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Every so often, we use the
words, prodigy or genius or in some other ways recognize outstanding, unique,
and special skill sets and innate qualities regardless of age. Last night,
Auburn Public Theater in Auburn, NY (APT) presented a vocalist and musician who
possesses impeccable mastery of his creativity.
Jontavious Willisis a Bluesman in the truest sense of the word. At 22, he has
explored with versatility, skill and verve various genres of the Blues across
regions and landscapes where this musical genre is deeply rooted in tradition
and extraordinary expressions of life and its complexities.
Jontavious started his
musical exploration at the age of 14 after seeing a video of Muddy Waters. A
self-taught musician (guitar, harmonica, banjo) he started singing years
earlier at 3 in his church. Born in Greenville, Georgia, Willis is now a master
musician who reveres and extols the music and lyrics of old-time blues people
who framed the tenets of the music and its influences.
His 2016 CD,
“Blue Metamorphosis” is an early testament to his prodigy status. Internationally
known artist, Taj Mahal stated in that CD’s liner notes, “That’s my Wonderboy,
the Wunderkind. He’s a great new voice of the 21st century in the
acoustic blues. I just love the way he plays.”
Jontavious Willis performs LIVE @ Auburn Public Theater, Auburn, NY February 21, 2019
In two prolific sets that
mesmerized and enthralled the APT audience (who packed the theater’s “stage
right” intimate club space) to participate in his joyous performance on every
song, this musician caressed words; deftly picked at strings, and blended his
multi-dimensional voice with artful guitar and harmonica playing in a
celebratory acknowledgement of the Blues and in one case, the soulfulness of
Prince and James Brown.
And when in Auburn, NY
check out programmed events at Auburn Public Theater.
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aaduna- an online adventure with words and images - a globally read, multi-cultural, and diverse online literary and visual arts journal established in #seward2010. Visit us at www.aaduna.org where we put measurable actions to our words.