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Bluesman Christone “Kingfish” Ingram is slated to perform as part of the Jazz Fest’s free Headliner Series this evening.

Ingram has had a meteoric rise, creating his first album at 19 years old, performing two songs in the Marvel TV show, “Luke Cage,” winning a Grammy, and, most recently, recording an album in front of a live crowd, “Live in London.”

“This album is a short lifetime in the making,” says Ingram.

The 17-song record is infused with the energy of that “standing room only” crowd. Throughout the album, cheers and hollers from an enthusiastic audience can be heard. Ingram says that feedback loop bled into his and his band members’ performance.

Christone “Kingfish” Ingram (Photo by Colin Hart)

“I also have been extensively touring with my band, which truly made recording a live album seamless,” he adds. “It’s all a no-brainer and something that makes me deeply proud.”

The album includes two new original songs: “Midnight Heat,” a crooning cry for love during a noisy night, and “Mississippi Night”, a 10-minute instrumental flavored with Ingram’s flamboyant guitar solos.

Other tracks featured include favorites from Ingram’s other albums, such as his explosive set opener, “She Calls Me Kingfish,” a blistering version of Michael “Iron Man” Burks’ “Empty Promises,” and a tender tribute to his late mother, “Rock & Roll.”

Ingram’s roots in Mississippi, in the city of Clarksdale, are just 10 miles away from the crossroads where Robert Johnson legendarily sold his soul for musical talent. Born to a family of singers and musicians, he fell in love with music as a child, initially playing drums and then bass.

He switched to guitar at a young age and took classes at the Delta Blues Museum, performing at the White House for Michelle Obama as part of a delegation of high school student musicians. 

Richard “Daddy Rich” Crisman and the late Bill “Howl-N-Madd” Perry provided mentorship to the young musician as well as his moniker. Perry gave the name “Kingfish,” a reference to an “Amos n’ Andy” show character, to Ingram.

The bluesman will play at the East Ave and Chestnut Street stage.

For show times and ticket prices, see the full Jazz Fest schedule. For the Beacon’s Jazz Fest coverage, click here.

Jacob Schermerhorn is a Rochester Beacon contributing writer and data journalist. The Beacon welcomes comments and letters from readers who adhere to our comment policy including use of their full, real name. Submissions to the Letters page should be sent to [email protected]

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