Etta James herself has referred to Margo as "the white Etta James". She is the recipient of the prestigious Muddy Waters Award for Outstanding Female Blues Vocalist. Although a native of San Francisco, Margo has been a fixture on the Portland blues scene for over two decades. In addition to her “powerhouse vocals” (Marty Hughley – A&E) Margo is known for consistently featuring the finest blues and jazz musicians in the Northwest. Pleasing the listener and dancer alike, Margo fronts a jazz standards trio, a 4 piece hard-core blues band, a 5-6 member R&B dance unit or the “full-tilt boogie” big horn band. Whatever the occasion, Margo delivers the goods.
Over the years, former (and current) band members read like a “Who’s Who” of the Northwest music scene: Robbie Laws, Renato Caranto, Brian Foxworth, Phil Haxton, Benny Wilson, (all featured on “Live at the Candlelight”), Doug Rowell, Chris Carlson, Jim Mesi, Chris Baum, Dover Weinberg, Ben Jones, Randy Cannon, Jeff Frankel and Sonny Hess. Margo has had the honor of working with such blues legends as Etta James, Robert Cray, Albert Collins, James Cotton, Katie Webster, John Mayall and The Kinsey Report.
The Margo Tufo Band entered the prestigious International Blues Talent Search. Selected from a field of over 400 bands they came in first runner up in the West Coast division held in Compton, CA. Margo has performed at the Portland Waterfront Blues Festival (and she is featured on Burnside Record's "Best of the Waterfront Blues Festival") for seven consecutive years, and has performed at the prestigious Mount Hood Festival of Jazz.
In addition to her active schedule at home, she performed in England to rave reviews. The band’s second album, “Live at the Candlelight”, was recorded at Portland’s hottest blues club. It has received outstanding critical acclaim -- as well as being nominated for a Muddy Waters Award for Best Blues Album, and was the one of the best selling albums in the Northwest for over a year.
Margo wears many musical hats. In the early 1990s, she was the original creator/co-host, with Greg Gomez, of the popular weekly blues radio show “The Friday Freeway Blues” (KMHD - Jazz - 89.1 FM). In addition to spinning both classic and contemporary blues, she interviewed local and national blues musicians. The show took off was the forerunner to the now popular blues format on KMHD featuring blues each Friday and Saturday evenings.
As a record producer, she not only produced her own records, but Renato Caranto's latest CD “Straight Ahead” (featuring Mel Brown, Andre St. James, and Gordon Lee). She also produced four albums for Candlelight Records, including Norman Sylvester and Harpdog Brown. Harpdog’s album “Home Is Where the Harp Is” won a Muddy Waters Award for Best Blues Album and was nominated for a Juno Award (Canada’s Grammy) for Best Blues Album.
Margo developed and delivered a computer-based recording studio class for at risk students in a Portland, Oregon alternative high school. It became a model for schools throughout the district.