Octavia

Octavia ~ lead vocals, harmonica, rhythm guitarist, composer, performer endorsed by Suzuki Music USA and Godin Guitars.

 


Blues in Britain’s interview of Octavia »


Octavia

Photo by Rachel Franklin

Octavia is noted for outstanding vocals harmonica and guitar performances of exciting original and cover music.  Memorable shows are the norm for this multi-instrumentalist. Dedicated to the music that drives this performer, several shows in her musical arsenal include The Octavia Blues Band, Infusion With Octavia Jazz and touching singer songwriter music.  Each performance is top notch.  Octavia’s fourth album “A Touch Of Wisdom” is moving singer songwriter material.  Drawing upon 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 tight band released her fifth self produced album It Ain’t What You Get, It’s What You Give.  Octavia’s sixth album Hand In Glove is her second Jazz standards CD.  This live jazz duo performance is with the exceedingly talented Marty Mellinger on piano at the Lititz Library.  Octavia Blues Band performances highlight electric chemistry between these brilliant seasoned musicians who are currently in production on Octavia’s seventh and eight albums. Touching people through music 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 performed classical and cultural music on piano and accordion.  Octavia’s Father William Zison had a beautiful rich tenor 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 tight stage shows albums and videos.

Octavia was born and raised in Philadelphia.  Her first stage experience was at the tender age of five at Garden Pier 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 music dominated her path.  Octavia is endorsed by Suzuki Music USA and Godin Guitars.

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Photo by Lisa Mullen-Gillenwater

At the NAMM show in California, Octavia had the honor to play diatonic harmonica with Stevie Wonder while 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 Octavia continued performing with a 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, and Gil Scott-Heron.

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 and Jeffrey Gaines to name a few.

Octavia

Photo by Jeffery Heller

Octavia’s most recent tours were in England, Paris, the Czech Republic, Naples, and Malaga, Spain.  Octavia has performed across the United States, Great Britain and Canada.  Some venues include The Kimmel Center, Philadelphia, House Of Blues Atlantic City, NJ, 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 in 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, Ashford and Simpson’s Sugar Bar,  New York and Festival International Du Blues De Tremblant, Montreal just to name a few.