GARNETTA CROMWELLwww.garnettacromwellmusic.com" 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 and 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 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 racila 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, at Leon's Furniture Inc. 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 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 in record February 2018, which led her to compete in the Pan-Am Masters Canadian Games, in 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. 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.