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Hello! My name is Alicia, I'm a guitar player/vocalist, and I'm 20 years old. I was born in Hinsdale, IL, but I've lived in Michigan for most of my life. I am currently attending the University of Mississippi in Oxford, MS to obtain my PhD in English. I am a solo artist who dabbles in various genres and I also perform with two groups: RJ Spangler's Kansas City Six and Big Al and the Blues Pals.
I have been playing guitar for about eleven years now. I especially enjoy playing blues, folk, funk, and swing music. I started playing guitar because I saw B.B. King on television. He was describing his vibrato, saying that it was like a butterfly. That poetic description and BB's presence intrigued me so much that I decided to pursue the guitar myself.
I have been very fortunate to become acquainted with Marty " Big Dog" Mercer, one of the Chicago area's finest blues performers, and RJ Spangler, Detroit's premiere jazz/blues drummer and promoter. They have given me the opportunity to play with seasoned players in and around Joliet, IL and Detroit, MI, creating experiences that would last a lifetime.
I have also had the great opportunity to have played or performed with many musicians and performers. The following is a list of who I've played or performed with:
Charles Buddy Smith
Brother John Kattke
Jo Serrapere and the Willie Dunns
David "Lil Dave" Kaftan
The Columbia College Chicago Blues Ensemble
The Vincent Hayes Project
Bille Lewis and the Soulbacks
Judith Banker Band
The Ann Arbor Bluescasters
The University of Michigan Jazz Ensemble
Planet D Nonet Orchestra
Robert Johnson and his band
The Big Dog Mercer Band
The Boa Constrictors Blues Band
Stu Tucker's Coffee Time Jazz Trio
The Back Door Blues Band
Avery Goode Band
The C. Avery Jazz Quartet
Michigan State University's Jazz Band One
I have had the privilege to perform either by myself or sit in with many wonderful musicians at the :
2008 Chicago Blues Fest
2009 Idlewild, MI Music Festival
2010 and 2011 Detroit International Jazz Festival
2011 Western Michigan Blues Society Fest
2012 40th Annual Blessings of the Bikes in Baldwin, MI
2012 Hart, MI Heritage Days Fest,
2013 Joliet, IL Barbecue Rhythm and Blues Bash
2013 La Porte, IN County Fair
2014 Ludrock Music Festival in Ludington, MI
2014 Plymouth, MI Blues Festival
Cliffs Bells in Detroit, MI
The Detroit Institute of Arts
Double J's in Joliet, IL
Bunker Bar in Joliet, IL
The Scarab Club in Detroit, MI
Crazy Wisdom in Ann Arbor, MI
The Tap Room in Ypsilanti, MI
Callahan's Music Hall in Auburn Hills, MI
Western Michigan University
Michigan State University
Central Michigan University
Starkweather Arts Center in Romeo, MI
The University of Michigan
Buddy Guy's Legends in Chicago
South Shore Cultural Center in Chicago
The Crystal Lounge in Westland, MI
Dogwood Center for the Performing Arts in Fremont, MI
The Mitten Bar in Ludington, MI
Gull Landing in Pentwater, MI
The Yellow Barn in Ann Arbor, MI
Old Town in Ann Arbor, MI
Chaoz Club in Crest Hill, IL
Zal Gaz Grotto in Ann Arbor, MI
The Blue Goose Inn in St. Clair Shores, MI
WHFR Radio (Henry Ford College) in Dearborn, MI
Wayne County Community College
West Shore Community College
Ludington High School
Mason County Central High School
The Blue Tractor in Ann Arbor, MI
Rackham Auditorium in Ann Arbor, MI
McIntosh Theater in Ann Arbor, MI
Cooley Lake Inn in Commerce, MI,
The Mill Pond in Brighton, MI
Cafe 1923 in Hamtramck, MI
Bert's Marketplace in Detroit, MI
Columbia College Chicago.
Some of my notable achievements include:
-Being the first eighth grader to ever be accepted into the High School Jazz Band at my high school
- Being a recipient of an Outstanding Soloist Award at the 2009 Michigan State University Essentially Ellington Regional Jazz Fest
-Being a recipient of three Outstanding Jazz Soloist Awards from CMU's Jazz Fest and three best section Awards from the CMU Jazz Fest
- Being a recipient of the Outstanding Soloist of the Entire Festival Award at the 2010 Michigan State University Essentially Ellington Regional Jazz Fest
-Being mentioned as an up and coming artist to watch in an interview that Guitar Player Magazine conducted with Paul Gilbert in its Dec. 2011 issue
-Being one of two recipients granted the honor of Best Soloist of the Festival at the 2012 University of Michigan Jazz Fest in which I had the privilege to play with University of Michigan's top Jazz Ensemble later that evening
-Being a recipient of the Outstanding Musician of the Entire Festival Award from Michigan State University's Essentially Ellington Regional Jazz Fest 2012.
- I have also had the honor of being in the 2010 and 2011 All State Honors High School Jazz Band, thus making me the best high school jazz guitarist in the state of Michigan for those two years.
-Being a recipient of the national Louis Armstrong Jazz award in my senior year of high school (2012).
-Being one of nine instrumentalists included in Buddy Guy's "Guitar Prodigy Lineup" on his website.
-Completed an English Honors Thesis on the life and lyrics of Memphis Minnie during my senior year of undergrad at the University of Michigan (Class of 2015). It's called: Mitigating the Marginalization of Women Blues Guitarists: An Analysis of Memphis Minnie's Proto-Feminism.
Anyway, that's enough about me. ;) I hope you enjoy my tunes! Thank you for stopping by and checking out my material.