New Century Blues: Genesee Community College Hosts Eric Bibb

Acclaimed folk troubadour Eric Bibb will perform at Genesee Community College on Saturday, February 17 at 7:30 pm. Twice nominated for the W.C. Handy Awards and winner of the “Best Newcomer” title in the British Blues Awards, Bibb has been appropriately described by Elwood Blues as “what the blues in the new century should be about.”

Born in 1951, Bibb is a native New Yorker with deep roots in the American blues and folk tradition. He is the son of 1960s folk and musical theater singer and television personality Leon Bibb. His uncle was the world-famous jazz pianist and composer John Lewis, a member of the Modern Jazz Quartet. His godfather was singer/actor/activist Paul Robeson. Surrounded by major musical figures of the day, young Eric was influenced by Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Judy Collins, and many others.

Bibb got his first steel stringed guitar when he was seven, and by the time he was in junior high school he was consumed by music. When Bibb was 16, his father invited him to play guitar in the house band for his television show, Someone New. Bibb left for Paris at the age of 19, playing in various establishments and fine-tuning his craft. Eric’s breakout performance at the London Blues Festival in 1996 thrust him into the front ranks among blues and songwriting circles in Europe, where he has lived most of his adult life. In recent years, North American audiences have experienced his stripped-down acoustic blues as well.

Bibb has released eleven solo records, with his next album, Diamond Days, due out in January 2007, and has been a contributor on more than fourteen compilations including the Grammy-nominated Shakin’ A Tailfeather. A performance by Eric Bibb is an enriching experience, both musically and spiritually. His music, like his personality, is intimate, assured, and passionate, drawing listeners into the moment more as participants than as spectators. His rich and sensitive vocals and lyrics provide a perfect balance to his fine fingerpicking technique, and he deftly melds traditional rootsy American style with a subtle, contemporary sensibility.

Frank Mayo, Professor of Speech/Theater Arts at Genesee Community College, is thrilled that the College will be hosting such a prestigious performance. “This is the latest in a series of world-renowned artists who have performed at Genesee Community College,” Mayo said. “We are proud to attract such musicians as Guy Davis and Rory Block, and now Eric Bibb.” Part of the experience is the close, intimate space and great acoustics that make for an outstanding performance.

“At $6 per ticket, we are giving local citizens and students the chance to hear top-notch musicians at an extremely affordable price,” Mayo added.

Bibb’s talent for performing and songwriting has been recognized with numerous awards and accolades. However, the biggest reward he has received as a musician is “the development of my God-given talents to the point where I can share an uplifting experience with my audience.”

Genesee Community College presents Eric Bibb, 7:30 pm February 17, at the Genesee Community College Center for the Arts. Adult tickets are $6 each. Call (585) 345-6814 to reserve tickets; this show is sure to sell out. 

Editor’s Note: Two photographs of Eric Bibb are available by going to: