Partners in blues: Aki Kumar & Jon Lawton to perform at Odd Fellows Lodge in Nevada City | TheUnion.com

Partners in blues: Aki Kumar & Jon Lawton to perform at Odd Fellows Lodge in Nevada City

Submitted to Prospector

Aki Kumar and Jon Lawton have played together off and on over the years, but are now coming together to play some of Kumar's Bollywood pieces, new compositions and blues classics.

Bombay (Mumbai) born, 38-year-old Aki Kumar has been described as a "rising star" in the harmonica blues scene, however, that is very old news as he has moved well beyond that to the journeyman/mentor stage.

He gave up a software engineering career in Silicon Valley to dive full-time into many aspects of the blues world, performing, local and international touring (Europe, South America, Japan), sponsoring a highly touted weekly blues jam at Little Lou's BBQ in Campbell, Calif., for several years, recording and most recently stirring the blues, Bollywood style, with a new CD fusing songs from Bollywood musicals he saw growing up in Bombay with the blues.

Think Mumbai/Memphis fusion. This is a groundbreaking recording that is a unique twist on the blues.

Kumar's blues roots, however, began with listening to the great harp masters such as George Harmonica Smith, Snooky Pryor, Little and Big Walters. West Coast influences were Rick Estrin, Gary Smith, Mark Hummel and Charlie Musselwhite.

Kumar has three CDs, "Don't Hold Back," "It Takes Three" and "Aki Goes To Bollywood," yet he can be found playing on several other recordings. See akikumar.com for more info.

Kumar's partner in blues off and on for many years now is Jon Lawton aka Little Jonny. Lawton is a very talented guitarist who is adept at acoustic and electric guitar.

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He has been playing for over 45 years and has several recordings out with his band Little Jonny And The Giants. He has released seven self-produced CDs, toured Europe and the U.S., backed many major blues figures (John Hammond, Kim Wilson, Mighty Joe Young, Fenton Robinson, James Harman and many others), and his original songs have been recorded by many artists as well.

The Aki Kumar/Jon Lawton Duo will perform both acoustic and electric, touching on a couple of Kumar's Bollywood pieces, new compositions and blues classics at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 17, at the Odd Fellows Lodge, located at 225 Broad St. in Nevada City.

KNOW & GO

WHAT: Aki Kumar & Jon Lawton Blues Duo

WHEN: Doors open at 7 p.m., music at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 17

WHERE: Nevada City Odd Fellows Lodge at 225 Broad St., Nevada City

TICKETS: Advance tickets are $20 and can be purchased at the Briar Patch and online at oddfellowsnc.wordpress.com. Tickets are $25 at the door.

INFO: For more information call 530-265-3900.

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