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Raise Your Voice

VARIOUS ARTISTS - RAISE YOUR VOICE The courage and moral clarity shown by the student survivors of the recent mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida struck an immediate emotional chord with the American public, bringing home the reality of gun violence. The situation is powerfully addressed in [...]

Raise Your Voice2018-10-16T01:49:14+00:00

Raise Your Voice

MAKE A DONATION TO THE RAISE YOUR VOICE PROJECT     The courage and moral clarity shown by the student survivors of the recent mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida struck an immediate emotional chord with the American public, bringing home the reality of gun violence. [...]

Raise Your Voice2018-10-12T23:31:21+00:00

KEVIN BURT: LVF To Release The Debut ‘Heartland and Soul’ October 29th

We’re very excited to share this huge musical talent to the world with this much-anticipated, stunning debut recording from Kevin Burt - HEARTLAND & SOUL out October 29th on Little Village Foundation Records! The Iowa based Burt’s vocals are absolutely amazing – extremely powerful, rich, warm, expressive and exploding with SOUL!! Another killer sounding album [...]

KEVIN BURT: LVF To Release The Debut ‘Heartland and Soul’ October 29th2018-09-27T06:12:28+00:00

Kevin Burt

KEVIN BURT - HEARTLAND AND SOUL 2018 International Blues Challenge Winner in 3 categories!! 1st place Solo/Duo, best Solo/Duo guitarist, & best harmonica player award!! BIG MAN, BIG VOICE, BIG HEART, BIG LOVE! We’re very excited to share this huge musical talent to the world with this much-anticipated, stunning debut recording from Kevin [...]

Kevin Burt2018-09-27T06:01:39+00:00

LIVING BLUES: Aki Kumar ‘Hindi Man Blues’ Review

In 2016, Aki Kumar turned heads with Aki Goes to Bollywood, an unprecedented project that fused blues with Bollywood- style Indian pop—two genres not known for breaking with tradition. The unlikely union led Jason Ricci to lovingly pronounce it a “marketing nightmare” in the album’s liner notes, but it went on to establish the Mumbai [...]

LIVING BLUES: Aki Kumar ‘Hindi Man Blues’ Review2018-09-01T20:39:39+00:00

LIVING BLUES: Marcel Smith ‘Everybody Needs Love’ Review

Sacramento singer and multi-instrumentalist Marcel Smith was still in his 20s when he first recorded back in 1993 for the hometown Have Mercy imprint as a member of a group called the Soul Prophets. With Smith’s soul-searing vocals and Robert Nakajima’s fire-spitting guitar, that set, Coming From the Old School, ranks as a serious contender for the Best Album That Nobody Heard award, but [...]

LIVING BLUES: Marcel Smith ‘Everybody Needs Love’ Review2018-09-01T20:47:52+00:00

BILLBOARD MAGAZINE: Marjory Stoneman Douglas Students Releasing ‘Raise Your Voice’ Album Before Midterm Elections

After a group of students from Parkland, Florida's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School crisscrossed the nation this summer on their "Road to Change" tour, they will now lift their voices before the November midterm elections on an inspiring collection of songs titled Raise Your Voice: The Sound of Student Protest. The 11-track album, due Oct. [...]

BILLBOARD MAGAZINE: Marjory Stoneman Douglas Students Releasing ‘Raise Your Voice’ Album Before Midterm Elections2018-08-22T20:29:48+00:00

BLUES JUNCTION: Artist Spotlight: Little Village Foundation and Founder Jim Pugh

Jim Pugh, who many of our readers know as the longtime keyboard player in the Robert Cray Band, has recently embarked on a very exciting and interesting endeavor called the Little Village Foundation. I sat down with Jim recently and we talked about this project, his life in music and his own road to the [...]

BLUES JUNCTION: Artist Spotlight: Little Village Foundation and Founder Jim Pugh2018-07-12T01:37:49+00:00

KPCC TUESDAY REVIEWSDAY: Aki Kumar

Aki Goes to Bollywood, is an unexpected and unexpectedly wonderful meeting of American blues and Indian pop. The meeting happened, though, in California’s Bay Area. The project is part of the Little Village Foundation’s mission to uncover the hidden cultures and music of the state. Other releases have covered folk, blues, mariachi and Latin American [...]

KPCC TUESDAY REVIEWSDAY: Aki Kumar2018-07-02T02:31:27+00:00

PRI’S THE WORLD: Aki Kumar “I wanted to be bigger than Bill Gates — but I fell in love with the blues”

LISTEN TO THE COMPLETE INTERVIEW Aki Kumar moved to Silicon Valley at the age of 18. His goal, like many others, was to be a successful software engineer. But, something happened along the way. Kumar discovered the blues — the music of Howlin' Wolf and of blues clubs in the San Francisco Bay area. Eventually, [...]

PRI’S THE WORLD: Aki Kumar “I wanted to be bigger than Bill Gates — but I fell in love with the blues”2018-07-02T01:41:35+00:00

LVF ANNOUNCES SEVEN NEW ECLECTIC ARTISTS

Little Village Foundation Releases Eclectic Series of Seven New Recordings Featuring California’s Foremost Underground Artists "Nonprofit helps worthy California musicians get wide attention.” -San Francisco Chronicle “[Little Village] label boasts some of the best musicians you’ve never heard of.” -San Jose Mercury News Now in its third year of nationally releasing critically-acclaimed recordings [...]

LVF ANNOUNCES SEVEN NEW ECLECTIC ARTISTS2018-06-29T23:03:20+00:00

Whitney Shay

WHITNEY SHAY - A WOMAN RULES THE WORLD A  two-time  San  Diego  Music  Award  winner  for  “Best  Blues  Artist,”  vivacious  young  vocal  phenom  Whitney  Shay  sings  with  a  commanding  authority  that's  usually  associated  with  artists  twice  her  age.  No  less  an  authority  than  soul  legend  Candi  Staton  called  Shay  "one [...]

Whitney Shay2018-08-06T23:29:30+00:00

Mestizo

MESTIZO - XX ANIVERSARIO Mariachi Mestizo is a modern ensemble that preserves and expands Mexico's centuries-old mariachi tradition. The youthful players, mentored by the veteran mariachi master Juan Morales (Los Camperos), dig deep into the music's history and timeless emotional appeal to make the music vital and current. The young [...]

Mestizo2018-08-06T23:22:49+00:00

Ada Pasternak

ADA PASTERNAK - SWEET DREAMS Ada Pasternak is that rare artist who lives and breathes music while expressing her singular life experiences through unforgettbale art. Born in Moscow to musician parents, Ada came to the U.S. with her family at the age of six to escape persecution along with many [...]

Ada Pasternak2018-08-06T23:12:44+00:00

United By Music

UNITED BY MUSIC - YES WE CAN CAN “There's nuthin' like it! I love everything about it. HOPE! United By Music gives people HOPE! I can't wait to get back to playin' with them.”-Bobby Rush: GRAMMY Award-Winner, UBMNA Mentor “These guys are off the chain! I just love playin' with [...]

United By Music2018-08-06T23:01:35+00:00

Marcel Smith

MARCEL SMITH - EVERYBODY NEEDS LOVE Marcel  Smith's  debut  solo  album,  Everybody  Needs  Love,  marks  the  belated  emergence  of  a  commanding,  massively  talented  vocalist  who’s  been  honing  his  skills  on  the  gospel  circuit  for  decades.  Everybody  Needs  Loveshowcases  a  persuasively  soulful  voice  that's  been  burnished  through  years  of  high-energy [...]

Marcel Smith2018-08-06T23:04:03+00:00

Aki Kumar

AKI KUMAR - HINDI MAN BLUES 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.  Singing  and  playing  harmonica,  he  steeped [...]

Aki Kumar2018-08-06T22:17:59+00:00

Marina Crouse

MARINA CROUSE - NEVER TOO SOON Opera isn't normally thought of as a path to success in the world of jazz and blues, but it's the route (with some detours) that Marina Crouse took to become one of the most notable rising talents  on the San Francisco/Bay Area music scene. Her  early classical training is reflected [...]

Marina Crouse2018-08-06T23:08:26+00:00

LVF SUMMER SHOWCASE AT THE FREIGHT AUGUST 1 – Six Singers And A Mariachi

On August 1st, Little Village Foundation will celebrate the release of 7 new LVR releases at the Freight & Salvage in Berkeley, CA with a Summer Showcase performance featuring LVF artists Ada Pasternak, Aki Kumar, Marcel Smith, Marina Crouse, Mariachi Mestizo, Maurice Tani, Whitney Shay. Six singers and a Mariachi! Doors open at 6:00 and [...]

LVF SUMMER SHOWCASE AT THE FREIGHT AUGUST 1 – Six Singers And A Mariachi2018-08-03T21:31:56+00:00

ELMORE MAGAZINE: Marcel Smith ‘Everybody Needs Love’

The eclectic nonprofit record label Little Village Foundation, which exists to shine a light on underground artists in and near California, has found its voice. From a young age, Marcel Smith’s dynamic vocals—transitioning from smooth, tender and soulful to raw and feverishly uplifting in short order—have electrified churchgoers for years with undeniable conviction and passion. [...]

ELMORE MAGAZINE: Marcel Smith ‘Everybody Needs Love’2018-07-19T19:17:53+00:00

LVF 2018 BLUES MUSIC AWARDS NOMINATIONS

Congratulations to all these people who have recorded/produced or performed with LVF for their 2018 Blues Music Award Nominations! Wee Willie Walker The Paul deLay Band June Core Tony Braunagel Chris Cain Christoffer “Kid” Andersen Rick Estrin Nancy Wright Jim Pugh Curtis Salgado

LVF 2018 BLUES MUSIC AWARDS NOMINATIONS2018-02-14T21:17:00+00:00

VIDEO: A CALVACADE OF LITTLE VILLAGE FOUNDATION STARS

On January 19th, 2018 Little Village Foundation Artists gathered at the Freight and Salvage in Berkeley, CA featuring Aireene Espiritu (Aireene Espiritu & The Itch), Aki Kumar, Chris Cain, Howell Devine, Maurice Tani (Maurice Tani & 77 El Deora), The Sons of The Soul Revivers, and Xóchitl Morales. Watch the video here:

VIDEO: A CALVACADE OF LITTLE VILLAGE FOUNDATION STARS2018-02-15T05:26:19+00:00

DESERT SUN: SEAN WHEELER HAS CONQUERED HIS DEMONS

The Desert Sun Bruce Fessier Wheeler has led more than a dozen bands over 36 years, playing hybrid genres he’s invented, such as “political sleng teng,” “proto-emo jangle rock” and “glam-inspired punk pop.” He might have set the precedent for desert rockers such as Josh Homme and Brant Bjork to feel it’s more important to [...]

DESERT SUN: SEAN WHEELER HAS CONQUERED HIS DEMONS2018-06-29T03:23:26+00:00

LVF ADDS HOWELL DEVINE TO THEIR ROSTER

Music reviewers have had a delicious time with the name of this Bay Area-based blues trio ever since their first record came out in 2012. Their “divine howl” is official now with the Oct. 13 release of HOWL, their fourth album and debut release on renowned musician Jim Pugh’s new label, Little Village Foundation. "These [...]

LVF ADDS HOWELL DEVINE TO THEIR ROSTER2017-11-20T01:24:29+00:00

Howell Devine

HOWELL DEVINE - HOWL “…a real King Biscuit Time vibe in sound, groove, and attitude. Joshua Howell, the band’s guitarist and harmonica player, plays wicked harp loosely in the Rice Miller tradition, with traces of Jaybird Coleman and Little Walter… emotive, straight blues, with sharp and superb guitar sliding & picking… they are wild, [...]

Howell Devine2018-07-31T23:41:20+00:00

XOCHITL MORALES FEATURED ON THE CALIFORNIA REPORT

There is a great feature on Xochitl Morales on the California Report.  "Seventeen-year-old Xochitl Morales has been surrounded by music since she was in the womb. “It’s eat, breathe, sleep mariachi,” she says, as she points out trophies and event posters in her family’s music studio. On the California mariachi scene, everybody knows the Morales family of [...]

XOCHITL MORALES FEATURED ON THE CALIFORNIA REPORT2017-08-22T22:02:36+00:00

SF CHRONICLE: NONPROFIT HELPS WORTHY CALIFORNIA MUSICIANS GET WIDE ATTENTION

Little Village Foundation was featured in The San Francisco Chronicle today! "Listening to the radio as he drove home that night to Santa Ynez (Santa Barbara County), Pugh heard a classic ’50s Frank Sinatra orchestral track recorded at Capitol Records in Hollywood, where Pugh decided on the spot to record the young mariachis because he [...]

SF CHRONICLE: NONPROFIT HELPS WORTHY CALIFORNIA MUSICIANS GET WIDE ATTENTION2017-06-27T03:54:36+00:00

LITTLE VILLAGE FOUNDATION RELEASES NEW RECORDINGS

Featuring Bay Area, Coachella Valley and Central Valley Artists, Bringing Backroads Music from the Fringes to the Masses Santa Ynez, CA – Thursday, April 20, 2017 – Every year, thousands of North American artists release new music vying for the spotlight, trying to break through the noise to get heard and build their fanbase. Through [...]

LITTLE VILLAGE FOUNDATION RELEASES NEW RECORDINGS2017-06-16T22:17:18+00:00

NEW VIDEO: XÓCHITL MORALES INTERVIEW

17-year-old Central Valley high school student Xóchitl Morales is a rising voice amongst the California spoken word scene after her poetry went viral with Buzzfeed’s Pero Like Facebook page spotlighting her piece “Latin-Americans: The Children with a Dark Past.” A member of the Los Angeles “Get Lit” slam poetry group, Xóchitl has performed for California [...]

NEW VIDEO: XÓCHITL MORALES INTERVIEW2017-06-27T17:14:34+00:00

Maurice Tani

MAURICE TANI - THE LOVERS CARD Writing a sentence is hard work. One with a clean line and a nice shape. Good luck with that. So too is writing a melody that’s musical and appears original. Combining both into a song involves talent. Real talent. Like jumping from the [...]

Maurice Tani2018-07-31T23:43:44+00:00

Sean Wheeler

SEAN WHEELER - SAND IN MY BLOOD Desert Legend Sean Wheeler is an American musician and singer-songwriter whose music is generally characterized by emotional intensity, a wide variety of influences, and theatrical, charismatic live performances. He is best known as the frontman of Throw Rag. A lifelong resident of California’s Coachella [...]

Sean Wheeler2018-07-31T23:47:10+00:00

Xochitl Morales

XOCHITL MORALES - DESCANSOS Xochitl Morales is a 17 year old high school student from Delano, California. She the assistant director and trumpet player for Mariachi Juvenil Mestizo, and she plays all of the instruments in the mariachi as well as sings. During the week, she teaches mariachi music to the children [...]

Xochitl Morales2018-06-26T20:07:14+00:00

Chris Cain

CHRIS CAIN - CHRIS CAIN The East San Jose rundown of Chris Cain’s youth was a full cross polination of influence. Cliff Coulter and Robin Ford. Los Tigres del Norte and Smith Dobson. Tons of bars and clubs. Arturo’s Tropical Village, The Starlight Ballroom. Twenty Grand. Hell, The Saddle Rack! On [...]

Chris Cain2018-07-31T23:29:30+00:00

The Sons Of The Soul Revivers

THE SONS OF THE SOUL REVIVERS - LIVE! RANCHO NICASIO For this extraordinary album, The Sons of The Soul Revivers were recorded live at Rancho Nicasio, a Marin County (Ca.) roadhouse famed for presenting roots music, during two sold out shows for the kind of mainstream audiences that don’t [...]

The Sons Of The Soul Revivers2018-07-31T23:33:01+00:00

SF GATE: JIM PUGH ON FOUND MUSIC IN THE BAY AREA

Check out the feature on Jim Pugh and the Little Village Foundation in SF GATE: "Jim Pugh, the veteran keyboard player who toured the world with Etta James and Robert Cray and now roams the Central Valley and Bay Area byways looking for unknown musicians to savor and record, first heard the Filipino American singer [...]

SF GATE: JIM PUGH ON FOUND MUSIC IN THE BAY AREA2017-04-18T23:07:52+00:00

Aireene Espiritu

BACK WHERE I BELONG In spite of the fact that Aireene has never been here, this is where she comes from. ARTIST BIO This album is a prequel. The missing link between the songs she never sang and everything she has done to date. On this album, [...]

Aireene Espiritu2018-07-31T23:49:07+00:00

Aki Kumar

AKI GOES TO BOLLYWOOD Muddy Meets Mumbai PRESS PBS NEWSHOUR - Art Beat Meet San Jose musician Aki Kumar today, and he’ll proudly introduce himself as “The Only Bombay Blues Man.” But there was a time when Kumar, while making a name for himself on the Bay Area blues [...]

Aki Kumar2018-07-31T23:51:59+00:00

Dave Ellis

WITH ANY LUCK BUT BAD Fireside songs from the cowboy trail sung by someone who's lived them PRESS MIDWEST RECORD RECAP Dave Ellis/With Any Luck But Bad: When it comes to cowboy music, if you aren't really into the culture, which runs pretty deep, you only really [...]

Dave Ellis2018-07-31T23:57:19+00:00

John Blues Boyd

THE REAL DEAL A retired roofer and migrant farmworker from Mississippi, singing his own compositions PRESS **** All About Jazz- James Nadal For those who love the blues, the thrill of discovering a new artist is still special. Blues singer John “Blues” Boyd just released The Real [...]

John Blues Boyd2018-08-01T00:02:12+00:00

Los Tres Amigos

THE THREE FRIENDS FROM WHERE THE CLOUDS DESCEND Rare instrumental tales from indigenous Mixtec tradition by musicians living in California PRESS NPR ALT LATINO KQED FM (California) MIDWEST RECORD RECAP NEW CLASSICS UK ARTIST BIO Los Tres Amigos De Snukivo means “the three friends from where the [...]

Los Tres Amigos2018-08-01T00:07:05+00:00

Mariachi Mestizo

TE DOY LA LIBERTAD Youth Mariachi From Delano, Ca. PRESS “The youthful Mariachi Mestizo, mentored by the seasoned mariachi master Juan Morales, dips deep into the well of tradition to make mariachi music their own. A special bonus is the recording technique used, an inviting story unto [...]

Mariachi Mestizo2018-08-01T00:10:22+00:00

Wee Willie Walker

IF NOTHING EVER CHANGES Slow-burning blues and soul sensation with a voice rich in experience PRESS Nominated for 3 Blues Foundation Awards Featured on Dan Akroyd’s Elwood’s Bluesmobile Radio Show No Depression Review Blues Music Magazine Editors Top 10 Pick for 2015 Living Blues Magazine Feature ARTIST [...]

Wee Willie Walker2018-08-01T00:13:08+00:00

Ron Thompson

SON OF BOOGIE WOOGIE Nimble guitar that growls with rocky, raucous blues PRESS BLUES JUNCTION LIVING BLUES MAGAZINE MIDWEST RECORD RECAP KDHX RADIO ST. LOUIS ALLABOUTJAZZ ARTIST BIO Coming from the poor neighborhood of East Oakland, Ron Thompson has lived a true blues life, working hard at [...]

Ron Thompson2018-08-01T00:16:20+00:00

LITTLE VILLAGE FOUNDATION

What We Do We bring music from next door to the world. Strawberry pickers in California who hail from a village in Mexico where the clouds touch the earth. A lightning-fast roadhouse guitarist who exemplifies Oakland biker mayhem. An old hand with horses who sings cowboy songs with true depth. A hard-working retired machinist with [...]

LITTLE VILLAGE FOUNDATION2017-06-27T00:13:37+00:00

NEW LVF ARTISTS: THE SONS OF THE SOUL SURVIVORS!

Paul Liberatore, Marin Independent Journal Thursday, March 2, 2017 For those of us who don’t get to hear traditional gospel quartets very often, if ever, the fact that the Sons of the Soul Revivers are breaking out of the four walls of the church to perform for secular audiences is something of a musical blessing. [...]

NEW LVF ARTISTS: THE SONS OF THE SOUL SURVIVORS!2017-06-27T00:15:05+00:00

Paul Delay

PAUL DELAY - LIVE AT NOTODDEN '97 Paul deLay's untimely death a decade ago at the age of 55 seemed a cruel trick of the cosmos. His death stilled one of the most original voices in all of blues, an artist at the height of his powers, who transcended notions [...]

Paul Delay2018-08-01T00:25:59+00:00

WEE WILLIE WALKER LIVE!

  Available at iTunes: BUY NOW   Little Village Exists Solely From Donations DONATE NOW

WEE WILLIE WALKER LIVE!2017-06-27T00:08:55+00:00

BB KING / BUDDY EBSEN

I had the good fortune to have played on a recording for BB King back in the early 90’s. Honor to have done it but for sure it’s a cred that lots and lots of musicians can claim. Mister King made 100’s of recordings and probably hired 1000’s of musicians. As I recall Albert Collins [...]

BB KING / BUDDY EBSEN2017-06-27T07:11:57+00:00

METRO ACTIVE: Bollywood Blues: Channeling Memphis and Mumbai, Aki Kumar Crafts a Bi-Continental Sound

The blues is a beguiling art form. Tangled up in this country’s legacy of slavery and oppression it is first and foremost a folk tradition. It requires no formal training to play and can be sung without instrumental accompaniment. And yet, its simplicity often obscures its power and scope. Though it is most certainly a [...]

METRO ACTIVE: Bollywood Blues: Channeling Memphis and Mumbai, Aki Kumar Crafts a Bi-Continental Sound2018-07-02T01:53:17+00:00

NO DEPRESSION: The Little Village Foundation finds music that needs to be heard

… More recently, I’ve learned that the greatest musicians and songwriters may live right across the street. That’s also the view of veteran blues keyboardist and founder of Little Village foundation Jim Pugh, who told me that great talent is too often hidden in our towns and cities, far from the spotlight so often reserved [...]

NO DEPRESSION: The Little Village Foundation finds music that needs to be heard2018-07-03T22:51:29+00:00

SF GATE: Hardly Strictly Bluegrass: Best moments from Sunday

(Luna Soleil dances with a hula hoop during the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass music festival in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, California, on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016.) Little Village Foundation Presents ... Veteran keyboardist and producer Jim Pugh brought out some of the Bay Area’s finest to not one, but two stages for three hours [...]

SF GATE: Hardly Strictly Bluegrass: Best moments from Sunday2018-07-02T01:08:37+00:00

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE: Aki Kumar fuses blues and Bollywood

Aki Kumar was sure the whole idea was a big mistake. Born and raised in Mumbai, he discovered the blues after moving to the United States, and quit his day job as a software engineer three years ago to focus on his burgeoning career as a harmonica player and vocalist on the South Bay blues [...]

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE: Aki Kumar fuses blues and Bollywood2018-07-02T01:04:17+00:00

SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS: San Jose: Talent scout has knack for finding gifted musicians just ‘across the street’

Seven old-school Sugar Pie DeSanto songs, three Filipino folk songs and a lot of traditional blues. Out of Delano, Calif., youth mariachi band Mariachi Mestizo, led by Juan Morales, will release “Te Doy La Libertad.” Sixteen boys and girls between the ages of 9 and 18 sing and play their hearts out for a vintage [...]

SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS: San Jose: Talent scout has knack for finding gifted musicians just ‘across the street’2018-07-02T01:26:29+00:00

KQED THE CALIFORNIA REPORT: Three New Releases by Boundary-Bending Bay Area Artists

One of my favorite new albums is Oakland folk singer Aireene Espiritu’s “Back Where I Belong,” a project focusing on songs by or associated with Bay Area R&B great Sugar Pie DeSanto. It’s one of four new roots-music-with-a-twist projects released by the pianist Jim Pugh’s Little Village Foundation. The CD that’s gotten the lion’s share [...]

KQED THE CALIFORNIA REPORT: Three New Releases by Boundary-Bending Bay Area Artists2018-07-04T02:28:38+00:00

DOWNBEAT: Aki Kumar ‘Aki Goes To Bollywood’

3 1/2 STARS Aki Kumar, a smart Chicago-style harmonica player born in Mumbai but long based in San Jose, dovetails Indian pop songs from Bollywood with the rhythms and spirit of the blues. He whets his imagi-nation on hear-it-to-believe-it “Eena Meena Deeka” and 10 other tunes recorded with help from friends like guitarist (and sitar [...]

DOWNBEAT: Aki Kumar ‘Aki Goes To Bollywood’2018-07-02T01:38:17+00:00

SF GATE: Aireene Espiritu on the road with a ukulele

Like the subject of “Bag Woman,” a song she wrote and recorded in 2014, Aireene Espiritu has no house or apartment of her own. She does have a car — a 2005 Prius — that she uses to travel from gig to gig along a route that includes Northern and Southern California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho [...]

SF GATE: Aireene Espiritu on the road with a ukulele2018-07-04T02:07:45+00:00

KQED: Blowin’ the Blues Bollywood-Style with Aki Kumar

Meet San Jose musician Aki Kumar today, and he'll proudly introduce himself as “The Only Bombay Blues Man.” But there was a time when Kumar, while making a name for himself on the Bay Area blues scene more than a decade ago, would intentionally downplay his Indian heritage. He wasn't so forthright about immigrating from [...]

KQED: Blowin’ the Blues Bollywood-Style with Aki Kumar2018-07-02T02:05:26+00:00

HYPERALLERGIC: World Music Doesn’t Exist: Aki Kumar ‘Aki Goes To Bollywood’

There are critics out there made so uncomfortable by how foreign music is marketed to Western listeners, especially Europeans, that they’ve sworn off any sort of foreign style — charming music, maybe, but to like it would contribute to imperialism, colonialism, fetishization of the Other, and such. One shouldn’t blame the music for its marketing, [...]

HYPERALLERGIC: World Music Doesn’t Exist: Aki Kumar ‘Aki Goes To Bollywood’2018-07-02T02:21:08+00:00

MORE THAN 10 BUT NOT 20

That’s how many of them there were standing with him outside Mother’s Cafeteria. We shook hands but one of his buddies had to remind me that we’d met before. More than once. I hate when that happens. Anyway, Tulane coeds. More than 10 but not 20. And all of them were drunk. More than a [...]

MORE THAN 10 BUT NOT 202017-06-27T07:14:02+00:00

WEE WILLIE WALKER WINS!

2016 Living Blues Awards Wee Willie Walker wins Comeback of the Year and Best Blues / Southern Soul Album Awards! Critics’ Poll Blues Artist of the Year (Male)  Buddy Guy Blues Artist of the Year (Female)  Shemekia Copeland Most Outstanding Blues Singer  Otis Clay Most Outstanding Musician (Guitar)  Lurrie Bell Most Outstanding Musician (Harmonica)  Sugar [...]

WEE WILLIE WALKER WINS!2017-06-27T00:10:22+00:00

THE CLASSICAL ARTS: John “Blues” Boyd Is ‘The Real Deal’ When It Comes to the Mississippi Blues

Mississippi-born musician John "Blues" Boyd is The Real Deal when it comes to blues music. The soulful septuagenarian, now based in California, just released a new album staked on this swaggering attestation of showmanship. Boyd plays the San Jose Jazz Summer Fest this month to back up his artistically audacious claim. The Real Deal, recorded [...]

THE CLASSICAL ARTS: John “Blues” Boyd Is ‘The Real Deal’ When It Comes to the Mississippi Blues2018-07-04T03:26:19+00:00

AKI KUMAR PRI THE WORLD INTERVIEW

I wanted to be bigger than Bill Gates — but I fell in love with the blues Credit: Ola Carlvik This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview. DOWNLOAD HERE   Aki Kumar moved to Silicon Valley at the age of 18. His goal, like many others, was to be a [...]

AKI KUMAR PRI THE WORLD INTERVIEW2017-06-27T00:11:03+00:00

KOIN: Waterfront Blues Festival Day 4: Mariachi Mestizo, Aireene Espiritu & Aki Kumar

Though the official start of the final day of the Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival doesn't happen until noon, bands and fans were there very early. The Mariachi Mestizo group arrived early and showed their style and support. It also isn't hard to find people who regularly attend all 4 days of the Safeway Waterfront Blues [...]

KOIN: Waterfront Blues Festival Day 4: Mariachi Mestizo, Aireene Espiritu & Aki Kumar2018-07-04T03:16:41+00:00

VIDEOS

LVF NIGHT AT THE FREIGHT & SALVAGE 2018 SEAN WHEELER "I'M GLAD" XÓCHITL MORALES INTERVIEW MARIACHI MESTIZO AT CAPITOL STUDIOS, HOLLYWOOD, CA JOHN BLUES BOYD INTERVIEW AIREENE ESPIRITU “DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE” MARIACHI MESTIZO (JUVINAL) MARCH 2016 WEE WILLIE WALKER AND CURTIS [...]

VIDEOS2018-02-15T04:41:40+00:00

NO DEPRESSION: Village Undertaking: Aireene Espiritu Pays Tribute to Sugar Pie DeSanto

California-based troubadour Aireene Espiritu has been a favorite on the folk circuit for some years, releasing several acclaimed CDs of her own original music and touring extensively throughout the US and in Europe. Now she's putting her mark on the blues, having been tapped by Jim Pugh, founder of Little Village Foundation, a non-profit producer [...]

NO DEPRESSION: Village Undertaking: Aireene Espiritu Pays Tribute to Sugar Pie DeSanto2018-07-04T02:59:58+00:00

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE: THE WONDER OF WANDERING

Aireene Espiritu Jim Pugh, the veteran keyboard player who toured the world with Etta James and Robert Cray and now roams the Central Valley and Bay Area byways looking for unknown musicians to savor and record, first heard the Filipino American singer Aireene Espiritu a few years ago at the Folk Alliance conclave [...]

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE: THE WONDER OF WANDERING2017-06-27T00:08:06+00:00

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE: Jim Pugh on found music in the Bay Area

Jim Pugh, the veteran keyboard player who toured the world with Etta James and Robert Cray and now roams the Central Valley and Bay Area byways looking for unknown musicians to savor and record, first heard the Filipino American singer Aireene Espiritu a few years ago at the Folk Alliance conclave in Oakland. She was [...]

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE: Jim Pugh on found music in the Bay Area2018-07-02T00:56:50+00:00

ALL ABOUT JAZZ: Aireene Espiritu ‘Back Where I Belong’

How can someone go back to where they have never been? How can a ukulele playing folk singer accomplish searing blues and soul vocals with such sincere expression and emotion? These are just two of the mysteries surrounding Aireene Espiritu. Her release Back Where I Belong, reveals the answers, and much more. Though Espiritu has [...]

ALL ABOUT JAZZ: Aireene Espiritu ‘Back Where I Belong’2018-07-04T02:40:41+00:00

INDIA CURRENTS: What America Sounds Like: The music of Aki Kumar and Aireene Espiritu

Talent “that wouldn’t otherwise be heard” is what Jim Pugh, founder of Little Village Foundation, looks for and then goes about promoting. “It’s like pebbles on the beach. You pick up one and it’s beautiful, but when you hold four together the commonality emerges. It’s breathtaking, and the bigger picture of what America really sounds [...]

INDIA CURRENTS: What America Sounds Like: The music of Aki Kumar and Aireene Espiritu2018-07-02T02:48:38+00:00

HUFFINGTON POST: Upward Spirals and Beyond: Aireene Espiritu

When Jim Pugh [founder, Little Village Foundation] asked if I’d be interested in recording Sugar Pie DeSanto’s songs, I was open to it, thought it might be a really fun project, especially being something different from my usual folk scene. I had seen Sugar Pie live many years ago at a blues festival in Ashland, [...]

HUFFINGTON POST: Upward Spirals and Beyond: Aireene Espiritu2018-07-04T02:52:01+00:00

VIDEO: MARIACHI MESTIZO AT CAPITOL STUDIOS, HOLLYWOOD, CA

Check out a video of Mariachi Mestizo recording at Capitol Studios in Hollywood, CA. En las noches de sábado, todo lo que necesitamos es el traje de charro para sentir cuan arraigadas están en nuestras venas los guacos de mi padre y las tonadas de mi abuela. El guitarrón y el arpa, la [...]

VIDEO: MARIACHI MESTIZO AT CAPITOL STUDIOS, HOLLYWOOD, CA2017-06-27T17:15:47+00:00

GRATEFUL WEB: Little Village Foundation Brings American Backroads Music To The Masses

In the day and age of instant discovery of new music on the Internet, it's easy to assume that all emerging artists utilize YouTube, Spotify, and social media as their primary ticket to stardom. It's 2016, throngs of artists have launched their careers online over the past quarter of a century. But what about those [...]

GRATEFUL WEB: Little Village Foundation Brings American Backroads Music To The Masses2018-07-02T01:19:31+00:00

NEWSLETTER: MARCH 2016

Mariachi Mestizo From Delano, Ca. If you live in California you drive a lot. I drive a lot. On a noticeably warm Sunday afternoon this past fall I pointed the car inland towards Visalia, driving up 101 past Templeton, over the hill at Paso Robles and then right at Fresno down to Visalia. Woodlake actually. You probably haven’t [...]

NEWSLETTER: MARCH 20162017-06-27T07:16:02+00:00

THE BLUES MOBILE: Elwood’s Blues Breaker Wee Willie Walker

William Walker, known as Wee Willie Walker, was a member of the gospel group, the Redemption Harmonizers when they traveled from Memphis to Minneapolis in 1960. When the group left, he stayed. His voice has been featured on many soul and gospel tracks over the years. But he never had much luck in the recognition [...]

THE BLUES MOBILE: Elwood’s Blues Breaker Wee Willie Walker2018-07-04T03:43:32+00:00

NO DEPRESSION: A Voice that Finally Gets to Shine; Wee Willie Walker

Serendipity played a huge part in this disc and it seems to simply grow from there. Rick Estrin was introduced to this singer’s music by Walker’s manager, he loved and recognized the voice from his days as a youngster growing up and getting interested in music. He fell in love with what he was hearing, [...]

NO DEPRESSION: A Voice that Finally Gets to Shine; Wee Willie Walker2018-07-04T03:40:33+00:00

BMA ANNOUNCED! WEE WILLIE WALKER NOMINATED 3X!!!

Wee Willie Walker Nominated 3x For The Blues Music Awards!!! The Blues Foundation Mission To preserve blues heritage, celebrate blues recording and performance, expand worldwide awareness of the blues, and ensure the future of this uniquely American art form December 2015 Newsletter The Blues Foundation Announces 2016 Blues Music Awards Nominees Acoustic Album Doug MacLeod [...]

BMA ANNOUNCED! WEE WILLIE WALKER NOMINATED 3X!!!2017-06-27T02:40:57+00:00

THE HAMMOND B3 ORGAN

The Hammond B3 has been the organ of choice since Jimmy Smith popularized it as a jazz instrument in the 1950’s. There were some before him but really it’s mass secular popularity started around then. Before that time it had been a mainstay of the church, mostly Baptist churches. Combined with the Leslie tremolo cabinets [...]

THE HAMMOND B3 ORGAN2017-06-27T07:16:40+00:00

MARIACHEROS IN DELANO, CA

Mariacheros resting after an evening’s performance in Delano, Ca. Ole! I’m excited for the new year and looking forward to informing you all about the projects that will be happening. This cross cultural music platform we’ve created really does build empathy. Simply put, I’ve see it with eyes and heard it with my own ears. [...]

MARIACHEROS IN DELANO, CA2017-06-27T07:17:08+00:00

NEW CLASSICS UK: Dave Ellis ‘Any Luck But Bad’

As a boy raised outside Taft, California, Dave Ellis at 10 years old was already working with horses. His father worked in the oil fields in nearby Bakersfield and later Dave would follow along in his footsteps, working in the oilfields just like his dad. In the 1950’s he was witness to the birthing of [...]

NEW CLASSICS UK: Dave Ellis ‘Any Luck But Bad’2018-07-12T00:53:47+00:00

MIDWEST RECORD RECAP: Dave Ellis – With Any Luck But Bad

When it comes to cowboy music, if you aren’t really into the culture, which runs pretty deep, you only really know polar opposites like Ian Tyson and Michael Martin Murphey. Ellis, a real old time cowboy, might fall somewhere in the great middle between the two but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t make a mark. [...]

MIDWEST RECORD RECAP: Dave Ellis – With Any Luck But Bad2018-07-12T00:56:37+00:00

MIDWEST RECORD RECAP: Ron Thompson ‘Son of Boogie Woogie

An itinerant electric bluesman, Thompson was once the virtual house band for the Oakland chapter of Hell's Angels but he couldn't parlay that into the success Doobie Brothers found as the house band for a biker bar and kept rolling down the line to the next gig like a true itinerant bluesman. Gathering praise from [...]

MIDWEST RECORD RECAP: Ron Thompson ‘Son of Boogie Woogie2018-07-12T01:40:14+00:00

PLAYING MUSIC AND DRIVING A CAR 2015

I can fit all I need in my 2006 ScionXB. A piano and an organ. An amp, site stands and seat. Cords. A shoebox full of cds. And then some clothes in a bag with a couple ironed shirts and maybe a jacket that I’ll hang in the back. Now that makes it pretty full. [...]

PLAYING MUSIC AND DRIVING A CAR 20152017-06-27T07:17:35+00:00

VIDEO: HOW DO YOU BECOME A GREAT GUITAR PLAYER?

Steep yourself in gospel quartet music. Ask 16 year old Kingfish Ingram. I had the pleasure of playing with him 3x at The Waterfront Blues Festival over the Fourth of July Weekend. He’s a big Jubu Smith fan. He’s a big Spanky Alfred fan. And Lee Williams. And The Lumzy Sisters. Kingfish is a huge [...]

VIDEO: HOW DO YOU BECOME A GREAT GUITAR PLAYER?2017-06-27T07:22:17+00:00

KQED THE CALIFORNIA REPORT: New Albums from the Golden State: Los Tres Amigos – Snuviko

With us all having recording studios in our pockets and everything we capture put on YouTube within minutes, the notion of an Alan Lomax or Arhoolie Records’ Chris Strachwitz intrepidly making field recordings to preserve cultural music expressions, seems anachronistic if not obsolete. "The Three Friends from Where the Clouds Descend" by the trio Los [...]

KQED THE CALIFORNIA REPORT: New Albums from the Golden State: Los Tres Amigos – Snuviko2018-07-12T00:59:47+00:00

ALL ABOUT JAZZ: Ron Thompson ‘Son Of Boogie Woogie’

The Little Village Foundation is a non-profit record label started up under the direction of keyboardist Jim Pugh, who recently retired after twenty-five years with Robert Cray. The mission of this organization is to seek and record obscure yet prodigious musicians who have not received proper recognition and respect. Oakland guitarist Ron Thompson certainly falls [...]

ALL ABOUT JAZZ: Ron Thompson ‘Son Of Boogie Woogie’2018-07-12T01:21:17+00:00

MIDWEST RECORD RECAP: Los Tres Amigos – Snuviko: Three Friends from Where the Clouds Descend

LOS TRES AMIGOES-SNUVIKO/Three Friends from Where the Clouds Descend: This might be pretty wild. Back when the earth was cooling, we used to hitch hike to school. For some reason, a Latino family ‘adopted' us on our morning trek and, since they stopped or us almost everyday, we saved a load in bus fare. They [...]

MIDWEST RECORD RECAP: Los Tres Amigos – Snuviko: Three Friends from Where the Clouds Descend2018-07-12T01:05:51+00:00

VIDEO: MIXTEC ON A FRIDAY NIGHT IN SANTA MARIA, CA

In Santa Maria last Friday I heard Mixtec spoken for the first time. Esperanza Salazar translated from Mixtec into English and replica swiss. It was an amazing evening of music and conversation.

VIDEO: MIXTEC ON A FRIDAY NIGHT IN SANTA MARIA, CA2017-06-27T17:18:27+00:00

SANTA MARIA SUN: REACHING ACROSS THE DIVIDE: THE MIXTECO

Here’s an article from The Santa Maria Sun by Camillia Lanham that’s about The Mixteco living in Santa Maria. Their music is one of the things Little Village is seeking to document. Truly a fascinating read. Cover Story Immigrants from the La Mixteca region of Mexico face more than just the U.S./Mexico border as a [...]

SANTA MARIA SUN: REACHING ACROSS THE DIVIDE: THE MIXTECO2017-06-27T04:06:54+00:00

ISLAMIC PRAYER IN GOLETA, CA

Bear Erickson and I recently attended a weekly prayer service at The Islamic Society of Santa Barbara which is held at The Goleta Community Center every Friday at 1:20pm. I had called earlier and spoke with representative Mansoor Hassain . He met us when we arrived, we took off our shoes and sat on the [...]

ISLAMIC PRAYER IN GOLETA, CA2017-06-27T07:24:42+00:00