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Jazz / Blues

Joe Bonamassa

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Bio

Born in upstate New York, Joe Bonamassa started playing guitar, on a short-scale Chiquita, at the age of four. By seven he had graduated to a full-scale model and a year later, he was playing...

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Born in upstate New York, Joe Bonamassa started playing guitar, on a short-scale Chiquita, at the age of four. By seven he had graduated to a full-scale model and a year later, he was playing the blues like a veteran. At ten, Joe began performing at local venues and at twelve, he was asked to open for B. B. King. The blues legend, after hearing Joe play for the first time, declared, "This kids potential is unbelievable. He's one of a kind." Kings high regard for Joe would be echoed by other guitar greats the young performer would go on to work with, including Buddy Guy, Danny Gatton, Robert Cray and Stephen Stills. While still in his teens, Joe met musician Berry Oakley, Jr., and together they put together the group Bloodline.

To celebrate 2003 Year of the Blues, Bonamassa released Blues Deluxe, featuring nine cover versions of blues classics along with three originals. Around this time, Joe became involved with Blues in the Schools, a program developed by the Blues Foundation to help perpetuate the heritage and legacy of blues music. The lectures take teenage students on a journey, tracing the evolution of blues music, from its birth among the field workers of the Delta during the late 1800s up to the present day. The lectures are followed by a live performance by Bonamassa.

Bonamassa's next CD, Had To Cry Today, continued where Blues Deluxe left off. Mixing original and classic blues, the CD incorporates influences of Chicago, Delta and British blues into something electrifying and wholly unique. In the summer of 2005, Bonamassa was personally asked by BB King to open for his landmark 80th Birthday Celebration Tour, and a few months later in January 2006, Bonamassa, in recognition of efforts in promoting blues music, was nominated as the youngest member of The Blues Foundation committee board.

Bonamassa's latest CD, You and Me, is scheduled for a June 6, 2006 release. The new CD marks the debut collaboration of Bonamassa and producer Kevin Shirley (Led Zeppelin, The Black Crowes, Aerosmith, Joe Satriani). A powerful fusion of the big rock sound and swampy blues, You and Me gets much of its inspiration from such masters as Peter Green, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton and John Lee Hooker. Bonamassa makes his home in Los Angeles.