Featuring “The King of Bollywood Blues” Aki Kumar
Opener: Heather Hardy & The Dusty City Blues Band
El Casino Ballroom at 7:30 pm on Friday, August 5th
Doors at 6:30, show at 7:30 pm
Advance Tickets: $18 for KXCI and SABHF Members advance/$20 General Public
$25 Day of Show
Listen to KXCI Home Stretch host Hannah Levin’s exclusive interview with Aki Kumar and purchase your tickets in advance to get the best price!
Aki Kumar Interview with Hannah Levin
On Friday, August 5th, the 9th Annual KXCI House Rockin’ Blues Review returns to El Casino Ballroom with Aki Kumar, the King of Bollywood Blues. His unique style of mixing traditional Blues with the Bollywood sounds of his native India has taken the Blues world by storm and is gaining important fans everywhere. The legendary Charlie Musselwhite had this to say about Aki’s 2018 release Hindi Man Blues, “Aki’s singing and his harp playing has always been tasteful with great tone and phrasing. Check it out. I wouldn’t steer you wrong.” And Blues Brother Dan Aykroyd simply describes it as “Really, really, really hot stuff!”
It all started when Aki Kumar migrated from Mumbai to work in Silicon Valley, but he soon shifted his energy into his new-found love, American Blues Music. Quickly immersing himself in the genre, he decided to initially play nothing but straight-ahead Chicago Blues, thus becoming a highly sought-after sideman playing with several West Coast Blues artists. However, his Indian roots began to swell inside, and he felt the need to incorporate his native sounds into to his newly adopted style, the result was his 2016 release Aki Goes to Bollywood. In 2018 he solicited help from famed guitarist Kid Anderson and the result is the genre bending Blues masterpiece Hindi Man Blues.
KXCI’s Blues mastermind Marty Kool is an enthusiastic fan, and he knew Aki’s sound would be perfect for legendary House Rockin’ Blues Review party at Casino Ballroom…and Charlie Musselwhite concurs, “This would be perfect for a party. It’ll have everybody up and dancing and smiling. It’s that much fun.” Here in Tucson, we know the big dance floor at El Casino will be rockin’, maybe even more so than usual and that’s really saying something.
Opening the show will be Tucson’s own Heather Hardy & The Dusty City Blues Band. Formed in 2020, the band features three Arizona Blues Hall of Famers in vocalist/violinist Heather Hardy, guitarist Ed DeLucia, and bassist Nick Augustine. Heather and band are quickly proving to be a formidable foursome churning out blistering blues and irresistible dance numbers in venues and festivals throughout Arizona.
Doors open at 6:30pm, the show starts at 7:30. Advance general admission tickets will be $18 KXCI and Southern Arizona Blues & Heritage Foundation Members and will be $20 advance for the general public. Tickets can be purchased at all Bookmans locations, KXCI.org, and at the door. All tickets will be $25 at the door. Award winning BBQ caterer Allyn Haynes with be creating a unique menu for the night. Dinners will be available for purchase.
All proceeds support KXCI’s mission to connect the communities of Tucson and Southern Arizona to each other and to the world with informative, engaging, and creative community-based programming. KXCI’s own Master of the Blues, Marty Kool will emcee the show. Tune in KXCI at 91.3 FM or listen online at KXCI.org.
KXCI Executive Director Elva De La Torre welcomes all to attend, “We’re thrilled to have folks back on El Casino’s wooden dance floor groovin’ to the sounds of international headliner Aki Kumar. Grab your friends and join us for a special night of great music, food, and community. See you there!”