Billy Branch was discovered by Willie Dixon, the father of modern Chicago Blues, while Billy was still in college.
Willie encouraged Billy to finish his college education, which he did, but instead of going to law school after receiving his political science degree, Billy began touring with the Willie Dixon Chicago All-Stars. This gave Billy the unique opportunity to travel and work as an understudy for the legendary Carey Bell who was planning to leave the All-Stars and form his own band. When Carey took his leave, the young Billy Branch took his place, touring with Willie Dixon for 6 years.
Since those early days, Billy has played on over 300 different recordings including 15 albums under his own name. Billy has recorded with Willie Dixon, Johnny Winter, Keb’ Mo, Lou Rawls, Koko Taylor, Eddy Clearwater, Honeyboy Edwards, Syl Johnson, Lurrie Bell, Ronnie Baker Brooks, John Primer, and Taj Mahal, just to name a few.
Billy has three Grammy Award nominations, having lost one nomination to BB King and Eric Clapton! He served two consecutive terms on the NARAS Grammy Board of Governors and founded the First Grammy Blues Committee. Because Billy’s Blues credentials include dozens of years spent working side-by-side with many of Chicago’s illustrious Blues musicians of years gone by, he is considered an ambassador of Chicago Blues. In that role he has written the forwards to three books, given numerous U.S. State Department cultural exchanges in other countries, presented keynote speeches (one was for the Obama Foundation), and presented to the leaders of Turkey’s Parliament, teaching them to play harmonica! Billy also does commercial voice-overs and has acted in two major big-screen movies.
Billy’s upcoming release on Alligator Records will honour the iconic Little Walter, one of the principal architects of the Chicago Blues sound. His band takes Little Walter’s classics and embed their unique creative synergy This highly anticipated album includes Little Walter’s daughter, Marion Diaz, sharing a few anecdotes of life with her legendary father.
This show also features appearances from Marion Diaz and British Blues Harmonica icon Giles Robson.
Please note that this is an event hire and that tickets are not on sale via the Traverse Box Office. The link below will redirect you to the TicketWeb website.