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Co-produced by the Center for Cultural Vibrancy, Presented in partnership with the Baltimore Blues Society
**This event has SOLD OUT! We will open up a ticket waitlist in the Creative Alliance lobby one hour before showtime. Waitlist tickets are sold first come, first served based on availability created by no-shows. Waitlist sign-up does not guarantee admission**
Every generation or so, a young bluesman bursts onto the scene and sends a jolt through the blues community. Jontavious Willis may just have that effect on people. Many fans of Willis regard him as an old soul. His style of playing the instruments and his voice touches the very roots of country blues. He brings back the true soul of the music. A newspaper headline once called him a “70-year-old bluesman in a 20-year-old body.”
Hailing from Greenville, Georgia, Willis grew up singing gospel music at the Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church with his grandfather. Since an early age, he had the talent and passion for the music and the ability to sharpen his skills fast. At the age of 14, he came across a YouTube video of Muddy Waters playing “Hoochie Coochie Man” and was instantly hooked on the blues.
He got his much-needed break from the living legend Taj Mahal. In 2015, Mahal asked Willis to play on stage with him. That appearance resulted in a roaring response from the audience and led Willis to bigger stages and broader opportunities, including an opening slot at select shows along the TajMo tour, featuring his musical mentors Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo’.
Andrew Alli is a Richmond, Virginia native. He took up music relatively later in life at the age of 20. After being inspired by a busker playing harmonica on the street one day, he hit the local music store and had a harmonica of his own. From that point on, Andrew committed himself to learn the history of the instrument. He very soon fell in love with the blues and began studying all of the harmonica greats including Big Walter Horton, Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson, Junior Wells, and more. He has developed his own unique style of playing, while still paying his respects to his biggest influences from the past.