I had the great pleasure of seeing Donna play guitar with Prince and she was amazing! She is a phenomenal guitar player with a killer groove and instinct. I was honored to be asked to play on two of her songs, ’TRASHFORMER’ and ’VIOLETTA’. I’m stoked to be putting out both on limited seven-inch vinyl through my label, HockeyTalkter Records. Hope everyone enjoys the great groove and these sweet songs.
Her work with Prince during the latter part of his career is testament enough to her ability, but this music is a total sucker punch to modern music trends. Longwinded, virtuosic and spiritual, Grantis casts off the shackles of traditional structures without forsaking melody and good old-fashioned riffs. Experiencing the full-length album may strand listeners in an alternate dimension. From the rhythm section’s simultaneous looseness and cohesion to the otherworldly melodic aura she generates with her own instrument, Grantis may well bear the torch of jazz fusion into the next decade.
The most impressive aspect of her 75-minute first set was the range and depth of her stylistic vocabulary as she traveled down eight different lanes of the jazz-rock fusion superhighway in Hendrixian crosstown traffic.
Being solely in control of so many different aspects of her music might sound exhausting, but Grantis has another word for it. “It’s so much fun to think about how the music can be expressed. It’s liberating.”
…this album is a throwback to old-school fusion guitar albums like Blow by Blow and Wired, but often with denser rhythms out of the On the Corner book.
... new millennium jazz-rock fusion, sorta like Jeff Beck meets a post-modern Mahavishnu Orchestra.
Being a Prince protégé, a longtime session player and a kick-ass guitarist in her own right, Grantis is committed to excellence, and it’s at work here, from the composition to the layered production.
... mixing the bluesy freedom of Jimi Hendrix with the kind of jazzy chromaticism John McLaughlin made famous through his work in Miles Davis’ band and Mahavishnu Orchestra.
Prince Phenom Donna Grantis Comes into Her Own. Donna Grantis’ debut album, ‘Diamonds & Dynamite,’ is a diverse mix of atmospheric, in-the-moment playing that brilliantly showcases her impressive six-string talents. The album flows with blazing riffs and ambient guitar tones that make eloquent use of effects.
Recorded live-to-tape in just two days, a pace similar to that of many great jazz albums, DIAMONDS & DYNAMITE is an experimentally adventurous set, which contains ample evidence why Prince held Grantis in such high regard.
Donna can whup every man on guitar, bar none.
... Guitarist Donna Grantis wowed the audience, not for her own style but because of her adaptability. Grantis’ guitar tone, technique and showmanship could have been confused for that of Prince himself with eyes closed, demonstrating how tight the musicians in his band are.
Sharing a stage with a virtuoso like Prince can seem intimidating, but Donna Grantis has developed a powerful stage presence and a perfect sense of timing, knowing just when to let her own skillful guitar work take center stage.
PLECTRUMELECTRUM, the group’s first full-length album shows off the bombastic playing of Welton, the hard-driving bass lines of Nielsen, and of course the adventurous and inventive playing of Grantis. This alone would make for a formidable trio, but with Prince’s Hendrixian, wah-fueled explorations, the result sounds like Jimi fronting Led Zeppelin with a James Brown swagger.
3RDEYEGIRL, dressed like Tank Girl meets Cavalli, are perfectly tight yet heavy, and guitarist Donna Grantis goes toe to toe with Prince on a double solo for a gorgeously mournful ‘I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man’.
3RDEYEGIRL were dazzling, the group are sassy, powerful, and have buckets of talent. A special mention must go out to the young guitarist, Donna Grantis whose riffs, licks and solos embraced Prince’s own, as she strutted around the stage like an old-school master.
I can’t imagine the kind of pressure I’d feel if a tiny musical genius pointed at me to take the lead, but 3RDEYEGIRL brought it every time. Their guitarist, a punky looking brunette, was especially adept at keeping up with Prince’s heroic riffing. The band are one of the rockier ensembles he’s ever put together, but even at the heaviest moments there was still an unmistakable core of sludgy funk.
... Lead guitarist Donna Grantis is stupendously gifted – trading licks and lead solos with Prince with an air of utter confidence and impunity.
It’s also notable that he shares the guitar limelight with Grantis, to a degree he has with nobody since Wendy Melvoin, and hands her lead duties on several of his signature guitar heroics tracks, an opportunity she does audacious things with. In place of his low-key bluesey licks on ‘Sign O The Times’, she inserts jagged slabs of dissonant noise; wherever Prince is stuck behind the piano, she shows no qualms about attempting to cheekily upstage him, which he gleefully indulges like a proud older sibling.
3RDEYEGIRL prove without a doubt that they’ve not only been hired for their good looks. The all-girl trio are amazingly impressive alongside the undoubted genius of the main man. Notably, guitar player, Donna Grantis, is constantly brilliant as she struts around the stage in heels while delivering some stunning solo work.
Trading blazing solos with the late Purple One on a nightly basis, she proved her mettle, and earned a place in guitar history.
And Donna Grantis: my God, what a woman. Dressed like a sexy robot, the noises she wrung from her guitar all night were amazing. She can solo, play rhythm, take a back seat when it’s Prince’s turn to kick out the jams and boy can she turn up the volume when she needed to.
Jam-y at the best of times, and in the best of possible ways, Prince has surrounded himself with some jaw-dropping talent. Often characterized as a control freak, he let the others do a lot of heavy lifting including Toronto guitarist, Donna Grantis, who figured heavily in the solo department. How good a guitarist do you have to be for Prince to let you play his iconic solo from Purple Rain? Exactly.
Her tones, attack, phrasing, melodic ideas, improvs, grooves, and solos are as terrifyingly on point as a laser-guided drone, and everything is delivered with the unselfconscious swagger that identifies a musician truly in the moment.
...Guitarist Donna Grantis jams on Rockin’ In The Free World and all I can say is she is beyond badass, blew every single person’s mind and makes this one of the best versions you might ever hear.
A forward-thinking player with incendiary chops, Grantis’ technique is also laden with feel.
Known for her extraordinary technique and soulful playing, Donna Grantis has a style all her own. Seamlessly blending Jazz, Rock N’ Roll and Electric Blues this Canadian guitarist is capturing audience’s attention. Playing her B5 equipped Starla Paul Reed Smith guitar, she has started down the path to being a legend.
... Grantis alternately echoes whisper-to-a-scream blues snippets of Hendrix, Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton before exploring feels from metal to jazz.
Beginning, like many of us, as a kid with an acoustic guitar picking out Zeppelin licks, Donna soon proved herself an accomplished guitarist, gained a scholarship in jazz at Montreal’s McGill University and carved out a career as a go-to session player in Toronto’s musical melting pot.
Growing up outside of Toronto in Mississauga, Ontario, Donna Grantis fell in love with classic rock. She had an electric guitar in her hands by age 14 and an unwavering career dream of being an independent musician. Today she plays guitar in 3RDEYEGIRL, a rock band of all female musicians led by Prince, one of the greatest guitarists in the world.
The late Prince Rogers Nelson was something of a guitar god, so to have kept up with him one must surely move in the rarefied realm of six-string deities oneself. Donna Grantis is such a guitar goddess.
Donna Grantis was born to play guitar.