In the heartland of the Blues, the USA, there are heard to be Blues supporters who, gripped by a panic at the last minute, lament the death of this genre of Jazz. However, this fear is not really justified and it is probably the result of a changing music scene, which sets different priorities than in the last 100 years. A much smaller share of Jazz than blues can be claimed today by the younger Swing, which has reached its peak a long time ago, but which continues to assert itself bravely as a niche product. And this is just another example of a historical form of jazz that has left too big an impression in the history of music mot to continue to exist as a classic. Back to the blues pessimists. Yes, in the past the scene was more diverse and more newcomers than today pushed the blues stages. Nevertheless, not a year goes by without a promising Blues Barden Youngster appearing on the horizon who audibly has what it takes to sing and play his way into the phalanx of Blues greats. And established blues greats don't miss the opportunity to support these youngsters with words and deeds.
For example, Taij Mahal, who verbally rolled out the red carpet for the newcomer Jontavious Willis: “Jontavious Willis. That’s my Wonderboy, the Wunderkind. He’s a great new voice of the 21st Century in the acoustic blues. I just love the way he plays. He has really just delightful timing and a real voice for the music because he was raised in the tradition and the culture. It’s just wonderful to hear him sing. The way he tunes his guitar is just amazing. There’s not a bluesman alive that could pick his instrument up and play it. You’d have to sit there for a good while to figure those tunings out. I had an opportunity to have him grace my stage when I came to Atlanta. He had a thunderous response from the audience. It was just so great. I’m very, very particular and very private about my stage so – and if somebody is on it giving the full run to go, you know that they must be able do whatever it is that they say they can do, and I say that he can do it and more. So I’m just excited that he has a wonderful and amazing future and he’s got a great sound, and we are all lucky to be at this point when this man is starting to launch is going to be an incredible and long career.”
Willis is from Greenville, Georgia, and grew up with his grandfather in the Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church with gospel music. Already at a young age, he showed talent and passion for music and the potential to quickly develop his qualities.
Many fans see Jontavious Willis as a full-fledged blues man who feels particularly at home in country blues. Spectacular Class follows on from his debut album Blue Metamorphosis, which was released in 2016 and earned him enthusiastic reviews. His new album Spectacular Class is likely to meet with similarly enthusiastic acclaim from the press and audience, bursting with convincingly deep roots feeling, instrumental skill and a voice that carries the heart and soul of the blues with an unbroken relationship to its ancient roots. Jontavious Willis is living proof that the blues is anything but dead, that this young singer is facing a glorious future.