TD Toronto Jazz Festival-Chaka Khan-Thurs.,June 19th,2014@The Kool Haus

By Bill Kwan
Chaka Khan played to a sparse crowd for the kick off to the 28th annual TD Toronto Jazz Festival. Rudy Blair of 680 News introduced her with the 80’s intro” I Feel For You” and the verse”Chaka Khan, Chaka Khan” blaring in the background. Khan was in fine form and her voice was in tip-top shape for her performance at this year’s TD Jazz Festival. This year mirrored her days fronting the famous for always being on tour’70s funk/r+b band Rufus. The Funk, Soul and Gospal was alive and well for this 61 year old Khan (real name Yvette Stevens) at The Kool Haus. A diverse artist who has toured the world and played Sofia in the Oprah’s production of The Color Purple. In fact the original person Steven Spielberg wanted to play Sofia in the movie adaption back in the 80’s was Chaka Khan.
Some minor set back with the sound quality and glitches with feedback with the microphone were the only tiny issues with the set list for this show. All the hits from “Tell Me Something Good”, “I Feel For You” and “Ain’t Nobody” were performed for the the enthusiastic crowd. Two-time GRAMMY® nominee Shemekia Copeland opened up the show and at only 30 is already a force to be reckoned with in the blues. She’s opened for the Rolling Stones, headlined at the Chicago Blues Festival and numerous festivals around the world, scored critics choice awards on both sides of the Atlantic (The New York Times and The Times of London), shared the stage with such luminaries as Buddy Guy, B.B. King, Mick Jagger, and Eric Clapton, and has even performed at the White House for President and Mrs. Obama.