Marcia Ball; Monday, May 20, 2013


Marcia Ball
Monday, May 20, 2013
Kuumbwa Jazz

“…a formidable musical force.” – Billboard

Pianist and singer/songwriter Marcia Ball is a living example of what happens when East Texas blues meets Southwest Louisiana swamp rock. Like any good gumbo recipe, Ball stirs together the best of her southern roots — equal parts zydeco, soulful swampy R&B and rollicking blues — to make into her own original and tasty sound. With passionate vocals and inspired piano playing, Ball is sure to rock the house with material from her latest album, 2011’s Roadside Attraction. Her band on this date will also feature local blues guitar hero Mighty Mike Schermer!

Born in Orange, Texas in 1949 to a family whose female members all played piano, Ball grew up in the small town of Vinton, Louisiana, right across the Texas state line.  She began taking piano lessons at age five, playing old Tin Pan Alley tunes from her grandmother’s record collection, but at age 13 she discovered the power of soul music.  It happened one day in 1962, when she sat amazed while Irma Thomas delivered the most spirited performance the young teenager had ever seen.  According to Ball, “She just blew me away; she caught me totally unaware. Once I started my own band, the first stuff I was doing was Irma’s.”  Ball attended Louisiana State University, where she played some of her very first gigs with a blues-based rock band called Gum.

The year 1970 saw Ball setting out for San Francisco, however, her car broke down in Austin, and while waiting for repairs she fell in love with the city and decided to stay. It wasn’t long before she was performing in the city’s clubs with a progressive country band called Freda And The Firedogs.  She also began to write her own songs, and it was around this time that she delved deeply into the music of the great New Orleans piano players, especially Professor Longhair. “Once I found out about Professor Longhair,” recalls Ball, “I knew I had found my direction.”

Ball’s groove-laden New Orleans boogie and Gulf Coast blues have made her a one-of-a-kind favorite with fans the world over.  The Boston Herald says, “Ball plays masterful, red hot tracks from the Texas-Louisiana border.  Her voice can break your heart with a ballad or break your back with a rocker.” On Roadside Attractions, Ball’s songwriting is at the forefront, ranging from tales of wild parties to stories of twisted motel affairs to declarations of the enduring power of love and family.  Says Ball, “Roadside Attractions is my most personal album yet. It’s full of short stories and tall tales…the songs reflect forty years of travel and a lifetime of experiences…so off we go, touring the cosmos, weaving and lurching, distracted by every concrete dinosaur and giant strawberry along the way.  It’s a great life set to music.”

Marcia Ball

DATE: Monday, May 20, 2013
PLACE: Kuumbwa Jazz Center
ADDRESS: 320 Cedar St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
TIME: 7:00 PM
PRICE: $24/Adv $27/Door, No Comps
TICKETS: Logos Books & Records, 1117 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz (831) 427-5100 and online at:
MORE INFO: or 831-427-2227

Media contact:
Sandy Sloan
(831) 427-2227


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