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Jarekus Singleton refuses to lose
Young blues sensation to perform in Charlotte June 19
 
Published Wednesday, June 18, 2014 4:00 am
by Michaela L. Duckett

 

PHOTO/PAUL NATKIN
Jarekus Singleton, whose music melds hip hop, rock and blues tradition, will perform in Charlotte June 19 at the Evening Muse.

At just 29 years old, Jarekus Singleton is looking to follow in the footsteps of Charley Patton, Muddy Waters, B.B. King and other musical legends like him who hailed from Mississippi.

But Singleton is not into riding coattails. He’s looking to blaze a trail of his own with his cutting edge sound – equally rooted in rap, rock and blues.

“Blues is honest music,” he said. “I love the blues tradition and have always been inspired by the masters. But I want to create something for today’s audience that is as original and new as those blues masters were when they first started making records.”

Singleton is celebrating the release of his new album “Refuse to Lose” with a live performance in Charlotte on June 19 at The Evening Muse.

With a bold vision, Singleton is offering something new to contemporary blues fans melding hip-hop wordplay with rock energy and soulful vocals.

His passion for music came naturally as he was born into a family of church musicians and vocalists. At age 9, Singleton’s uncle taught him to play bass guitar. After playing in his grandfather’s gospel band, Singleton switched to lead guitar and began sharpening his instrumental and vocal skills.

In addition to the heavy musical influence of his family, Singleton also looked to blues masters King and Stevie Ray Vaughn, rappers Twista and Jay Z and even country artist Brad Paisley for inspiration.

His musical aspirations nearly took a backseat to his dreams of playing professional basketball. Jenkins was a highly regarded player at Southern Mississippi University until an injury brought him back to focusing on music full time.

He began his career as a rapper and then decided to combine his lyrical skills with the music of his Mississippi heritage, putting his own unique spin on modern blues.

“I want to create blues for the 21st century,” he said.

In 2011, Singleton self-released his first album, “Heartfelt,” to critical acclaim. Heralded as a “star on the rise,” Guitar Center named him the 2011 King of the Blues in Mississippi. He also received the Jackson Music Award for 2012 Blues Artists of the year and 2013 Local Entertainer of the Year.

A staple at clubs and musical festivals around the South, Singleton has performed twice at the world-renowned Chicago Blues Festival. He has also been featured at South Carolina’s Lowcountry Blues Festival.

Tickets to see Singleton perform in Charlotte are $8 in advance and $10 day of show. Visit www.EveningMuse.com for more details.

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