Toronto blues harpist David Rotundo bought his first harmonica after seeing James Cotton perform at the El Mocambo in 1991: ‘He blew one note on the harmonica that hypnotized me and I’ve been playing the blues ever since.’
This passion for the blues music led David to travel through the United States, spending time in many of the blues epicenters — New Orleans, Clarksdale, Austin, Memphis and Chicago — with little more than his wits and a bag full of harmonicas. ‘I wanted to hear and experience the real thing,’ he explains.
David returned to Toronto with a greater perception of the blues and a heightened knowledge of the history of the music. today, he spends hours listening to the greats: Sonny boy Williamson, T-Bone Walker, Little Walter, George ‘Harmonica’ Smith, William Clarke and countless others. And so it is that David has strived to develop his own language of the blues.
In 1997, David started a band called the Blue Canadians (with Peter Schmidt, Shane Scott, Julian Fauth and Walter Maclean) and began playing the Toronto circuit. In 2000, David was asked to join the legendary Jack de Keyzer Band. He was thrilled by the opportunity to play with ‘one of the best Canadian guitarists.’ In addition to de Keyzer, he has played with Ronnie Hawkins, and with ex-Muddy Waters’ drummer Willie ‘Big Eyes’ Smith.
In the year 2001, David recorded his debut album, ‘Blowin’ For Broke’, with his Blue Canadians. The album features twelve original songs written by David and produced by bassist and engineer Shane Scott. This album was nominated ‘Blues Album of 2001’ by the Canadian Independent ArtistAssociation and was winner of the MapleBlues Awards ‘Best New Artist of The Year 2002’
In 2003 David returned to the Stone Pillar studios with his newly formed international ‘David Rotundo Band’, resulting in the highly popular, critically acclaimed ‘Blues Ignited’ album featuring International guitarist Enrico Crivellaro. Rotundo as well as writing the material for this album also co-produced it with bassist/engineer Scott.
David Rotundo Awards & nominations include the co awarded prestigious CBC/GALAXIE RISING STAR award and multiple MapleBlues Hamonica Player of Year nominations.
The David Rotundo band always delivers. When you see the band live, you are instantly struck by the fact that David lives for what he does.