On Friday morning, Nellie "Tiger" Travis visited the ABC7 studio -- she's performing at Chicago Blues Festival this weekend.
Nellie "Tiger" Travis couldn't be more destined to sing the blues. She was born deep in the delta of Mississippi in the early 60's. As in most small towns, the church was a main focal point and Nellie grew up singing gospel music. Since then, Nellie has come a long way and in November 2009 was crowned the New Queen Of The Blues for Chicago by Bluesman Purvis Spann who also bestowed that honor on Ms. KoKo Taylor the original Queen. KoKo was a mentor and friend to Nellie, and when she passed in early 2009, Nellie used her talented songwriting skills to write and record a tribute song to her friend Ms. KoKo Taylor titled KoKo Queen Of The Blues.
Nellie Travis has headlined at the Chicago Blues Festival and performed at numerous Festivals and clubs around the world places such as Japan, Greece, Italy, Germany, Brazil, as well as her hometown of Mississippi. She has shared the stage with such greats as Buddy Guy, B.B. King, Koko Taylor, Glady's Knight, Ronnie Baker Brooks to name a few. She has been influenced by many powerful performers such as Big Mama Thornton, KoKo Taylor (of course) and Etta James. The nickname "Tiger" was born after Nellie came to Chicago. She and a cousin were hanging out at B.L.U.E.S on Halsted brainstorming about what to call her. Nellie wanted the nickname "Angel", but her cousin quickly rejected that and came up with "Tiger" which aptly describes her feline-like, intense vocal style as well as her feisty, independent personality. In addition to being an outstanding singer and songwriter, Nellie is an accomplished actress. She has performed in plays "The Lust Of A Man" and "I was There When The Blues Was Red Hot".
Nellie has won several awards and many nominations
Chicago Blues Festival
Friday through Sunday, Grant Park
Nellie "Tiger" Travis
Mississippi Juke Joint Stage
Saturday, 3:30 p.m.- 4:30 p.m.