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The Center For The Arts Presents Keb’ Mo’ with special guest Jackie Venson
Wednesday, April 13, 2022
8:00pm, doors open at 7
Keb’ Mo’s self-titled release under his coined Keb’ Mo’ moniker, reached it’s quarter century milestone in 2019, and over the years, Keb’ has proven that he is a musical force that defies typical genre labels. Album after album, 14 in total, he has garnered 5 GRAMMY awards, including his most recent 2019 release, Oklahoma, which won in the Best Americana Album category. Keb’s list of GRAMMY recognitions continues with 12 GRAMMY nominations, in total, including his 2014 self-produced release, BLUESAmericana, earning three nominations on its own as well as a producer/engineer/artist GRAMMY Certificate for his track on the 2001 Country Album of the Year, Hank Williams Tribute – Timeless. The talented artist has also been awarded 14 Blues Foundation Awards and 6 BMI Awards for his work in TV & Film.
Over the past two decades, Keb’ has cultivated a reputation as a modern master of American roots music through the understated excellence of his live and studio performances. Artists who have recorded his songs include B.B. King, Buddy Guy, the Dixie Chicks, Joe Cocker, Robert Palmer, Tom Jones, Melissa Manchester, Solomon Burke and the Zac Brown Band to name a few. The list of artist collaborations comprises a who’s who in the music industry and includes Bonnie Raitt, Taj Mahal, Vince Gill, Amy Grant, Jackson Browne, Natalie Cole, Lyle Lovett, India Arie, James Cotton, Bobby Rush, Timothy B. Schmit, Marcus Miller and many more. His guitar playing has garnered him two invites to Eric Clapton’s acclaimed Crossroads Festival and has inspired leading instrument makers, Gibson Brands, to issue the Keb’ Mo’ Signature Bluesmaster and Bluesmaster Royale acoustic guitars and Martin Guitars to issue the HD-28KM Keb’ Mo’ Limited Edition Signature model.
He has been featured in TV and film, playing Robert Johnson in the 1998 documentary “Can’t You Hear The Wind Howl,” appeared three times on the television series, “Touched By An Angel,” and was the ghostly bluesman Possum in John Sayles’ 2007 movie, “Honeydripper.” Keb’ created “Martha’s Theme” for the TV show Martha Stewart Living. Keb’ also wrote and performed the theme song for the hit sitcom, Mike & Molly, created by Chuck Lorre and was music composer for TNT’s Memphis Beat starring Jason Lee. In early 2017, nine songs from Keb’s extensive catalog were featured in the film Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Higher Ground on the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channel. This film was also Keb’s first feature film lead acting role. He also appears in an episode on the CMT series “Sun Records” as Howlin’ Wolf and can be heard playing his original song “Operator.” Keb’ has played his iconic version of “America The Beautiful” in the series finale of Aaron Sorkin’s “The West Wing,” as well as at the actual White House for President Obama.
Keb’ Mo’ has been a long-time supporter of the Playing For Change Foundation (PFCF), a nonprofit organization that creates positive change through music education. PFCF provides free music education to children in nine countries, including Brazil, Bangladesh, Ghana, Mali, Nepal, Rwanda, South Africa and the United States, and has established 12 music schools around the world. They also work with partners to address basic needs in the communities where they teach, including providing education, clean water, food, medicines, clothing, books, and school supplies.
Additionally, Keb’ is a celebrity mentor with the Kennedy Center’s Turnaround Arts program, which focuses on elementary and middle schools throughout the US. This highly successful program began under the guidance of Michelle Obama and the President’s Committee for the Arts and Humanities. Each artist adopts a school and becomes a mentor, working with teachers, students, parents, and the community to help build a successful arts education program. Keb’ enjoys his mentorship at The Johnson School of Excellence in Chicago, Illinois.
In 2017, Keb’ Mo’ released TajMo, a collaborative album with the legendary Taj Mahal. The project, which won the 2018 GRAMMY for Best Contemporary Blues Album, features guest appearances by Sheila E., Joe Walsh, Lizz Wright and Bonnie Raitt. At the 39th Annual Blues Music Awards, Keb’ Mo’, alongside Blues Hall of Famer Taj Mahal, was awarded Album of the Year and Contemporary Blues Album of the Year for their first-ever collaboration project, TajMo. Keb’ also took home the title of Contemporary Blues Male Artist of The Year. The multi-generational duo went on to tour the US and Europe in support of their album.
Twenty-five years after the release of his debut album under the moniker Keb’ Mo’, the widely admired artist released his most recent album, Oklahoma (Concord Records), winning him a 2020 GRAMMY Award for Best Americana Album. Featuring cameos from Taj Mahal, Rosanne Cash, Robert Randolph, Jaci Velasquez and Keb’ Mo’s wife, Robbie Brooks Moore, Keb’ delivers an album that pushes his boundaries even further with brand new songs addressing topics such as immigration, depression, pollution, love, female empowerment and more. Following the deeply thought-provoking release, Keb’ lightened the mood with the release of his first-ever holiday album, Moonlight, Mistletoe & You. A decade in the making, Moonlight, Mistletoe & You includes six original songs and four cover tunes including “Please Come Home for Christmas.”
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