At 22 years of age, Jontavious Willis is already a formidable blues talent. Largely self-taught, he has highly developed skills at Delta and Piedmont guitar styles, as well as playing banjo and harmonica. In 2015, his talent got the attention of Taj Mahal and Keb Mo, who took him on tour and helped him fund and produce his latest release, Spectacular Class.
Like his mentors, he brings a keen sense for history and for the earlier musicians who created the music we call blues. He says that blues is the foundation of most American popular music, including jazz, rock and rap.
This year, Centrum Port Townsend named Jontavious artistic director for acoustic blues. Centrum's Acoustic Blues Workshop happens July 26-Aug. 2, 2020.
His live set features a mix of originals and well-chosen covers, and this day he performed two of his own songs along with some blues standards.