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Hot Stepper Productions presents:

Paradise Garage and West End Records vocal diva
TAANA GARDNER
makes her first ever Toronto appearance at Bump N' Hustle!
with Bump N' Hustle DJ's
Paul E. Lopes
Mike Tull
Dave Campbell
Paul Jay

Friday, May 9, 2003
at
Roxy Blu, 12 Brant St., Toronto

$15 advance tickets available at: Sim and Jones (388 College St.), Kops (229
Queen St. W), Play De Record (357A Yonge St.), Vice (383 Queen St. W.),
Cosmos (607 Queen St. W.), Rotate This (620 Queen St. W.), Metropolis (162
Spadina Ave.), Soundscapes (572 College St.)
more at the door

Born in Newark, New Jersey (where she currently resides), Taana is the granddaughter of a professional opera singer. After six months of searching, Mrs. Gardner named her daughter after a river in Nairobi -- the Taana River. Her musical career began at the age of eleven when she became active in theatre and joined the Harlem Children's Theater Group. Her theatre debut was at Lincoln Centre as the high priestess in the "Land of the Egyptian," a musical which she also co-wrote. Taana went on to perform with the Dance Theater of Harlem, and the National Black Theater.

In November 1979, after meeting producer Kenton Nix in an airport, Taana Gardner recorded her first monster single for rising-star record label, West End Records. The single was "Work That Body." Originally a favourite instrumental of Paradise Garage DJ Larry Levan, it was when he dropped the needle on the newly recorded vocal version that the dancefloor, used to the vocal-less version, exploded. Levan urged Nix to immediately sign Taana to Mel Cheren's West End Records. He did and the song became an international club smash, and one of West End's best known hits. Cute F.Y.I.: The lyrics
were inspired by a Garage queen who used to exclaim just that on the dancefloor: "Work that body, girl!" He said it, Taana did it, West End worked it.

Kenton Nix booked Taana for a session with Dr. Buzzard and his original Savannah band to do some background vocals. This was her first experience in the studio. After that (1979), she ended up doing a whole album called "Spooks In Space" under the alias The Aural Exciters with August Darnell of Kid Creole and the Coconuts and Pat Place (Bush Tetras) on guitar, and James Chance (Contortions) on Horns. The album went double platinum in Europe.

Taana went on to record "When You Touch Me," "No Frills" and "Heartbeat" which sold over 800,000 singles. "Heartbeat" is one of the most sampled records in pop history -- supplying the backbone of over 30 records including the #1 worldwide hit Ini Kamoze's "Here Comes the Hotstepper," as well as singles by Native Tongues ("Buddy"), Black Moon ("2 Turntables and a Mic") and DMX ("Flesh of My Flesh Blood of My Blood").

Taana's hits had her performing at some of the country's hottest discos including, The Paradise Garage, Studio 54, and Red Parrot. More recently she's performed in Paris for an apres-show party for fashion designer Yves St. Laurent and back in Manhattan at Life, Shelter, Salon at Flamingo East. In the past she's appeared on such beloved disco television shows as the flawless Dance Fever and Soap Factory as well as early talk shows like The Merv Griffin Show and The Joe Franklin Show.

After taking some time off to raise her children, Taana marked her return to West End with the her 1998 club single "I'm Comin'." The single was produced by Kenton Nix -- the same man who has produced her since almost twenty years ago.Taana has had a string of recent releases with Kevin Aviance, Underground Collective and Mistura.

  • Thanks to West End Records, Speedgarage.com, and Marlon D of Underground Collective.
© Hot Stepper Productions 2001