LITTLE VILLAGE FOUNDATION presents A CAVALCADE OF STARS: featuring AIREENE ESPIRITU, AKI KUMAR, JOHN BLUES BOYD, MARIACHI MESTIZO, RON THOMPSON, with MAURICE TANI and THE LITTLE VILLAGE ALL STARS

LITTLE VILLAGE FOUNDATION presents A CAVALCADE OF STARS: featuring AIREENE ESPIRITU, AKI KUMAR, JOHN BLUES BOYD, MARIACHI MESTIZO, RON THOMPSON, with MAURICE TANI and THE LITTLE VILLAGE ALL STARS

Aki Kumar, John Blues Boyd, Mariachi Mestizo, Ron Thompson, Maurice Tani, The Little Village All Stars

Saturday, January 7th

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

$20 Advance/$22 Door

Ticket price includes a $4 facility fee.

Aireene Espiritu
Aireene Espiritu
Aireene is a singer/songwriter based in Oakland, CA, playing mostly original songs accompanied by latin/african rhythms, folk, bluegrass pickings and inspirations from gospel music - a mix of stompin', swayin', and timeless Americana.
Aki Kumar
Front man and harp player for the San Francisco Bay Area band Tip of the Top, Akarsha Aki Kumar is an ardent student of the blues and a master of the amplified Chicago blues sound.

Kumar derives his style mainly from American harp masters Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson, Big Walter Horton and George Smith, among others. His own playing reflects elements of these players, blended in with a signature sound of his own.

He has shared the stage with some of the finest contemporary harmonica players alive: Rod Piazza, Lazy Lester, Gary Smith, Rick Estrin, Mark Hummel, Charlie Musselwhite and Lee Oskar. Aki Kumar's latest venture, Tip of the Top, is a collaboration with Bay Area blues veterans and has been the culmination of his journey through American roots music. The group performs vintage blues with subtle flair and a respect for the deep history of the genre. Tip of the Top can be seen performing regularly at various venues and festivals in and around the San Francisco Bay Area.

Aki Kumar is a Seydel endorsed artist and plays Seydel 1847 Classic harmonicas at his shows. He is also a featured contributor on David Barrett's Bluesharmonica.com.
Ron Thompson
Ron Thompson
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT
RON THOMPSON

"Ron Thompson, he's my main man!" -- John Lee Hooker, Inductee--Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

"Ron's one of my all time favorite guitar players. I've known Ron over 30 years, maybe 40 years. Long enough to know that in all that time, every time I heard him play, it was always a treat to hear. I'm glad to call him a friend." -- Charle Musselwhite, "Most Outstanding Musician (harmonica)," Living Blues 2007 Readers and Critics Polls

"Ron Thompson is my favorite guitarist." -- Mick Fleetwood, founder and member of Fleetwood Mac

"Ron Thompson is a 'blues wizard.' There is no instrument and no style he can't put across, because the soul he brings to it is undeniable, and it is unmistakably his own." -- Angela Strehli, "The Queen of Texas Blues"

"I've always felt Ron is the most talented blues guitarist I've ever seen. He can do it all. He's extraordinarily gifted. What many folks aren't aware of is that Ron was a huge asset in the re-emergence of John Lee Hooker. He was the foundation for that boogie sound." -- Tom Mazzolini , founder and producer of the San Francisco Blues Festival , the longest running blues festival in the United States

"Ron Thompson is the baddest man alive!!!" -- Tommy Castro, "B.B. King Entertainer of the Year" 2008 Blues Music Award Winner

"We've been fortunate to have many great blues players here over the years, but no one--and I mean no one--blew me away like Ron Thompson. This guy is unreal!" -- Dan King, "Ambassador of Cool," Boulder's Home of the Blues

"What this guy knows, you can't get out of a book." -- Steve Cropper , one of the founding members of both Booker T. and the MG's and The Mar-Keys

"One of the best moves Mayor Gavin Newsom made last year was proclaiming Sept. 5, 2007 as 'Ron Thompson Day in San Francisco.' The Newark-born musician, best known for the years he spent in John Lee Hooker's band, is one of the Bay Area's truly great guitarists. He's on equal footing with Carlos Santana or, really, anybody else you want to mention. If you doubt that, just go see him in concert." -- Jim Harrington, Music Editor, Contra Costa Times

"As a slide guitarist, I would say Ron is the best in the world and yet the man sings his ass off too. Ron Thompson is one of the five top blues greats in the world today. " -- Andy Grigg, music critic for Real Blues magazine

"Ron could take a soggy cardboard box with strings and whip up a frenzy. Forget the young kids in tight pants and big amps, this funky fella beats everyone way past home. He's like a 45 in a 78 world." -- Kansas City Blues Society





Not many living blues musicians can say they have performed with and recorded for legends like Big Mama Thornton, Tina Turner, Bruce Willis, Luther Tucker, Jimmy McCracklin, Pee Wee Crayton, Carla Thomas, Booker T. Jones, Percy Mayfield, Etta James, B.B. King, and Jimmy Reed. Ron Thompson can, and that's just the beginning!

Ron Thompson is a legendary rhythm and blues guitarist and master keyboardist whose career began in the rough and tumble world of East San Francisco Bay nightclubs and bars in the early '70s. During many years of touring coast to coast with John Lee Hooker, Hooker was quoted as saying, "Ron Thompson, he's my main man!"

After serving as John Lee Hooker's bandleader for seven years, Thompson went on to form his own group, Ron Thompson and His Resisters, which continues to tour extensively in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Central America.

In the early 80's, Ron met Mick Fleetwood (Fleetwood Mac) and the two became musical partners and close friends. Ron and Mick formed the band, Mick Fleetwood's Blue Whale. Blue Whale still occasionally performs, when Ron and Mick's busy schedules permit.

Ron Thompson was honored by the City of San Francisco for his decades of musical contributions. A few days after Barry Bonds got "his day" in The City for breaking the all-time American baseball home run record, San Francisco celebrated its own musical home run king, Ron Thompson. By official proclamation of Mayor Gavin Newsom, September 5, 2007, was declared "Ron Thompson Day in San Francisco."

The City of Fremont followed suit in 2009, and officially declared April 25, 2009, as "Ron Thompson Day in Fremont." Ron's hometown of Newark, California, will be providing its own recognition to Ron on September 19, 2009, when Ron will preside as Grand Marshal at the 54th Annual Newark Days Parade.

Tom Mazzolini, founder and producer of the San Francisco Blues Festival, the longest running blues festival in the United States, said, "I've always felt Ron is the most talented blues guitarist I've ever seen. He can do it all. He's extraordinarily gifted. What many folks aren't aware of is that Ron was a huge asset in the re-emergence of John Lee Hooker. He was the foundation for that boogie sound."

Thompson tours and performs year round. Recent shows have included a summer tour with Chris Isaak; shows with Bruce Willis; two stints on the Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise with such musical VIPs as Taj Mahal and Elvin Bishop; and many more.

In the intervening years since he was Hooker's "Main Man," Thompson's musical career has steadily soared, and he picked up a Grammy nomination and many other awards and accolades. He was recently inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame, and participated in this year's San Francisco Jazz Festival, where he performed and taught the Discover Jazz "Blues Guitar" lecture.

Thompson headlined the 40th Anniversary of the Summer of Love Concert in Golden Gate Park in 2007, sharing the bill with legends such as Jefferson Starship, Canned Heat, Jesse Colin Young, and many others. A two hour documentary of the concert, which began with Thompson's sizzling performance, was aired in the San Francisco Bay Area, and will soon be nationally syndicated.

Andy Grigg, music critic for Real Blues magazine, wrote: "If you haven't experienced Ron T. 'live' I can't even begin to convey the absolute go-for-broke Blues rave-ups and sweat-soaked pandemonium Thompson and his Resistors dispense on a nightly basis. When it comes to slide guitar workouts, I would say he's the Best in the World, and yet the man sings his ass off too."

In addition to his Grammy nomination for his album Resistor Twister, Thompson has received countless awards and accolades, including Real Blues magazine's Best Live West Coast Blues Act, Best West Coast Blues Slide Guitarist, and Best West Coast Blues Guitarist/Modern.

Thompson's extensive discography includes five of his own albums, much studio work, and several European anthologies. Not only has he shared the stage with numerous blues luminaries, Thompson has performed or recorded with such musical greats as Fleetwood Mac, Chris Isaak, Carlos Santana, Bonnie Raitt, Tina Turner, Elvin Bishop, Bill Medley, Huey Lewis, Dr. John, songwriter Bobby Womak, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Robert Cray Band, Z.Z. Top, and legions of others artists.

Shortly after recording with Chris Isaak on the album San Francisco Days and touring with Isaak to promote the album, Thompson was called on stage. Isaak introduced him, telling the audience, "You might think these crowd barriers are here to keep you away from the stage. They're not. They're here to keep Ron Thompson away from you!"

Steve Cropper, one of the founding members of both Booker T. and the MG's and The Mar-Keys, (and who has also written songs with Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding, Eddie Floyd, and dozens of others) once said of Ron, "What this guy knows, you can't get out of a book."

Thompson's latest all-solo and first completely acoustic CD, Resonator, was released in 2007. Ron recorded on guitar, mandolin, piano, and vocals—and then mixed it all together for an unbelievable, quadruple threat, all-Ron Thompson recording. Most of the material is comprised of original Ron Thompson compositions.

Thompson is busy in the studio, recording what he thinks may be his finest work to date. Look for it later this year!
Maurice Tani
Maurice Tani
San Francisco native, Maurice Tani is a "rye-to-romantic" singer-songwriter with seven albums to his credit -the latest being The Lovers Card, released on the Little Village label. With his band, 77 El Deora, Tani has been the source of untold, but exquisite suffering on the Bay Area Americana scene for over 15 years.
Tani uses the term, “Supercalifornigraphic” to describe his particular flavor of Americana. While rooted in country music, Tani's writing is centered on a West Coast perspective. “Though much of my material is based on fictional characters and situations, I still write what I know. I'm not particularly comfortable or interested in the rural imagery of tractors, 4x4s or general agriculture common in much country music. What attracts me most about country is the story telling side of it. My stories are more likely to be centered around an urban experience. I'm a Californian from a large metropolitan area and I write about the things that hold my attention. I think of these songs as a sort of cinema for the blind. Short musical narratives of life on the left coast.”