Debbie Duncan may be considered the upper Midwest's "best-kept-musical secret", but she has become a local legend and treasure in her home of Minneapolis. Her personality, vitality, and versatility all contribute to that fact. She is a terrific entertainer, and this is certainly part of her appeal.
Debbie hones her skills through years of experience. She studied classical voice for 14 years, including 4 years at Wayne State University. In Detroit she recorded back-up vocals for Mitch Ryder and Bob Seger. She then spent several years in the Los Angeles music scene recording back-up vocals for various artists and performing with her own jazz groups in popular nightclub settings.
Debbie has sung with Bobby Watson and Horizon, Roy Hargrove, Bobby Lyle, Jack McDuff, John Hendricks, Mark Murphy, Chicago's legendary Von Freeman, Dee Dee Bridgewater, and Rececca Paris. She received rave reviews opening for greats such as Herbie Hancock, Stephan Grapelli, Miles Davis, Lou Rawls and Joe Henderson. She also sang on Jimmy McGriff's CD, "In a Blue Meed", where her track of Dr. Feelgood was the most-played tune on that CD.
Margaret "Margie" Cox, also known as Ta Mara, is best known as the lead singer of Minneapolis sound band Ta Mara and the Seen, and for her work with Prince.
Margaret began singing in the nightclub Bootlegger Sam's in Dinkytown when she was in ninth grade. She graduated to other bands, including Raggs in 1980, the Doug Maynard Band, the T.C. Jammers, the Peterson-Cox Band (with Patty Peterson), Rupert's Orchestra and, in 1987, Dr. Mambo's Combo (now just the Legendary Combo).
She also sang on a local "Bar Wars" compilation LP, and on the final Lipps, Inc album, 1983's 4.In 1985 Cox formed a band called The Seen and was noticed by Jesse Johnson, guitarist with Minneapolis band The Time. Johnson renamed Cox "Ta Mara" and helped the band sign a deal with A&M. He also produced their first album, Ta Mara and the Seen, and co-wrote all of the songs. The band broke into the top 40 charts with "Everybody Dance".
Cox is a long-time associate of the singer Prince and his band The New Power Generation. In the early 1990s, she recorded more than 25 songs with Prince for a band to be called M.C. Flash, although the album was never released. She also covered Prince's "Standing at the Altar" for his 1994 compilation album 1-800-NEW-FUNK, and the song was released as a single.