BB King's Blues Band

Category : Calgary Bluesfest
Aug 24, 2020

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.

Walter King (Saxophone)

Mr Walter King, nephew to Mr. BB King Performed for over 30 years with BB King.

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 1990s, he recorded with Kenny "Blues Boss" Wayne on his Juno Award winning CD. In 1992, the Russell Jackson Band debuted and Jackson released three CDs 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 and is a Graduate of Southern University with a degree in Jazz Studies in Baton Rouge, LA, And 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.

Wilbert A. Crosby (Guitar)

Wilbert is an acclaimed guitar virtuoso with a soulful bluesy sound who's mesmerized audiences nationally and internationally for over 30 years. His great musical consciousness drives a deep commitment to leave a legacy of musical excellence through performance and educating teenage musicians. His extensive experience as a performer, Producer and arranger have seen him work with such greats as Aretha Franklin (2014-current), Carey Bell, Pop and Mavis Staples, and a host of others, including joining BB King's Blues Band. Wilbert has performed at the Grammys and at the White House, as well as appearing at festivals around the globe. An in-demand educator, Wilbert teaches at the Chicago West Community Music Center and does both private and group instruction. Wilbert is the receipient of the Albert King Award (1996).

Darrell Lavigne (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).


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