Keb’ Mo’ is a five time Grammy Award and 14 time Blues Foundation Award winner with a groundbreaking career spanning nearly 50 years under his belt. He stands as one of the most accomplished and respected artists working in contemporary roots music today. The modern-day blues icon will perform Sunday, Sept. 3, 2023, at the 12th John Coltrane International Jazz and Blues Festival.
‘Straight Outta Compton’
Born and raised in Compton, CA, Kevin Moore got his start working behind the scenes as a guitarist, songwriter, and arranger before breaking out internationally with the release of his 1994 self-titled debut, which earned widespread acclaim for its genre-bending take on old school sounds. He captured attention with his unique gift for linking the past and present in his playing and singing. In 1994 he would introduce the world to Keb’ Mo’ with the release of his widely acclaimed self-titled debut. Critics were quick to take note of Keb’ Mo’s modern, genre-bending take on old school sounds. Two years later, he garnered his first Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album with Just Like You.
In the decades to come, Keb’ Mo’ would take home four more Grammy Awards; top the BillboardBlues Chart seven times; perform everywhere from Carnegie Hall to The White House; collaborate with many including Taj Mahal, Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, The Chicks, and Lyle Lovett; have compositions recorded and sampled by artists as diverse as B.B. King, Zac Brown, and BTS. He has composed music for television series like Mike and Molly, Memphis Beat, B Positive, and Martha Stewart Living; and earn the Americana Music Association’s 2021 award for Lifetime Achievement in Performance.
A Sonic Tapestry
Keb’ Mo’s newest album, Good To Be, weaves together the sounds of his childhood in Compton with the influences of his adopted hometown of Nashville, TN, drawing on country, soul, and blues to craft a heartwarming tapestry that transcends genre and geography as it celebrates the power of love and resilience, growth and gratitude, hope and memory. Written partially in his adopted hometown of Nashville and partially in the Compton house he grew up in, the songs here manage to tie the two cities together.
A passionate philanthropist and outspoken activist, Keb’ Mo’ has helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars in support of social, environmental, and racial justice throughout his career. As a celebrity mentor with The Kennedy Center’s Turnaround Arts Program, Keb’ Mo’ “adopted” The Johnson School for Excellence in Chicago, where he teamed up with teachers, students, and parents to help develop a thriving arts education program. As a longtime ambassador for the Playing For Change Foundation, he’s supported the non-profit from its early days in its quest to provide free music education and basic needs like food, water, medicine, clothing, books, and school supplies to children around the world.
In addition, Keb’ Mo’ has composed music for television series like Mike and Molly, Memphis Beat, B Positive, and Martha Stewart Living; appear as himself in Martin Scorsese’s The Blues, Aaron Sorkin’s The West Wing, and the iconic children’s series Sesame Street; and earned the Americana Music Association’s 2021 award for Lifetime Achievement in Performance.