Ottawa Jazz Festival: Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires
From the Promoter
The first 48 years of singer Charles Bradley’s life combined all the elements of a blues song—and then some. Abandoned by his mother before he turned one, Bradley was raised by his grandmother in Gainesville, Florida, until his mother was able to move him to New York City in 1956. Inspired by James Brown, who he saw at the Apollo Theater in 1962, Bradley set his mind on a career in music, but that was still decades away. In between, he worked as a chef, lived on the streets and eventually landed in California. His hard-scuffling lifestyle took an important turn in the early 2000s, when Daptone Records co-founder Gabriel Roth caught his James Brown tribute show. That began another 10-year climb, which culminated in the release of No Time for Dreaming, Bradley’s acclaimed 2011 debut album. The singer’s rocky life was chronicled in the film Charles Bradley: Soul of America, which had its debut at the SXSW festival. A diagnosis of stomach cancer in 2016 threatened to derail his progress, but 2017 finds Bradley back on the road, fulfilling his dream.