There's No Turning Back!

Sister Sledge have always been known for their electrifying live shows and are blessed to have performed all over the world. Specializing in bringing the house down with energized renditions of their classic hits, the sisters also journey through the spectrum of their musical inspirations, delving in to jazz, soul and world music. Debbie, Joni (and sometimes Kim) are joined onstage with an ensemble of awesomely talented musicians and guest artists who live and breath music like oxygen. Please see below for profiles of some of the artists who help in achieving musical nirvana when performing live! Talented UK members of note include Rob Harris (Guitar), Paul Turner (Bass), Rob Taggart (Keys) and Carlos Hercules (Drums).

  Dominic AmatoMusical Director, Saxophone, Keyboard & Talkbox  

What do you love best about working with Sister Sledge?
I happen to be a big fan of the music & the era in which the girls flourished. I grew up as a kid listening to Sister Sledge, Kool & the Gang, Earth, Wind and Fire, James Brown & lots of other great soul, funk & Jazz music from the era. Now that I have the opportunity to work with some of these Artists, it's a surreal experience! I cherish the opportunity and always consider it an education and opportunity to learn. I also love hearing the girls tell stories of past experiences in the music business. They have some great stories! Being able to travel the world on an international platform has also been life changing. I am truly grateful to be working with Sister Sledge!

Do you have any memorable stories from touring with Sister Sledge?
On my first Sister Sledge tour to France, we had an off day in Paris to take in the sites and enjoy some shopping. While we were out, Joni decided to treat us all to a boat ride around Paris on the Seine River & then go to the top of the Eiffel Tower, all in the same day. Truly an amazing memory!

What is your favorite Sister Sledge song to perform live?
Wow tough question cause I dig them all. I'd probably have to say: Thinking of You or We Are Family. A dream of mine would be to perform We Are Family and have Stevie Wonder, Sting, Prince & Nile Rodgers join us on stage!

  Ira KingDrummer  

Born into a musical family Ira King has been around music all his life, but the burning desire to play the drums came at the tender age of 5. Ira enjoyed playing at the church he grew up in, but there was another level of musicianship he desired to reach. Stepping out in faith, Ira became a full-time drummer who is now arguably one of the most recognized drummers in phoenix, Arizona. Ira has had the honor of collaborating with Grammy nominated keyboard legend Jeff Lorber, sax powerhouse Everette Harp, world-renowned sax player Eric Marienthal and Jazz guitarist Jay Soto. Ira plays for the largest black church in the Arizona, is a proud father of two and joined the Sister Sledge family in 2009.

What do you love best about working with Sister Sledge?
I would have to say that what I love most is that they are a dynamic, loving, caring, beautiful group of people who are concerned about 'YOU' and your wellbeing.

What is your favorite Sister Sledge song to perform live?
It's between 'Thinking Of You, and the classic 'We Are Family".

 

  D Bazz AKA David JonesBassist & Backing Vocalist  

Born and raised in upstate New York, David "D Bazz" Jones, has known music his entire life. His first teacher was a talented Singer and Pianist by the name of Patricia Hannah, whom is also his Mother. Starting at the age of 4, he began playing musical instruments, first piano then drums. It wasn't until his teen years, that he began playing the instrument that would take him around the world - Bass guitar. He has played for and shared the stage with some of the greatest musical artists of his time including Brian McKnight, Kirk Franklin, Tank, Dorinda, Clark-Cole, Cece Peniston, Ben Tankard and Tamia to name but a few. D Bazz currently resides in Phoenix, Arizona, where he raises a family, tours, gigs, and does session work. He joined the Sister Sledge family in 2010.

What do you love best about working with Sister Sledge?
What I absolutely love most about working with Sister Sledge is their love and passion for the music. Even after 3 decades of making music and touring, they put 110% into every show. It's Amazing!

Do you have any memorable stories from touring with Sister sledge?
Once, on tour in Ibiza, Spain, they scheduled a ferry ride for everyone. It was during the evening and the sunset over the water was spectacular. Somehow the captain of the ferry found out who they were, and by the end of the ride, everyone on the ship was singing 'We Are Family'. It was awe inspiring to realize that even on an island off the coast of Spain, on a boat filled with tourists from countries all over Europe, somehow Sister Sledge had at some point, touched the lives of those people through music. Everyone on that boat was singing, and whether they knew English or not, they knew the words. It was… "A MOMENT"!

What is your favorite Sister Sledge song to perform live?
My favorite Sister Sledge song to perform is "Lost In Music". There's just something about that song. It's got "Hump".

  Athanasios (Thano) SahnasGuitar  

Thano is the founder and guitarist of contemporary jazz fusion group "Turning Point" who toured for ten years and released 5 albums Internationally. He also boasts six International releases performing with his brother Demitri on Spanish guitar as the 'Sahnas Brothers'. Thano completed a program at the prestigious Musician's Institute in Los Angeles in 1992 and often spends his daylight hours in studio sessions laying down tracks for several of Smooth Jazz's top artists. He joined the Sister sledge family in 2007.

What do you love best about working with Sister Sledge?
It is a blessing to be part of such a prolific music family. The ladies have been doing this for a long time and genuinely care about the music, the performance, and all of us involved with making that happen. Band practice and studio sessions are like a cross between hard work and a family picnic!

Do you have any memorable stories from touring with Sister sledge?
One of my fondest memories was on New Year's Eve at the Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai. Being among members of the Royal Family was a once in lifetime honor and privilege. Having an opportunity to live and experience a culture so different from my own has enriched my life. In addition, the 'Quarter Pounder with cheese' is served with falafel and a cucumber sauce instead of beef and camel is the red meat of choice (which I found to be surprisingly tender and succulent)!

What is your favorite Sister Sledge song to perform live?
My favorite Sister Sledge song to perform live is "He's The Greatest Dancer". I love the opening guitar riff. In the live show, the ladies bring members from the audience on stage to try their luck at being crowned the Greatest Dancer. We never know what we are going to get, but it is always entertaining and usually hilarious!

  Louie HigueraKeys  

Louie started playing at the age of five and practiced his art every week at church. At the age of 18, he began playing professionally and has since performed with many different gospel artists including Israel & New Breed, BJ Putnam, Ricardo Sanchez and Martha Munizzi. He has also played in countries the world over, including France, Panama, Sweden, Finland, Cyprus, Ibiza, Mexico and Canada. Louie is fluent in Spanish and currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee.  He joined the Sister Sledge family in 2008.

What do you love best about working with Sister Sledge?
How down to earth and genuine they are as people.

Do you have any memorable stories from touring with Sister sledge?
Walking through the streets of Paris. I always remember Joni asking our drummer Ira to start wearing his King Tut Hat and the reactions of Joni and Debbie when they listened to YouTube 'singer' Ice JJ Fish for the first time…PRICELESS!

What is your favorite Sister Sledge song to perform live?
Thinking Of You: That song GROOVES for days...

 

 

  Camille SledgeGuest Vocalist  

Daughter of singer Debbie Sledge, the world traveled model and singer, Camille Sledge has made a name for herself on stage and off. Having performed since the age of 12, Camille has a natural on-stage presence. After hosting a live band infused open-mic night in Philadelphia, PA for a few years, this "supermodel soul sister" went on to record original projects with names such as Dice Raw (The Roots), The Drunken Immortals and of course, Sister Sledge (on the 2003 album, Style). As well as performing all over the world with her mom and aunts, Camille is also the front-woman of The Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra (PAO), a jazz funk band with Africana influence, recently voted "Music Project of the Year" in 2014. PAO are set to release their debut album in early 2016. Camille is truly "one of the family" and as a high energy performer, will not fail to entertain every time she touches the mic!

What do you love best about working with Sister Sledge?
Quite simply, I just love working with my family, doing what we love. There is something special about being able to perform with your mom on stage. As family, we all blend incredibly well, and these are some serious vocals!

Do you have any memorable stories from touring with Sister sledge?
A great memory from touring with Sister Sledge is when I got my first pair of contact lenses. We were in sunny Italy. I felt so brand new and when I got home, no one recognized me!

What is your favorite Sister Sledge song to perform live?
My favorite song of course, is We are Family. For obvious reasons, it's always meant so much more to me than just a song. It's the truth!

  Tanya Ti-etGuest Vocalist  

Hailing from New York city, Tanya is known for her musical collaborations with soul/ jazz band Mothers Favorite Child and producer Paris Toon, with whom she enjoyed a Billboard hot singles Top 10 entry with the song 'Never'. She has performed at prestigious venues across the States, opened for rock headliners Living Colour and sung with Jamie Foxx at the Arizona Jazz Festival. She has recently provided background vocals for CeCe Peniston and is currently working on a new song with Paris Toon named 'Reflections of a Disco Ball'. Tanya has been performing with Sister Sledge since the Summer of 2012 and joined them on an extensive European tour featuring Kool & The Gang, Chic feat Nile Rodgers and Earth, Wind and Fire.

What do you love best about working with Sister Sledge?
One of the best things about working with the Sledge sisters is the love they carry with them through music, conversation and their presence alone. It really feels like I'm working with family and that makes it even greater than it already is. I also value their experience and professionalism. It's a blessing to continue to learn from seasoned pros who really care about what they do and how others receive it.

Do you have any memorable stories from touring with Sister sledge?
Many good times in Ibiza, including a hilarious game we played with Joni (similar to musical chairs) and the beautiful sailboat ride during our downtime, sharing our mutual feelings about the beauty around us. During the European Chart Show tour there was much giggling over Debbie's extreme love of everything chocolate, while Joni shared her love of Shahrukh Khan's 'Bollywood' movies! There was also a very funny moment one night on stage in France, during Greatest Dancer, where an unknown dancer from the crowd (who we now refer to as "Zorro") unexpectedly appeared on stage with us and began twirling Joni around like a top. We had a hard time containing our looks of surprise and confusion. Every show is a pleasure and a blessing for sure.

What is your favorite Sister Sledge song to perform live?
Thinking of You because I just really love the song in itself. But I also enjoy performing He's The Greatest Dancer and We Are Family because of the good energy we all share with each other and the crowd. No matter how many times we perform it, it's still amazing and exciting to hear people around the world singing the chorus to 'Family'. It's just awesome.

  Amber DirksGuest Vocalist  

Amber was born in Holland and raised in New York City. While still in her teens, AMBER decided to leave the bright lights of New York City and found herself in the studios of Phoenix and Los Angeles, where she quickly began working for several hit-making producers including Richard Shear (Stephanie Mills, Brenda K. Starr) and Nick Trevesick (5 Star). AMBER has provided powerhouse backing vocals for an array of notable entertainers including Roberta Flack and KC & The Sunshine Band. She is currently recording with the group KopaTechnic (with which she has had 2 Billboard top 20 dance music songs) as well as a solo project that will be released with Bill Friar Entertainment. Amber has worked as a Guest Vocalist with the Sister Sledge family since 1995.

What do you love best about working with Sister Sledge?
Working with Sister Sledge is an honor and a dream come true. I've always idolized them, their beauty and their strong family values. What I love most about having the opportunity of being on stage with Sister Sledge is knowing the respect and love I get to experience with their fans, as well as that same experience of love and respect I receive from the sisters themselves.

Do you have any memorable stories from touring with Sister sledge?
I have so many funny memorable stories that I can share, like when we were reamed about buying too many groceries (when staying on an army base in the admirals quarters) and I cooked up a storm and after everyone had a hearty meal, the frowns turned to huge smiles! Also, the time in Norway at a fundraiser gala (for the SOS children's Villages) when I got to meet a real life 'Princess'. The comical way in which I showed my excitement could've truly been a comedy show in itself! I have so many awesome stories to share but they would no doubt take up the whole website!

What is your favorite Sister Sledge song to perform live?
I truly love them ALL! But performing the finale, We Are Family is the best for me.