"If Aretha Franklin & Tina Turner had a child, her name would be Garnetta Cromwell.”
~ Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne (Juno Award winner & Canadian Music Hall of Fame member)
Garnetta Cromwell’s story begins in Montreal as a bilingual, Afro-Metis ( Mi'q Maw Community) Canadian girl, a musical daughter of a sophisticated and strong woman; and the youngest of six daughters. Watching her mother (Miss Marva Ann) use music to survive, thrive, heal, and grow; Garnetta used music for the same purpose. As a child, Garnetta had a hearing impairment that left her temporarily deaf and that required surgical treatment to repair. Loving music gave her the impetus to survive, the determination to thrive, the peace to heal and a reason to grow.
She diversified her musicality at a young age with a passion for gospel, blues, country, and soul music. Following her sisters in talent contests, Garnetta was a child performer, in costumes tailored by her mother and performing hit songs from the Supremes, The Staples Singers & the Jackson 5. With her bold, rich tone and innate talent; Garnetta became the lead vocalist in a junior choir, often performing with her sisters.
Garnetta reflects on recording “Miss Marva Ann” - “I felt compelled to write a song tribute to my mother, Marva Ann Fairfax. She was raised in the 1940s, in a very strict home as the only daughter with two brothers. My mother’s strength to feed, clothe, and most importantly protect her six girls empowers me to this day".
“Dance & Shout, It’s A Woman’s World, was inspired by my upbringing,” she relates. It’s an anthem to all women, meant to empower and inspire. I inherited my mother’s will to fight and survive in any circumstances; I hope my songs will connect with many audiences.”
As Garnetta continued her music journey, she become the lead vocalist and drummer for a Toronto’s only female reggae band Sweet Sensation, performing on the same stage with Platinum/Grammy Award artists like Maxi Priest, Shabba Ranks, Shaggy, Gregory Issac and Sean Kingston, Platinum/Grammy soul legends Percy Sledge, Dorothy Moore and The Manhattans. Retreating from the group, she returned toNova Scotia to pack up life and be with family during a time of loss. Relocating within weeks, Garnetta scooped any job she could to pay the bills. After a restructuring promotion at one of those jobs, Garnetta was placed under the supervision of a racist and violent individual. Needing to move forward, she registered with the Canadian Forces reserves, and continued to educate as a correctional officer. However, in this role, Garnetta was also treated with incredible levels of disrespect and indecency which put her in a dark and angry place.
Emerging from the darkness, Garnetta joined an R&B band in Nova Scotia called Bonafide, and set off for happiness, success, and change. Garnetta soon experienced loss again when her nephew in Ontario was shot and killed. Filled with sadness and anger, Garnetta channeled that energy through the power of weightlifting and her music.
Focusing on weightlifting for physical and mental health, within six months of training Garnetta won a gold medal and set a new Ontario record; leading to competing in the Pan-Am Masters Canadian Games in 2018. Winning two gold medals and setting new Canadian records, Garnetta was heading to the 2019 World Championships in Montreal, Quebec when an accident with a dump truck robbed her ability to compete. In October of 2021, her eldest son was shot and injured. By this time, Garnetta admitted that she needed to heal, she turned inside with self-reflection about life and her music and decide t it was time for her to take the reins and lead her band on a full-time basis.She committed to creating the music that was the soundscape to her story and to live her best life.
Garnetta & Dagroovmasters is a classic soul and R&B band that delivers a high-energy show band and are a reflection of Canada's multicultural society! Their upbeat music brings pure joy to all listeners. Garnetta has also been in the studio recording with many notable musicians and has just recently been invited to grace the stage with Juno Award & Maple Blues Award recipient and Hall of Famer, the King of Boogie Woogie, Mr. Kenny "Blues Boss". Garnetta won the Toronto Blues Society’s 2022 Talent Search, recently performed at the Southside Shuffle in Mississauga, ON and will be featured at the Women’s Blues Revue at Koerner Hall in Toronto in November 2022.