BB King's Blues Band

The BB Kings Band with Michael Lee
For over half a century, B.B. King and B.B. King’s Band defined the blues to the world,
averaging over 250 sold out concerts per year, with classics like “The Thrill Is Gone,”
“Every Day I Have The Blues,” “How Blues Can You Get,” and “Why I Sing The Blues”.
Now, superstar Tito Jackson (along with his beastly Blues guitar) has teamed up with B.B.
King’s Blues Band to tour, keeping the musical legacy of B.B. King, The Jackson 5 and The
Jackson’s alive.
Combining over 100 years of musical talent, this is your chance to experience and celebrate
these two legends together...LIVE ON STAGE!

Michael Lee 

Vocals. Lead Guitar https://www.nbc.com/the-voice/video/michael-lee-blind-audition-the-thrill-is-gone/3801012 

Michael Lee is a Fort Worth based Blues artist. Featured as a contestant for the 2018 Season of the Voice. Where his soul and energy was unmatched and unlike the show has ever seen. Raised around blues music his entire life, Michael spent the majority of his young life in blues clubs receiving an ivy league education from watching and playing with blues legends such as Andrew "Jr Boy" Jones (Freddie King), Buddy Whittington (John Mayall), Lucky Peterson (Willie Dixon). On nights he was not in the blues clubs he was down in the stockyards soaking in the Country sounds which emanated from those honky tonks. Like Delbert McClinton and many Fort Worth musicians before him, Michael’s style of music has the perfect blend of Blues and Country. Michael Lee released his first record in 2014, released two singles in the summer of 2018 “Here I Am” and “Heart of Stone” and is releasing his sophomore record in 2019. 

James “Boogaloo” Bolden

Trumpet
Born in Houston, TX, James Bolden began his musical training under the guidance of Edmund
C. Broussard. Bolden later seized the opportunity to study classical trumpet under Houston
Symphony Trumpeter Richard Schafer. James went on to play with local union bands that
performed with a wide array of artists such as Stevie Wonder, Isaac Hayes, Temptations,
Supremes, Spinners, and James Brown. Bolden eventually was given the opportunity to join the
Duke Ellington Orchestra where he thrived for years. Bolden later joined the band of B.B. King
and became bandleader during a stint of over 35 years. James Bolden now continues his
association with B.B. King by joining B.B. King’s Band as bandleader.

Russell Jackson

Bass
Starting his 41-year career in 1974, Russell Jackson moved to Chicago in 1976 and gained his
blues stripes working with Otis Clay, Buddy Guy, Bobby Rush, and others like Charlie

Musselwhite and WIllie Nelson. For 8 years, Russell toured exclusively with B.B. King as his
bass guitarist. Jackson was the first artist to put slap bass on a live blues recording, (Live at Old
Miss 1979). During the 1990’s, he recorded with Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne on his Juno Award
winning CD. In 1992, the Russell Jackson Band debuted and Jackson released three CD’s of his
own material. Present day, Russell is the Music Director for the New Generations of the Blues
European Tours, formerly known as The Chicago Blues Festival. Jackson was welcomed into the
B.B. King’s Blues Band because of his extraordinary talent.

Herman Jackson
Drums
Herman Jackson is a native of Baton Rouge, LA. This master percussionist honed his skill at the
Berkley School of Music, Boston, with noted jazz great, Alan Dawson. Jackson’s world tours
include performances in Ireland, Greenland, and Ivory Coast. Spain, Germany, Japan, Brazil, and
Royal Festival Hall in London, as well as Carnegie Hall were just a few of many. Jackson was
without a doubt influenced by the stellar lineup of artists with whom he toured and performed.
The lineup of those artists include Al Green, Ellis Marsalis, Nancy Wilson, and Blues Icon B.B.
King. Jackson also played himself as a drummer in the HBO series Treme. Herman currently
serves as Assistant Jazz Band Director at Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA, and heads
the percussion department.

Eric Demmer
Saxophone
“Hear what you feel, play what you hear.” At the age of 10, Eric received his first saxophone, so
began the journey of a natural-born musician playing anywhere at any time with anyone. One
night, Eric was invited to perform onstage with the legendary Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown at a
Houston club known as “Billy Blues.” On that night, Eric joined Gate’s band and traveled all
over the world for the next 12 years utnil Gate’s death in 2005. The journey with Gate included
performing as the opening act for Eric Clapton’s “From the Cradle Tour.” This gave Eric the
opportunity to perform with many well-known and respected musicians, ie. Carlos Santana,
George Duke, Joe Sample, David Sanborn, and B.B. King. Buddy Guy, the Allman Brothers, and
Dr. John were among many others.

Lamar Boulet

Trumpet
Lamar was raised in Lafayette, LA, but got his start in the music business in New Orleans. It was
there he was able to study and work with some of the legends in New Orleans such as Ellis
Marsalis, his first teacher in the study of jazz. As an undergraduate, he studied with the
incomparable Vince DiMartino at the University of Kentucky before receiving his masters
degree at the University of Miami. Lamar later moved to Orlando and worked at Disney as a
composer/arranger, musician. Carnival Cruise Lines hired him as Musical Director and he spent
4 years in charge of musicians and talent. He also toured with Grammy Award winning Latin
artist, Tito Nieves. Lamar now lives in Houston, TX, where he freelances and teachers. Lamar is
honored to be a new member of B.B. King’s Blues Band.

Keyboards
Darrell Lavigne has been performing on stages around the world, most notably New Orleans

Jazz & Heritage Festival, Rotterdam JVC Jazz Festival- Netherlands, and Berlin Jazz Festival-
Germany. Lavigne began his musical life at age 10, first on guitar then trumpet. It wasn’t until

his senior year that he decided piano would be his instrument of choice. “I wanted to explore
harmony and the colors of music. Piano represented that for me.” Darrell’s influences came for
the usual jazz sources as Monk, Bud Powell, Ahmad Jamal, Hancock, and Corea. Charlie Parker,
Coltrane, and Miles Davis rounded out the crew. Early musical exposure in addition to the
mentoring by Ellis Marsalis and Edward “Kidd” Jordan helped Lavigne become one of the most
sought-after pianists around. Darrell has gone on to record two albums with then Columbia Jazz
Artist, Kent Jordan, write for one (Night Aire) and produce another (Out of This World). Over
the years, Darrell has performed with artists Kirk Whalum, Marion Meadows, George Duke,
Hubert/Ronnie Laws, and Everette Harp to name a few. Though he’s respected as a
pianist/keyboardist, he continues to produce and write for a number of artists. Discography: Blue
Orleans (Fertile Crescent, 2000); Kidd Jordan/IAQ-Kidd Stuff (Danjor); Michael Ward-After
The Kiss (Sweet Music Records, 2006).

Wilbert A. Crosby is a guitarist, producer and music instructor that was born in Chicago, IL. Currently based in Chicago, Crosby has had the opportunity to perform and record with a varied group of artists like Pops Staples, Mavis Staples, Aretha Franklin, Charlélie Couture, and Carey Bell. 

A love for Blues, Gospel, Jazz and Soul music has always been a part of his life at an early age. Being that his father was a local tenor saxophone player in Chicago back in the 1950’s and his god-father was Howlin’ Wolf’s blues drummer S.P. Leary, Crosby was always surrounded by legendary artists. By the time Wilbert was 10 years old he was playing guitar with his father’s band during practice sessions. 

In 1983, Wilbert began playing with Pops Staples and went on his first international tour and further learned other aspects of the music industry. Already interested in composition, had the opportunity to compose and arrange for other artists which included Carey Bell. Out of their collaboration and creative efforts, the album, “Good Luck Man” (1997) won the W.C. Handy’s Award. 

Accolades have adorned Crosby’s career. He obtained the Albert King award in 1996 and has performed at the White House during the Clinton and Bush administrations. He performed the Grammy awarded song, “Have A Little Faith” with Mavis Staples at the 2005 Grammy Awards. Additionally, he played with Pops Staples at the 1995 Grammy Awards in an all-star jam with Bonnie Raitt, Phil Upchurch, WahWah Watson, Isaac Hayes & Maria Muldar. Wilbert also has the honor of product endorsements for Elixir Strings and Reunion Blues Guitar Cases. 

Mike Zito

There may not be a more honest bluesman than Mike Zito, whose 15th album ‘First Class Life’ comes out May 11 on Ruf Records. The rocking yet poignant title track explores his journey from addiction to sobriety and then musical recognition; he is a two-time 2017 Blues Music Award nominee. “Second chance at a first class life,” he sings, recalling the hard times. The Texas-based musician smiles and continues, “I grew up poor in St. Louis, and now I'm travelling the world to sing my songs.”

 

Zito’s star has been on the rise of late both solo and as a member of the Royal Southern Brotherhood, with bandmates Cyril Neville, Devon Allman, Charlie Wooton and Yonrico Scott.

 

As is fitting for a man with the word “Blues” tattooed across his picking hand, ‘First Class Life’ focuses squarely on blues with heart and chops to spare, not to mention wit and openness. The punchy “Time For A Change” conjures the tension in the world today while the exquisite Memphis-style song, “The World We Live In,” which recalls BB King in its world-weariness. The electrified blues bounce of “Dying Day” finds Zito swearing lifelong allegiance to his wife. “Old Black Graveyard” sets the scene of a bluesman’s final resting place and its disrepair, along with some possible supernatural influences, with Zito’s masterful slide guitar flourishes driving it home.

 

Yet the record’s darker moments are offset by cuts like “Mama Don't Like No Wah Wah,” the funky crash-bang-wallop gem written with Ruf labelmate Bernard Allison about the late legend Koko Taylor. “Bernard told me about his first gig as guitarist for Taylor,” laughs Mike. “Koko didn’t like any effects on the guitar, she wanted it to sound natural. When Bernard made an attempt to use an effect on his guitar after playing with her for months, he got caught. ‘Mama don't like no wah wah’ is what he was told. That’s a song to me!” The two guitar slingers trade off, trying to one up each other atop a funky blues groove, including Allison pulling out his forbidden wah wah pedal. The tongue-in-cheek “Back Problems” is a showcase for Zito’s wit as a songwriter.

 

In addition to the press and Blues Music Award love, Zito has earned from fellow artists. Anders Osborne says, "I love Mike Zito! He's got that rare kinda voice that resonates in your soul. All his hardship, life experiences and kind heart oozes out of every note his sings. His guitar playing dances delicately between a contemporary blues virtuoso and an old fashion soul man. Mike continues to impress me with his straightforward and honest songwriting. His joy and grace shine through every record he makes. "

Eric Demmer Band "EDB"

EDB

High energy, funky blues with a mix of jazz... combining a variety of influences while reminding everyone that, "The real thing comes from the heart and soul". An extension of Eric's style of music makes up the 'Eric Demmer & The Sax Dawgs' band. The Band does a combination of jazz standards, smooth jazz, funky blues, R&B, and a little bit of old time Rock n' Roll. From a nice ballad, to dueling sax solos, The Sax Dawgs never fail to leave a crowd in awe. The band loves having a good time with the audience, and strives to have a lot of crowd participation to make them feel apart of the experience.      

 

Jonn Del Toro Richardson

 

 

Jonn Del Toro Richardson got his start at an early age, having grown up in a musical family. His grandmother and her siblings played in a touring mariachi band playing regionally through the Southeast and Southwest. After watching his uncles play at family gatherings, he picked up a guitar in his early 20s. On a diet of Country, Motown, R&B, Classic rock and various other genres, Jonn continued learning his chosen instrument and he worked in various bands playing all types of music.

Once he heard the blues, he knew he had found his place. Richardson’s partnership with Diunna Greenleaf and his role in the Blue Mercy Blues Band and the support of the Blue Shoe Project in Dallas TX led them to the International Blues Challenge in Memphis TN in 2005.  That same competition Richardson was honored with the Albert King Award, the most promising blue guitarist of the competition.
 
In 2007 Jonn played on the Grammy winning album The Last of the Mississippi Delta Blues Men.  He continues Perkins’ legacy by working with the Pinetop Perkins Foundation. You can hear his influences on his various recordings and live. Richardson has had the pleasure to work with players such as Diunna Greenleaf, Otis Taylor, Bob Margolin, Hubert Sumlin, James Cotton, Bob Stroger, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Anson Funderburgh, Ronnie Earl, Rich Del Grosso,  and many, many more.
 
Jonn has released two CDs with other artists.  In 2011 Jonn released Time Slips on By with Rich DelGrosso to great reviews.  It garnered a Blues Blast Nomination for best Traditional Album and was named one of the top 100 blues CDs by Billboard Magazine  of 2011. In 2013 Jonn teamed up with Sean Carney to release Drivin’ Me Wild.   This album also got great reviews as served as the basis for several European tours.
 
In November 2015 Jonn released his first solo Album, Tengo Blues.  Produced by Answon Funderburgh this effort charted in the top 10 blues charts for months and garnered rave reviews throughout the country.  It also and earned him a Blues Blast Award nomination for best new artist in 2016.

In May 2017 Jonn won the Blues Music Award from The Blues Foundation for Best New Artist Debut Award for Tengo Blues!
 
Jonn Del Toro Richardson continues to tour extensively both in the U.S. and Europe.

The Royal Dukes

 

Royal Dukes 

We're live music experts, wedding enthusiasts, and party starters. We're a premium, customizable 3-14 piece band specializing in high-energy music for festivals, weddings, corporate events, and private functions - at a sensible price. We infuse every event with energy and fun and pride ourselves on filling dance floors.

Mark May

 

“Equal part blues man and southern rocker, Mark has just released his fifth disc entitled “Release My Soul”, his most ambitious and stylistically diverse project to date. Eleven original tracks that showcase his talent to pen strong melodic songs, featuring warm confident vocals and stinging guitar work and instrumentation. If you dig your blues with an attitude, you owe it to yourself to check this one out.” 
The Blues Hound, 90.1 FM KPFT Houston

“Mark May is far and away one of the most talented and passionate bluesmen I’ve ever had the pleasure to listen to. His songs work their way into your very soul…in a way that makes you feel naughty for liking them so much. His licks are like narcotic…you simply can’t wait for that next hit.” 
Sue Leighton, Program Director QFM96… Host of “Blue Monday”

Release My Soul, the 5th cd from Mark May (former guitarist and vocalist for Dickey Betts and Great Southern), is jam-packed with traditional blues, blues-rock and soulful ballads. Perfecting his craft playing rough and tumble biker bars and blues clubs in Houston, Texas for over 20 years, Mark recently returned to his hometown, Columbus, Ohio, where he performed in nightclubs before his 15th birthday. His astonishing live shows featuring dynamic twin leads and dual harmony guitar work are the perfect complement to Mark’s smooth vocals. 

The Mark May Band has performed at Telluride Blues and Brews, Mississippi Valley Blues Fest, King Biscuit, Tremblant International Blues Festival, Dallas International Guitar Show, Chenango Blues Festival, Lone Star Rally, Dogs on Hawgs, Houston International Festival, and in addition, was opening act for Allman Brothers Amphitheater Tour. 

Mark currently gets heavy rotation on Sirius/XM and Sonic Tap radio. He has been featured in Blues Review, Guitar Player, Guitar World, Vintage Guitar, Tone Quest and other major publications. 

REVIEWS:
"When I heard the first CD, Call on the Blues, I was blown away! Mark is one of the best blues-rock artists to come along in years. With great singing/song-writing and guitar playing, he reminds me of everyone from Albert Collins to Stevie Ray to Carlos Santana. Hell, I even heard a couple of my licks in there!" DICKEY BETTS

"Mark May's gutsy tone, feisty pull-off licks and ground-glass vocals invite comparison to any number of Texas bluesmen. But the twin guitar leads, wah rhythm spanks, and occasional burst of fusionesque melodic complexity that pepper his second release Telephone Road, Houston, TX, make May something much more than just another traditionalist." GUITAR PLAYER MAGAZINE 

"Mark May's Telephone Road had me so captivated that it almost didn't get reviewed in Blues Revue-I was holding it hostage in my car! May is a lead guitarist with a Southern-Fried sound and jazzy technique that expands beyond the workday blues, this 12-song disc bursts with tons of musical talent." BLUES REVUE MAGAZINE

"Mark plunges into an Albert Collins song called 'Lights Are On But Nobody's Home'. Just when you think this sweet and powerful rendition of the blues song has been interpreted as well as is possible, Mark slides in with a lead that not only blew me away, he brought the feel to a level that quite frankly probably transcends what anyone could do with it." REAL BLUES MAGAZINE 

“Let’s agree that if Dickey Betts calls you out to be his right hand man, you must be doing something right. We caught up with Mark fresh from the van after having played five gigs in three days, on his way to – where else? The next show.” – Riverhorse the ToneQuest Report 

The James "Boogaloo Bolden Blues Band

DATES

  • Apr 27
    ,  Temple
     
  • May 10
    Railgarten,  Memphis
     

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