Jontavious Willis & Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton - 11/15/19Friday, November 15 2019 6:30pm Doors / 8pm Start
Jontavious Willis & Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton - 11/15/19
at City Winery The Wine Garden at City Winery
$20 In Advance & $25 At the Door
“Jontavious Willis. That’s my Wonderboy, the Wunderkind. He’s a great new voice of the 21st Century in the acoustic blues... I’m just excited that he has a wonderful and amazing future and he’s got a great sound, and we are all lucky to be at this point when this man is starting to launch is going to be an incredible and long career.” -Taj Mahal
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. The 22-year-old rising multi-instrumentalist has released a new album, Spectacular Class. Through original lyrics written by Willis himself, the gifted musician delivers a timeless album that features dynamic vocals and all types of blues: Delta, Piedmont, Texas, and Gospel. His stand-out fingerpicking, flat-picking, and slide prowess are also on display.
GRAMMY award-winning artists Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo’ played an active role in producing Spectacular Class with Taj Mahal credited as Executive Producer and Keb' Mo' as the Producer.
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, who described him as the “Wonderboy” and “the Wunderkind.” 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’.
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.”
Spectacular Class is the follow-up release to his debut album, Blue Metamorphosis, which was released in 2016 and garnered him rave reviews from such notable magazines as Living Blues and Blues & Rhythm. In 2018, the album earned recognition by the Blues Foundation through their International Blues Challenge, where he was honored with the Best Self-Produced CD Award.
Although still in his 20s, Jerron "Blind Boy" Paxton has earned a reputation for transporting audiences back to the 1920's and making them wish they could stay there for good. Blind Boy Paxton may be one of the greatest multi-instrumentalists that you have not heard of. Yet. And time is getting short, fast.
Jerron performed to a sold out audience at the Lead Belly Tribute at Carnegie Hall on February 4, 2016 along with Buddy Guy, Eric Burdon, Edgar Winter, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, and other stars. It is no exaggeration to say that Paxton made a huge impression. In the two years since his incredible performance at that star-studded show in one of the world’s great concert houses, Paxton’s own star has been rising fast. He opened for Buddy Guy at B.B. Kings in NYC; for Robert Cray at the Reading PA Blues Festival, and performed at numerous other festivals including: Woodford Folk Festival & Byron Bay Blues Festival in Australia; Calgary Folk Festival in Canada; Jewel City Jam in Huntington WV; Freihofers Jazz Festival in Saratoga Springs FL; Clearwater Festival in Croton-on-The Hudson NY; Fayetteville Roots Festival in Fayetteville AR: Cambridge Folk Festival in the UK., Harvest Time Rhythm & Blues Festival in Ireland; and headlined the 2017 Brooklyn Folk Festival.
Jerron Paxton is a two-time participant in the Keeping The Blues Alive Cruise and is the new Artistic Director of the Port Townsend Acoustic Blues Festival & Workshop at Centrum in Port Townsend, WA.
Paxton was featured on CNN's Great Big Story and appeared in the multi award winning music documentary AMERICAN EPIC produced by Robert Redford, Jack White & T-Bone Burnett. In October and November 2018 Jerron 'Blind Boy' Paxton will be touring the U.S. with the musicians from this groundbreaking AMERICAN EPIC SESSIONS music documentary.
This young musician sings and plays banjo, guitar, piano, fiddle, harmonica, Cajun accordion, and the bones (percussion). Paxton has an eerie ability to transform traditional jazz, blues, folk, and country into the here and now, and make it real. In addition, he mesmerizes audiences with his humor and storytelling. He's a world-class talent and a uniquely colorful character that has been on the cover of Living Blues Magazine and the Village Voice, and has been interviewed on FOX News. Paxton's sound is influenced by the likes of Fats Waller and "Blind" Lemon Jefferson. According to Will Friedwald in the Wall Street Journal, Paxton is "virtually the only music-maker of his generation—playing guitar, banjo, piano and violin, among other implements—to fully assimilate the blues idiom of the 1920s and ‘30s."