Moes Alley Santa Cruz Nightclub
Aki Goes To Bollywood featuring June Core and special guest Rusty Zinn
Appearing Live at Moes Alley
Thursday, January 10th
2 Sets, No Opener - "Unique, infectious & audacious mashup of Blues & Bollywood"
8:00 PM, Doors Open 7:30 PM, $10 Advance, $15 Day Of Show,

Moe's Alley presents Aki Goes To Bollywood featuring June Core and special guest Rusty Zinn.  This is a special evening with performance featuring 2 sets of live music and no opener.  Doors open at 7:30pm and the show starts at 8pm.

Aki Goes to Bollywood is a unique, infectious and audacious mashup of American Blues & retro Bollywood (Indian) music that represents American multi cultural-ism at it's finest. Hailed as a bonafide star among the next generation of West Coast blues artists, Aki Kumar makes his debut at the legendary Moe's Alley in Santa Cruz, showcasing songs from his latest album "Hindi Man Blues" with the help of top SF Bay Area blues musicians such as world-renowned drummer June Core. Blues guitar great Rusty Zinn also makes a very special appearance at this party to deliver original compositions from June Core's celebrated blues record "Rhythm & Blues".

Aki Kumar- Indian-born, San Jose-based Aki Kumar, aka "The Only Bombay Blues Man," left his home in Mumbai with the intention of working as a software engineer in Silicon Valley. Then he discovered the blues, and his life dramatically changed. 

With his Little Village Foundation debut, Aki Goes to Bollywood, he began integrating elements of Indian music into his musical and visual presentation, making for a multi-cultural mash-up that sounds like no one else, yet never loses touch with its blues foundation. Kumar’s follow-up album, Hindi Man Blues, boasts his most ambitious cross-cultural fusion to date, and features liner notes by veteran blues great Charlie Musselwhite. Kumar has performed at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival, has been featured on PRI “The World,” and has toured in Russia and Scandinavia.

Kumar’s  visionary  stylistic  mix  has  already  won  him  widespread  attention.  In  addition  to  the  local  blues  venues,  where  he’s  built  an  enthusiastic  audience,  he’s  performed  at  the  prestigious  Hardly  Strictly  Bluegrass  festival,  been  featured  on  PRI  “The  World,”  and  has  toured  in  Russia  and  Scandinavia.  Now,  after  spending  more  than  a  decade  developing  his  sound  with  the  help  of  some  of  the  Bay  Area’s  finest  blues  players,  Aki  Kumar  continues  to  take  his  love  for  the  blues  to  new  and  fascinating  place.

June Core- Born in Cleveland, Ohio, June is a self-taught musician. In his early career June gigged in and around Cleveland with organist Eddie Baccus and with various funk, jazz and soul groups. In 1978 June was introduced to Robert Lockwood Jr. and Johnny Shines. Eddie Baccus suggested that Robert use June for an upcoming tour. Lockwood reluctantly agreed to hire an unproven drummer and, consequently, the band was fired after the first week because June insisted on playing funk grooves over blues. The club owner recognized talent however, and allowed the band to practice in a broom closet. Robert and Johnny taught June, in one day, five different shuffles to use in any blues. “That was start of my career”, says June. Robert and Johnny Shines became June’s second fathers and his musical relationship with Lockwood lasted nearly ten years. As a result of his relationship with Robert Lockwood, June shared the stage with BB King, James Cotton, Mighty Joe Young, Willie Dixon, and Albert Collins and many others.

In 1987 June headed west to San Jose, California. Shortly thereafter, he was hired by Mark Hummel, a stint that lasted two years. He soon met Andy Santana and, along with Mike Schermer, founded the Soul Drivers, a highly successful Santa Cruz based blues band. In 1991, The Soul Drivers became Angela Stehli’s backup band. June also worked as a side man for Miss Laverne Baker. In 1996 June was asked to join Little Charlie and the Nightcats and spent five years touring with them. In 2004 June was hired by Charlie Musselwhite and has been a member of the band since. June has multiple Blues Music Award nominations and has played on several Grammy nominated recordings.

Rusty Zinn- Born in Long Beach, California in 1970, Rusty Zinn grew up in Santa Cruz.  His brother introduced him to the blues at the age of 15 by bringing home Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf records. As Zinn recalls, “I heard them and asked my brother, ‘What’s that?’ He said, ‘That’s the blues!’ I just loved it.  From then on it just snowballed.”  Rusty picked up the guitar at age 17, fascinated with the styles of Jimmy Rogers, Eddie Taylor, Robert Jr. Lockwood and Luther Tucker (a groundbreaking Chicago and San Francisco-based guitarist famed for his work with James Cotton, Little Walter, Otis Rush, Jimmy Rogers and Muddy Waters).  Tucker played a pivotal role in Rusty’s burgeoning career when he invited an 18-year-old Zinn to jam during a gig near Santa Cruz.  Zinn’s enthusiasm and intensity made such a big impact on Tucker that he took the young guitarist under his wing and shared musical ideas and years of road-tested experience with him.

Zinn quickly made a name for himself playing in several Bay Area blues bands.  As his reputation grew, he backed up touring blues luminaries Snooky Pryor and Jimmy Rogers.  From there he went on the road with Bay Area harp veteran Mark Hummel, logging in countless touring miles while honing his chops.  One of the many gigs Rusty played was a special package show with Jimmy Rogers and Billy Boy Arnold at the San Francisco Blues Festival, where Zinn met Kim Wilson of The Fabulous Thunderbirds.

Wilson was so impressed with Rusty’s playing he invited  him to Austin for the recording of his 1993 album, TIGERMAN. Wilson then asked Zinn to join his band. Soon afterwards, Wilson brought Rusty to the attention of Black Top Records, who signed Rusty to the label and released two critically acclaimed solo albums.  Zinn earned a 1996 Blues Music Award nomination for "Best New Blues Artist."  Zinn toured extensively and won fans all over the country with his blazing live performances and exceptional guitar playing at events like The Monterey Jazz Festival, The Long Beach Blues Festival, Blues By The Bay and The Russian River Blues Festival.  His 1999 appearance at The San Francisco Blues Festival drew rave reviews and wildly enthusiastic ovations from the overflow crowd of seasoned blues fans.

Rusty Zinn is the genuine article,” said Blues Revue. “A young guitarist who is a piece of the blues future.” “He sounds like a future master,” agreed OffBeat. Indeed, Zinn’s future is very bright.  From the minute he strikes the first chord to the last note wrenched from his exhausted strings, Rusty Zinn leaves audiences everywhere amazed, knowing they’ve just witnessed one of the brightest young blues stars to emerge in years. 

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