Toshi Reagon
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Toshi Reagon
Toshi Reagon
Toshi Reagon at the Holland Festival, 2018
Toshi Reagon at the Holland Festival, 2018
Background information
Born (1964-01-27) January 27, 1964 (age 55)
GenresFolk, blues, gospel, rock, funk, women's music

Toshi Reagon (born January 27, 1964) is an American musician of folk, blues, gospel, rock and funk.[1][2]

Early life

Born January 27, 1964 in Atlanta, Georgia,[3] Reagon grew up in Washington, D.C.[4] She was raised by musician parents active in the civil rights movement.[1][5][6]


Reagon began performing at age 17.[1][7] Soon afterward, Lenny Kravitz invited her to open for him on his first world tour.[1] She has since shared the stage with performers including Ani DiFranco, Elvis Costello[1] and Meshell Ndegeocello.[7]

Her band, BIGLovely, has been performing since September 1996.[1][8] The name BIGLovely comes from a term Reagon's girlfriend used to address her in a letter.[1] The band includes Judith Casselberry on acoustic guitar and vocals, Robert "Chicken" Burke on drums, Fred Cass, Jr. on bass, Adam Widoff on electric guitar, and Catherine Russell on mandolin and vocals. The line-up also includes Jen Leigh, Ann Klein, Debbie Robinson, Allison Miller, Kismet Lyles and Stephanie McKay as replacements.[8]


Studio and live albums

  • 1990 Justice Flying Fish Records
  • 1994 The Rejected Stone, self-released
  • 1997 Kindness Smithsonian Folkways
  • 1999 The Righteous Ones Razor and Tie
  • 2001 Africans in America Soundtrack w/Bernice Johnson Reagon, Various artists. Ryco
  • 2002 TOSHI, Razor and Tie
  • 2004 I Be Your Water, limited self release
  • 2005 Have You Heard Righteous Babe Records
  • 2008 Until We're Done self-release
  • 2009 Lava: We Become self-release
  • 2010 There and Back Again self-release

Compilation albums

  • Shout Sister Shout, a tribute to Sister Rosetta Thorpe and Respond II
  • Dreaming Wide Awake, Lizz Wright with Toshi Reagon: Vocals
  • Real Music, Chocolate Genius with Toshi Reagon: Vocals
  • Raise Your Voice, Sweet Honey In The Rock collaboration with Toshi Reagon and BIGLovely
  • Africans In America, Rycodisc, Toshi Reagon: Musician, Composer and Associate Producer
  • The Temptation of Saint Anthony
  • Every Mother Counts Starbucks


  • The Temptation of Saint Anthony Studio Cast Recording, Songtalk Music 2006
  • Sweet Honey in the Rock: The Women Gather, 30th Anniversary Earthbeat Records, 2003
  • Sweet Honey in the Rock: Sacred Ground, Earthbeat Records, 1995 Co-produced with Bernice Johnson Reagon
  • Sweet Honey in the Rock: In This Land, Earthbeat Records, 1992 Co-produced with Bernice Johnson Reagon

She also appeared on the TV show The L Word[1] in the last episode of the fourth season, where she sings a song on the beach at Tasha's party.

Awards and recognition

  • Ford Foundation Art of Change Fellow, 2015
  • 2009 Out Music Award[7]
  • 2007 Black Lily Award for Outstanding Performance[7]
  • 2004 New York Foundation for the Arts award for music composition[7]

Personal life

Reagon is the daughter of musicians and activists Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon[9] and Cordell Hull Reagon.[10] Her mother founded Sweet Honey in the Rock,[2][9][11] and her father was a leader of the civil rights movement in Albany and member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).[12] Her parents were also part of the civil rights musical group The Freedom Singers.[2][13]

Reagon is also the goddaughter of folk singer, Pete Seeger and named after his wife, Toshi Seeger.[1]

Reagon, a lesbian,[2] lives in Brooklyn, New York with her partner and their adopted daughter.[1][9][10]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Toshi Reagon". Contemporary Black Biography. 76. December 1, 2009. Retrieved 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d Tucker, Karen Iris (November 25, 2003). "Still so sweet". The Advocate. p. 64.
  3. ^ "Toshi Reagon". Almanac of Famous People. June 8, 2011.
  4. ^ "Concert Preview". Rock Paper Scissors. Retrieved 2016.
  5. ^ Bobetsky, Victor V. (December 23, 2014). We Shall Overcome: Essays on a Great American Song. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 39.
  6. ^ Larkin, Colin, ed. (2006). "Reagon, Bernice Johnson". The encyclopedia of popular music: Indexes, Volume 10. 10. Oxford University Press.
  7. ^ a b c d e Reagon, Toshi. "About Toshi". Toshi Reagon. Retrieved 2016.
  8. ^ a b Reagon, Toshi. "BIGLovely". Toshi Reagon. Missing or empty |url= (help); |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  9. ^ a b c Jonas, Liana (April 30, 2002), "Toshi gets ready to rock", The Advocate, retrieved 2007
  10. ^ a b Eagle, Bob L.; LeBlanc, Eric S. (May 1, 2013). Blues: A Regional Experience. ABC-CLIO. p. 277.
  11. ^ Wallace, Michele (December 6, 2004). Dark Designs and Visual Culture. Duke University Press.
  12. ^ Gwin, Minrose (February 25, 2013). Remembering Medgar Evers: Writing the Long Civil Rights Movement. University of Georgia Press. p. 138.
  13. ^ Zinn, Howard (November 1, 2012). SNCC: The New Abolitionists.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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