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Genres You Will Love
Blues: Blues Vocals Moods: Type: Vocal Jazz: Contemporary Jazz Jazz: Jazz-Funk Jazz: Jazz Vocals

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Mariëlla Tirotto & the Blues Federation

Biography Mariëlla Tirotto & the Blues Federation

Winner Dutch National Blues Award 2010

The album "Dare to stand out" has been chosen Best European Blues Rock Album 2011 by the Canadian Blues Underground Network!

Overseas Act of the Year 2013 (The Jason Elliot Show, Radio Phoenix 96.7FM, programmer Hebden Bridge Blues Festival, UK)

The media about the band

…Your music is superb...The whole album is great and hopefully will serve as an inspiration to other musicians to be more adventurous… (Jason Elliott, radio host and programmer Hebden Bridge Blues Festival)

…One of the best and most exciting blues bands, currently touring the country, in my opinion, is Mariëlla Tirotto & the Blues Federation… It’s an excellent live-band, who knows how to turn each performance into a great party with a mix of blues, jazz and funk…Mariëlla Tirotto knows how to attract the audience with her beautiful, dark voice. Like no other, she knows how to play to the crowd... (Eric Campfens, Barnowlblues)

…a mix of Funk, Jazz and Blues, leading to aroused emotions. An exciting cross-over style, sometimes futuristic dare-devilish , however, drawing attention ... (Johanna Zeuner, Verdener Aller Zeitung) my opinion a band which really lives up to its promise, especially on festivals...( Henri Grootenhuis,

… The group effortlessly charms the audience… (Anke Mensink, Block Magazine)

…kept the audience in the packed "Kult" in their spell with a strong groove and vibrant Blues Power… (Susanne Ehrlich, Verdener Nachrichten)

…In the last years the Blues Federation has grown into what we call the premier league of Dutch Blues. Quite rightly they recently won the Dutch National Blues Award…Each and every one of them skilled in the art, with a great love for blues… (Arie Verheul, Stichting BluesinWijk)

… An explosion of delightful blues music… (Saal Birgit, Viersen on Juke Joint Bluesradio)

... This blues touches your soul deeply… (Michel Preumont,

… The group effortlessly charms the audience… (Anke Mensink, Block Magazine)

… to see and hear a born talent at work, or rather, born talents, for the lead singer Mariella as well as her Blues Federation know perfectly well what they are doing… (Freddy,

Music style and performance

Mariëlla Tirotto & the Blues Federation flirts with the boundaries of Blues and are carrying the traditional form into the future.
An authentic band that delivers gutsy, adventurous and exciting music of the new millennium , a cross-over between blues, jazz, funk, soul and rock with a touch of Latin.
They win new fans at every next concert, and they are certainly not just blues-lovers.

Over the years they have played a lot of successful gigs during blues- and jazz festivals in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and Switzerland. Other European countries are in the pipeline.

They have shared the stage with a.o. Ana Popovic, Joan Armatrading, Jessy Martens, Eric Bibb Trio, Snowy White, Danny Bryant, Henrik Freischlader, Mike Zito, Matt Scofield, Popa Chubby, Walter Trout, Maurizio Pugno Organ Trio, Joe Louis Walker, Sugar Blue.


Their CDs “Somewhere down the road” and “Dare to stand out”, for the greater part containing original material, are getting airplay worldwide and received many great reviews in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, France, England, Canada and the U.S.A.

Band members

Mariëlla Tirotto & the Blues Federation is fronted by the passionate, half-Italian singer Mariëlla Tirotto, who sometimes whispers with a sultry voice, sometimes screams out her emotions raw and unrestrained.
Although her voice is frequently compared with those of singers like Etta James, Carmen McRae, Cassandra Wilson, Eartha Kitt, Diane Schuur, Grace Jones en Tina Turner, she has an obvious characteristic sound.
She appeared on national television and radio, has worked together – a.o. – with Bob Malach, Ronald Snijders and Carlo de Wijs and has shared the stage with –a.o. – Rolf Delfos, Eelco Gelling, Toon de Gouw, Chris Strik, Gé Bijvoet and Maurizio Pugno.
… but also as a distinctly fascinating singer, that totally convinces with her deep, raw, or, to put it bluntly, erotic voice ... (Tobias Tschapka,
… Mariëlla Tirotto's stage performance is fabulous, her behavior is sympathetic and she can sing damned well… (Claus Kohlmann, Hildesheimer Allgemeine Zeitung)
… A power woman with a big voice and lots of humour… (Hans von Draminski, Hipoltsteiner Zeitung)

Keyboarder Heins Greten, Mariëlla’s husband, expresses his musical emotions by playing Hammond, grooving in an incredible way one minute, while switching to his piano the next, conjuring up enchantingly beautiful, melancholic chords.
Heins shared the stage – a.o. – with Eelco Gelling, Toon de Gouw and Ton van de Geyn.
…Greten simply stacks Roland piano and Hammond organ and plays than one, than the other, either in the finest Hammond Retro melancholy either with jazzy, crossover-like, imaginative piano riffs that add extraordinary color and versatility to the Blues… (Susanne Ehrlich,Verdener Nachrichten)
… with a divine piano performance by Heins Greten…” (Freddy, Rootsville)

Guitar player Loek van der Knaap never ceases to amaze the audience with his impressive solos and his dynamic, expressive personality during live-concerts.
After he played two concerts with the band in Germany as a stand-in, there was such a great click, on a musical as well as a personal level, that he is now a steady band member of Mariëlla Tirotto & the Blues Federation.
He is also a band member of the famous Livin' Blues Xperience; with this band he plays at home and abroad ((the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Spain and even Russia)
... also guitarist Loek van der Knaap played very passionate... (Martin Borck)
...add to this the playing in Jimi Hendrix-style by guitarist Loek van der Knaap, in a dialog with Heins Greten, which resulted in a genuine musical battle; the pleasure of the audience present was obvious and was expressed in pure joy... (Axel Engels, Stadt Rheine)

Bass player Arno Hagemans is an all-round bass player, with a special love for 'everything that grooves'.
His playing is steady as a rock, reliable but definitely not humble. He is very versatile, playing both groovy lines as well as melodious solos.
During the years Arno has been playing with lots of well known Dutch and international musicians. To mention one: Tony Spinner (Toto, Pat Travers)
...bassist Arno Hagemans, whose self-conscious and melodious sound was top league... (Susanne Erhlich, Verdener Nachrichten)
… bassist Arno Hagemans laid down a solid musical foundation and played excellent accents in his virtuoso performance … (Axel Engels, Stadt Rheine)

Drummer John Kakiay is the other half of the rhythm tandem. His playing, at times solid, at others, more subtle but more especially playful and laid-back, provides a firm foundation. John and Arno feel each other’s moves intuitively, so everything just swings and grooves even without the rest of the band cutting in: an ensemble that’s not experienced very often.
John has played in the Netherlands as well as abroad with – a.o. – Driftkikker (support act for Hans Dulfer, Wouter Hamel), Tasha (Tasha’s World), Sharon den Adel (Within Temptation) and Hans van Eijk (Jumping Jewels).
...For the greater part one has to give credit for that to the phenomenal drummer John Kakiay. He is the Grand Master of grooving. Little people can swing as effortless as he does, switching from one musical mood to another… (Claus Kohlmann, Hildesheimer Allgemeine)
… drummer John Kakiay had a lot of success, playing a sensational drum solo, almost drowned out by the applause and the cheers of the crowd… (Fons Kersbulck, Bluesmagazine)


Mariëlla Tirotto - vocals
Heins Greten - piano / Hammond / Rhodes
Loek van der Knaap – guitar
Arno Hagemans - bass and double bass
John Kakiay - drums
Guest-musician - percussion (optional, when available)


Booking, management, PR: Mariëlla Tirotto 0031 (0)165- 553 613 or 0031 (0)6 – 11 26 55 50