Respect: A Tribute to Aretha Franklin, The Queen of Soul

at the Colonial 
Thursday, November 1 at 7:30pm
Tickets: $25

Pre-show Entertainment

Acoustic Groove
at the Garage (in the Colonial Lobby)

Four of the North East’s most dynamic and respected vocalists, Gina Coleman, Danielia Cotton, Jen Durkin and Wanda Houston, gather to celebrate the life, music and spirit of The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin.  Respect: A Tribute to Aretha Franklin, The Queen of Soul features The Rev Tor Band backing the performances of these powerhouse vocalists.


Gina is a graduate of Williams College. She began singing in 1990 on a dare by her co-workers, and hasn’t turned back. She began performing in a duet, The Siblings, and shortly after started her own duet which blossomed into a five-piece band, allowing her to showcase original music and gain regional recognition. Gina has performed at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, BTG's Colonial Theatre, Bethel Woods Center for The Arts and has made several appearances at NYC’s famed Bitter End. Her band, Misty Blues, was featured at Mass MoCa’s blues festival, has performed in legendary venues from Memphis to Vermont, performed regularly with the late Charles Neville from the legendary Neville Brothers and were finalists in both the 2017 and 2018 International Blues Challenge.


Danielia Cotton closes her new record, The Mystery of Me, with a message of resilience. "The dark spots will appear," she sings on the title track. "Just remember, you're still here. "Cotton penned "The Mystery of Me"—a lovely ode to self-acceptance—in just one night. The new album's 10 tracks feature an eclectic mix of rock and soul, from the soaring "Set Me Free" to the deeply personal "Drink” and the upbeat "4 Ur Life," which pulls inspiration from classic Motown as well as Sly and the Family Stone, in this we find the Cotton coming to terms with her newfound happiness. The song’s carpe-diem message also makes it a call to arms for the younger generation in our current political climate. It's telling that after so many years, the Hopewell, N.J. native—who first picked up a guitar at age 12, released her debut album in 2005 and has opened for the likes of Buddy Guy, Derek Trucks and Bon Jovi—is still looking for fresh ways to say hello to audiences. Though she's constantly evolving as an artist, Cotton's quick to point out that she's always managed to remain herself.


Attending Berklee College of Music and then moving to New York City set Jen Durkin with a broad range of connection and knowledge. From gospel, funk, and world music, the roots and mixed genre lends itself to Jen’s unique and amazing journey on and off the road. Jen’s high profile east coast funk band Deep Banana Blackout set Jen on the path to attain her dreams and then some. Jen has toured and performed with Bernie Worrell of The Talking Heads, The Grateful Dead drummers Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann, Mike Gordon of Phish and George Porter, Jr of The Meters. She has shared the stage with everyone from Gregg Allman to Metallica.


Wanda L. Houston has lived and performed professionally throughout the U.S., Europe and Australia. She has performed on Broadway stages, in films, recordings and television. Living on the East Coast in New York and New England has returned her to the roots of her career, music, and connected her with musicians who share her joy and belief in the power of its effect on the hearts of the people who take the time to listen. She has worked in varying capacities with Michael Jackson, Barbara Streisand, John Tuturro, Eddie Izzard, Natalie Cole, Eartha Kitt, Patti LaBelle and Sam Harris on the stages of Pasadena Playhouse, Universal Studios, Radio City Music Hall, Madison Square Garden and Carnegie Hall.