Nellie “Tiger” Travis couldn’t be more destined to sing the blues. She was born deep in the delta of Mississippi in the early 60′s. As in most small towns, the church was a main focal point and Nellie grew up singing gospel music.
Since then, Nellie has come a long way and in November 2009 was crowned the New Queen Of The Blues for Chicago by Bluesman and WVON radio personality, Purvis Spann who previously had bestowed that honor on Ms. KoKo Taylor the original Queen. KoKo was a mentor and friend to Nellie, and when she passed in early 2009, Nellie used her songwriting skills to write and record a tribute song to her friend Ms. KoKo Taylor titled “KoKo” (Queen Of The Blues). This soulful tune was also performed and used to eulogize Koko as part of her last rites and is on one of Nellie’s latest albums, I’m Goin’ Out Tonight.
Today, Nellie has one of the tightest Chicago Blues bands found anywhere in the world comprised of the best musicians from Chicago’s Blues scene.
Nellie Travis has headlined at the Chicago Blues Festival and at numerous festivals/clubs around the world in countries such as Japan, Greece, Italy, Germany, Brazil, as well as her hometown of Mississippi. In November 2013 Nellie’s just finished another very successful twenty-one date concert tour of Europe to packed houses everywhere she performed.
She’s a permanent headlining personality at Chicago’s most successful blues clubs, The Kingston Mines, Buddy Guy’s Legends and Blue Chicago where she continues to pack them in.
She has shared the stage with such legendary greats as Buddy Guy, B.B. King, Koko Taylor, Glady’s Knight, Ronnie Baker Brooks just to name a few. Her influences are such powerful performers as Big Mama Thornton, KoKo Taylor (of course) and Etta James.
The nickname “Tiger” was born after Nellie came to Chicago. She and a cousin were hanging out at B.L.U.E.S on Halsted brainstorming about what to call her. Nellie wanted the nickname “Angel”, but her cousin quickly rejected that and came up with “Tiger” which aptly describes her feline-like, intense vocal style as well as her feisty, independent personality.
In addition to being an outstanding singer and songwriter, Nellie is an accomplished actress. She has performed in plays “The Lust Of A Man” and “I was There When The Blues Was Red Hot”.
Nellie has won several awards and many nominations.
Nellie “Tiger” Travis is one the best of Chicago’s Blues and R&B/Soul music exports. She is a worldwide touring headliner.