Monday @ Union Station15 Jul 2024Union Station, Toronto, ON, Canada
The Lighthouse Blues Festival13 Jul 2024750 Queen Street, Kincardine, ON, Canada
Garnetta's Sweet Saturday Blues JAM @Corktown Pub06 Jul 2024175 Young Street, Hamilton, ON, Canada
Stan's Canada Day Celebration Private Party30 Jun 2024St. Catharines, ON, Canada
JJ's Bar & Lounge (Formerly Dakotas)29 Jun 20242814 LakeShore Blvd W, Etobicoke, ON, Canada
Afternoon Matinee at Frankies15 Jun 2024170 Brantwood Park Road, Brantford, ON, Canada
WinterFolk Fest @ The Redwood Theatre08 Jun 20241300 Gerrard Street East, Toronto, ON, Canada
Garnetta's Sweet Saturday Blues JAM @Corktown Pub01 Jun 2024175 Young Street, Hamilton, ON, Canada
Orangeville Blues & Jazz Festival31 May 2024Orangeville, ON, Canada
Back Alley Bar & Grill Matinee26 May 202418 Princess Avenue, St. Thomas, ON, Canada
New Music Showcase09 May 20241385 Main Street East, Hamilton, ON, Canada
Sammy's Creamery05 Apr 202475 Erie Avenue, Brantford, ON, Canada
Frankie's30 Mar 2024170 Brantwood Park Road, Brantford, ON, Canada
Moonshine Cafe02 Mar 2024137 Kerr Street, Oakville, ON, Canada
Saturday Afternoon Blues At The Regency w Steve Grisbroook24 Feb 20248068 Mountain Road, Niagara Falls, ON, Canada
Blues Summit Eleven10 Feb 2024410 Sherbourne Street, Toronto, ON, Canada
Twilight Jazz and Blues Series - 7th Edition22 Jan 2024769 Niagara Stone Road, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON, Canada
Hammer Hogs BBQ20 Jan 202443 Argyle St N, Caledonia, ON N3W 1B8, Canada
Sammy's Creamery30 Dec 202375 Erie Avenue, Brantford, ON, Canada
HBHAS Holiday Party09 Dec 2023828 Legion Road, Burlington, ON, Canada
Ensemble on Cable 1404 Dec 2023398 Nash Road North, Hamilton, ON, Canada
Special Guest @ Jo Blos Roc n Woks02 Dec 20232 Pelham Rd, St. Catharines, ON, Canada
Gator At The Norfolk18 Nov 2023200 Main Street, Port Dover, ON, Canada
36th Womens Blues Revue17 Nov 2023178 Victoria Street, Toronto, ON, Canada
Halloween at Lviv28 Oct 2023201 Main Street, Port Dover, ON, Canada
Folk Music Ontario14 Oct 2023London, ON, Canada
Canal Banks Blues Shuffle12 Oct 20233 Ormond Street South, Thorold, ON, Canada
Jazz Vespers Series w Ori Dagan30 Sep 20232550 Danforth Avenue, Toronto, ON, Canada
Gator at the Norfolk16 Sep 2023200 Main Street, Port Dover, ON, Canada
Architect Hair Design Supercrawl Rooftop09 Sep 2023324 James Street North, Hamilton, ON, Canada
CD Release Party in Hamilton, ON08 Sep 202311 Lansdowne Avenue, Hamilton, ON, Canada
Beach Bash Party02 Sep 2023555 Bay Street North, Hamilton, ON, Canada
Lviv Castle Restaurant26 Aug 2023201 Main Street, Port Dover, ON, Canada
Bear Creek Folk Festival20 Aug 202310417 104 Avenue, Grande Prairie, AB, Canada
Salmon Arm Roots & Blues Festival18 Aug 2023481 5 Ave SW, Salmon Arm, BC, Canada
Nanaimo Blues Festival12 Aug 2023100 Comox Road, Nanaimo, BC, Canada
Vancouver, BC Guilt & Co.11 Aug 20231 Alexander Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Calgary International Blues Festival04 Aug 20231220 9 Ave SW, Calgary, AB, Canada
Gator At The Norfolk29 Jul 2023200 Main Street, Port Dover, ON, Canada
Music In The Parks25 Jul 202314 Garnet Rd, Brantford, ON, Canada
Moonshine Cafe21 Jul 2023137 Kerr Street, Oakville, ON, Canada
Blues Monday17 Jul 2023Union Station, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Donnelly's out on the patio14 Jul 202357 Front Street South, Thorold, ON, Canada
Canada Day Private Party01 Jul 2023St. Catharines, ON, Canada
2023 TD Jazz Festival30 Jun 2023Toronto, ON, Canada
Function Bar17 Jun 20232291 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON, Canada
Gator At The Norfolk10 Jun 2023200 Main Street, Port Dover, ON, Canada
Heartwood Concert Hall25 May 2023939 2nd Avenue East, Owen Sound, ON, Canada
Peter Piper's Pub House w Jimmy Caisson21 May 2023111 Hwy 20 E, Fonthill, ON, Canada
Durham Roots Festival @ Frontier Ghost Town Campground20 May 2023503186 Grey Rd 12, Markdale, West Grey, Ontario, Canada
Music By The Bay Live13 May 2023301 Watson Street West, Whitby, ON, Canada
Linsmore Tavern w Jerome Tucker Band07 May 20231298 Danforth Avenue, Toronto, ON, Canada
WINTERTIDE at Royal Botannical Gardens06 May 2023603 Plains Road East, Burlington, ON, Canada
Gator at the Norfolk22 Apr 2023200 Main Street, Port Dover, ON, Canada
SOS Spices on Sydenham15 Apr 2023159 Sydenham Street, Brantford, ON, Canada
Special guest apperance w Brant Parker at Donnelly's Pub15 Apr 202354 Front Street South, Thorold, ON, Canada
Sammy's Creamery08 Apr 202375 Erie Avenue, Brantford, ON, Canada
Function Bar25 Mar 20232291 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON, Canada
Moonshine Cafe24 Mar 2023137 Kerr Street, Oakville, ON, Canada
2023 TD Jazz Festival13 Mar 2023
Winterfolk Festival 202326 Feb 2023319 Augusta Avenue, Toronto, ON, Canada
Rev. John C Holland Black Excellence Awards18 Feb 2023LIUNA Station Banquet Hall
Hamilton Public Library Central17 Feb 202355 York Blvd, Hamilton, ON, Canada
International Blues Competition25 Jan 2023Beale Street, Memphis, TN, USA
International Blues Showcase at Hard Rock Cafe24 Jan 2023126 Beale Street, Memphis, TN, USA
Fundraiser for Memphis at The Brown Barrel21 Jan 20231515 Upper Ottawa Street, Hamilton, ON, Canada
Road To Memphis Fundraiser15 Jan 20232291 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON, Canada
Pre Christmas Party @ Sammy's Creamery23 Dec 202275 Erie Avenue, Brantford, ON, Canada
Garnetta & Dagroovmasters17 Dec 2022137 Kerr Street, Oakville, ON, Canada
Jeans & Sparkle Holiday Party w HBHAS03 Dec 2022828 Legion Road, Burlington, ON, Canada
Function Bar26 Nov 20222291 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON, Canada
Women In Blues Revue25 Nov 2022178 Victoria Street, Toronto, ON, Canada
Function Bar19 Nov 20222291 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON, Canada
Gator At The Norfolk05 Nov 2022200 Main Street, Port Dover, ON, Canada
BIPOC hART Music Series14 Oct 2022200 Caroline Street North, Hamilton, ON, Canada
Queen Street West Art Crawl Festival24 Sep 2022790 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON, Canada
Play The Parks (Harmony Square) TDCanda & CMIncubators18 Sep 202289 Dalhousie Street, Brantford, ON, Canada
Hamilton's Supercrawl10 Sep 2022324 James Street North, Hamilton, ON, Canada
Southside Shuffle- Main Stage09 Sep 2022Memorial Park, Port Credit, ON
Beggar's Blues Banquet08 Sep 202235 Front Street North, Mississauga, ON, Canada
8th Annual T.U. Jazz Fest 202204 Sep 20225100 Yonge Street, North York, ON, Canada
Club Envy27 Aug 202293 Cedar Drive, Turkey Point, ON, Canada
Gator @ the Norfolk26 Aug 2022200 Main Street, Port Dover, ON, Canada
Brant Parker's Special guest20 Aug 202254 Front Street South, Thorold, ON, Canada
City Of Hamilton "Jazz in the Creek"19 Aug 202254 King Street East, Hamilton, ON, Canada
Emancipation Day Celebration13 Aug 2022Port Dalhousie, St. Catharines, ON, Canada
Halton Freedom Celebration30 Jul 20221400 Lakeshore Road, Burlington, ON, Canada
Pub Fiction23 Jul 20221242 Garner Road West, Ancaster, ON, Canada
Donnelly's Pub Sunday Matinee17 Jul 202254 Front Street South, Thorold, ON, Canada
Black Swan16 Jul 2022154 Danforth Avenue, Toronto, ON, Canada
70's Night at Club Boullee09 Jul 202298 Boullee Street, London, ON, Canada
Toronto Blues Society Finals02 Jul 2022Yorkville Avenue, Toronto, ON, Canada
Canada Day Celebration01 Jul 2022To Be Announced
Moonshine Cafe25 Jun 2022137 Kerr Street, Oakville, ON, Canada
Soulful Kafe18 Jun 202281 Brant Ave, Brantford, ON, Canada
George Hamilton28 May 2022152 King Street West, Hamilton, ON, Canada
Turkey Point Hotel22 May 202293 Cedar Drive, Turkey Point, ON, Canada
Gator At The Norfolk20 May 2022200 Main Street, Port Dover, ON, Canada
Spices on Sydenham-Afternoon Matinee14 May 2022159 Sydenham Street, Brantford, ON, Canada
Friday the 13th In Port Dover,13 May 2022200 Main St, Port Dover, ON, Canada
Spring Up!07 May 2022270 Sherman Avenue North, Hamilton, ON, Canada
Commodore's Ball30 Apr 2022RHYC Royal Hamilton Yacht Club
International Blues Competition27 Mar 2022339 York Blvd, Hamilton, ON, Canada
The Black Swan26 Mar 2022154 Danforth Avenue, Toronto, ON, Canada