Yardbird Suite Blues
From San Francisco Bay Area and Edmonton
MAY 18-19, 2018
TICKETS - MEMBERS $26, GUESTS $30
DOORS 7 PM - SHOW 8 PM
Aki Kumar - harmonica and vocals
Rome Yamilov - guitar
Rodger Stanley - guitar
Chris Grapel - bass
Grant Stovel - drums
Dynamic harp player Aki Kumar, a well respected name among Bay Area
blues artists, is a master of the amplified Chicago blues sound.
Kumar has a unique voice in the blues, blending elements of the
great blues harmonica pioneers with a signature sound of his own.
Kumar grew up in Mumbai, India. The pursuit of a college degree in the United States landed him at San Jose State in California in 1999. But by night, Aki had begun exploring and hanging out at blues clubs in the San Francisco Bay Area, and was especially drawn to the wailing tonal sound of blues harmonica. He led a double life for years, performing his own brand of Chicago blues at night and working as a software engineer by day. In the end he decided to follow his heart, becoming a full time musician, and is now one of the top rising stars of the West Coast blues scene.
After more than a decade of playing with top-notch blues musicians and recording a rock-solid first album "Don't Hold Back" (2014), Kumar took his love for the blues to unexpected places. His second album, "Aki Goes to Bollywood," (2016), is a stylistic mashup of songs from Indian blockbuster films of his childhood with Chicago-style blues. "It's Mumbai meets Muddy Waters," says Kumar, who reworked Hindi-language hits from big names in Indian pop and made them his own. "These songs are national treasures in India, sung by legends," says Kumar. "But I think we pulled it off, and for me, it was the coming together of the music I discovered in the U.S. and my musical roots growing up."
Aki Kumar will be backed up by guitarist Rome Yamilov and local hometown blues veterans The Junior Lockwoods. Born in Russia, raised in the Bay Area and equally at ease with lowdown blues as he is with heavy metal, psychedelic rock and ambient electronica, the talented and versatile Yamilov is one of the youngest and most exciting entrants in today's thriving, cross-cultural West Coast blues scene.
“Kumar is a strong, versatile harmonica player
who draws on styles from Little Walter’s to Jimmy Reed’s, and when
he sings, in robust low-tenor tones, he nails every line with