January 10, 2011
Make a reservation for this show.
The Pacific Jazz Institute at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley presents Grammy Winning blues harmonica virtuoso Sugar Blue, for one night only, touring in support of his new release, Threshold. Band members are Sugar Blue (vocals/harmonica), Rico Mc Farland (guitar/vocals), Ilaria Lantieri (bass/vocals) and James Knowles (drums). Showtime on Monday at 7:30pm and doors open at 6:00pm.
Touring in support of his much anticipated 2010 record, Threshold, Grammy Award-winning harmonica virtuoso, Sugar Blue, has once again captivated listener’s world-wide with his visionary and soulful style. It is due to Blue’s creativity and precision that makes Threshold so out of the ordinary and one of the most exciting blues releases of the year. His distinctive sensual voice, astounding technique, and unique ability to transcend any genre by bringing an energetic expressiveness to his music, brings every crowd to the edge of their seat.
Raised in Harlem, New York, to a singer and dancer, the born James Whiting spent his childhood surrounded and influenced by renowned musicians such as Billie Holiday, Dexter Gordon, and Lester Young. Deciding at an early age he too wanted to become a performer, the now renowned and celebrated bluesman began sharing his talent as a street musician. The year of 1975 marked Sugar Blue’s first recording accompanied by the legendary blues figures Brownie McGhee and Roosevelt Sykes. The following year, after contributing to recordings by Victoria Spivey and Johnny Shines, he took the advice of blues pianist Memphis Slim and moved to Paris, uniting with members of the Rolling Stones to work on the Some Girls album. Falling in love with his sound, the Rolling Stones officially offered Blue the session spot in their group.
Driven by his desire to evolve as a blues harmonicist, Blue declined the invitation and instead recorded his albums Crossroads and From Paris to Chicago, inspired by his then return home to the U.S. in 1982. Sitting in with famed blues musicians in Chicago such as Big Walter Horton, Carey Bell, James Cotton and Junior Wells, he spent two years touring as part of the Chicago Blues All Stars with mentor Willie Dixon. By 1983, Sugar Blue had put together his own band and was well on his way to winning his Grammy Award in 1985 for Best Traditional Blues Album, titled Blues Explosion. Since, Blue has taken the stage and shared his incredible talent across America, Europe and Africa, performing with the likes of B.B. King, Art Blakey, Muddy Waters, and Lionel Hampton. Perhaps those at Village Voices in New York said it best, “Sugar Blue is…a superstar.”