Octavia

Octavia is a lead vocalist, harmonica playing rhythm guitarist, composer, performer and is endorsed by Suzuki Music USA and Godin Guitars.

 


Check out Blues in Britain’s interview of Octavia in 2015 »


Octavia

Photo by Rachel Franklin

Octavia is noted for outstanding and dynamic vocal harmonica and guitar performances consisting of exciting original music and/or cover material depending on venue needs. Strong unforgetable shows are the norm for this multi talented artist. Dedicated to the music that drives this performer, the several shows in her musical arsenal include The Octavia Blues Band, Infusion With Octavia Jazz and her Folk show of touching singer songwriter material. Each enchanting performance is top notch. Octavia’s fourth album “A Touch Of Wisdom” is moving singer songwriter material. Drawing on the success of her critically acclaimed Blues album “Down In The Hollow” along with a lifetime of experience performing the music that drives this woman, Octavia and her crankin’ tight Blues band released her fifth self produced album It Ain’t What You Get, It’s What You Give. Soon to be released is Octavia’s sixth album. It is her second Jazz standards CD which is a live performance at the well attended Jazz Duo show with the exceedingly talented Marty Mellinger on piano at the Lititz Library. This proved to be a captivating evening for all. Octavia will follow this album up with her next Blues album. Music, performance and touching people runs through Octavia’s veins!

Stevie and me!Octavia’s two Great Aunts sang for the Czar and Czarina of Russia. Cousin Mark Mostovoy was conductor and founder of Philadelphia’s Concerto Soloists and cousins Stephanie Greenberg and Laurie Sonsino are professional classical musicians. Octavia’s mother Sylvia B. Mostovoy Zison was a concert pianist at the age of twelve. Sylvia sang and performed classical and cultural music from Eastern Europe at weddings and events on piano and accordion. Octavia’s Father William Zison had a beautiful rich tennor voice and her Grandfather Benjamin Mostovoy played the concertina at family gatherings.

Octavia’s early exposure to artists such as Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, and the Motown family often influence what Octavia brings to her outstanding stage show, albums and videos.

Octavia was born and raised in Philadelphia.  Her first stage experience was at the age of five at Garden Pier childrens shows in Atlantic City NJ. Octavia’s journey in music began in 1963 with the guitar.  Influenced by Bob Dylan she purchased her first harmonica in 1966.  She attended Pennsylvania Academy Of The Fine Arts majoring in sculpture and painting but her passion for live performance dominated her path.

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Photo by Lisa Mullen-Gillenwater

At the 2015 NAMM show in California, Octavia had the honor to play diatonic harmonicas with Stevie Wonder at the Suzuki booth. During an Etta James concert at the Keystone in Berkeley, Etta heard a few notes from Octavia’s harmonica and handed Octavia the mic.  Following the show Etta invited Octavia to join her tour. During the next several years, after touring with Etta, Octavia continued performing with a wide variety of bands across the United States and Europe.  Some other notable artists Octavia performed with are The Allman Brothers Band, Freddy King, The Funky Meters, Gil Scott-Heron and The Iguanas.

Since the mid 80’s Octavia has fronted her own band.  After forming Octavia and The Earthblood Blues Band in the early 90’s Octavia and her band opened for B.B. King, Taj Mahal, Mavis Staples, Dr. John, Delbert McClinton, Elvin Bishop, The Muddy Waters Blues Band, Shamika Copeland, and Jeffrey Gaines to name a few.

Octavia

Photo by Jeffery Heller

Venues Octavia performed at across the United States, Great Britain and Canada include The Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, House Of Blues in Atlantic City, The World Café Live in Philadelphia, B.B. King’s Club in NYC, Bimbo’s in San Francisco, Ebbits Field in Denver, The Cambridge Folk Festival in the U.K., Buddy Guy’s Legend’s and Kingston Mines, Chicago, Buscuit & Blues Seattle WA, Kings Palace, Silky O’Sullivan, W.C. Handy Park, and Blues City on Beale Street in Memphis, The Village Underground, Cafe Wha and Ashford and Simpson’s Sugar Bar in New York and Festival International Du Blues De Tremblant, in Montreal… just to name a few.