02 August 2023 – 21:00 / Maggia
"Tommy has always been the best of blues guitarists in the blues-soul genre" (Joe Bonamassa). Opening the evening is one of the most soulful blues voices in Switzerland!
The last week of the 21st edition will bring us to the beautiful square of Maggia, the scene in the past of great concerts: Keb' Mo' (2016), Wishbone Ash (2017), Albert Lee (2018), Philipp Fankhauser (2019) and Nine Below Zero (2022) just to mention the latest editions. The first evening, Wednesday, Aug. 2, will feature Lilly Martin, a band that plays, no frills, but with solid craftsmanship and strong accents, and in front of them moves the charismatic and easy-going singer. Lilly Martin has one of the most soulful blues voices in Switzerland and is the winner of the 2020 Swiss Blues Award. A native New Yorker, she grew up in Greenwich Village with soul music, gospel, and blues. She relives her old love of these styles with an exceptionally solid band in the studio but especially on stage. A first for Vallemaggia Magic Blues, happy to welcome her to the valley.
Then it will be another world-class blues soul star taking the stage: Tommy Castro & The Painkillers. Absolute blues energy and soul power, passionate vocals, and pure inventiveness in his stellar guitar solos. Joe Bonamassa says of him, "Tommy has always been the best of the blues guitarists. He always puts on a great show." He has been enchanted by Albert King, Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, Elvin Bishop, Taj Mahal, Mike Bloomfield and other blues artists of the Golden Age. Throughout his long and ever-evolving career, he has always remained true to himself as he explored, grew, and created new music. Ranging from horn-fueled R&B to simmering blues and fiery, stripped-down rock 'n' roll, each release is solidly built on Castro's unshakable musical foundation: a dynamic mix of guitar-fueled, 1960s-influenced blues, Memphis-soaked blue-eyed soul and Latin-tinged funk. He has won six Blues Music Awards in his career, including the coveted B.B. King Entertainer of The Year Award. Castro's relentless road-dog approach-concert after concert, night after night-has earned him loyal fans wherever he has performed. We are especially happy to finally bring him to the valley. Another gem to put in the Magic Blues showcase. One of the "top" events of the festival.
Tommy Castro & The Painkillers
One of the world's brightest stars on the square in Maggia
Tommy Castro is one of the brightest stars of the blues-soul genre. Pure Blues energy and soul power, passionate vocals and pure inventiveness in his stellar guitar solos. Joe Bonamassa says of him: 'Tommy has always been the best of the Blues guitarists. He always puts on a great show'. Born in San Jose, California, in 1955, Tommy Castro first picked up the guitar at the age of 10. He was enchanted by Albert King, Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, Elvin Bishop, Taj Mahal, Mike Bloomfield and other blues artists of the time. Almost every major rock and soul artist, from Ike and Tina Turner to Janis Joplin, from the J. Geils Band to Tower Of Power toured the area and Castro was present at every show. Throughout his long career, he has always remained true to himself as he explored, grew and created new music. Since his solo debut in 1994, he has released 16 albums, each one different from the next. Ranging from horn-fuelled R&B to simmering blues and stripped-down, fiery rock 'n' roll, each release is solidly built on Castro's unshakable musical foundation: a dynamic mix of guitar-fuelled, '60s-influenced blues, Memphis-soaked blue-eyed soul and East San Jose Latin-tinged funk. In 1992 he formed the first Tommy Castro Band and has been touring ever since. In 2009 he joined Alligator Records. His debut album with the label 'Hard Believer' won four of his six career Blues Music Awards, including the coveted B.B. King Entertainer Of The Year Award (the highest accolade a Blues artist can receive). Castro's relentless road-dog approach - gig after gig, night after night - has earned him loyal, long-time fans wherever he has performed. We are especially happy to finally bring him to the Magic Blues. One of the highlights of this edition and another jewel to put in our trophy case.
One of the most soulful blues voices in Switzerland!
It feels like being in a Soul club in Memphis, or a blues basement in Chicago: on stage a band playing without frills with solid craftsmanship and strong accents. And standing in front of them is the charismatic, easy-going vocalist. Lilly Martin has one of the most soulful blues voices in Switzerland and is the winner of the Swiss Blues Award 2020. The best adjective to describe the American singer's performance with her Swiss band: 'smooth'. A native New Yorker, she grew up in Greenwich Village with Soul, Gospel and Blues music. She revives her old love for these styles with an exceptionally solid band in the studio, but especially on stage. In the new album 'Lookout', released last year, Lilly Martin shows all facets of her creativity, opening up a new phase. 'Lookout' means looking from the inside out, or in other words changing perspective with new maturity and serenity. The singer is at a new high point in her career. Together with her partner, multi-instrumentalist Michael Dolmetsch, she creates Soul blues in her own unique style, with Gospel, R&B and Motown influences. "I was encouraged by the positive reactions to my older songs and by winning the 'Swiss Blues Award' to present even more original pieces on this occasion." Feelings and situations that everyone knows and that she 'paints' poignantly. A premiere for the Vallemaggia Magic Blues, we are happy to welcome her to Maggia.