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Weis Center Welcomes Two Up-and-Coming Blues Artists

The Weis Center for the Performing Arts will welcome blues artists Jontavious Willis and Jayy Hop on Wednesday, Feb. 14 at 7:30 p.m. at the Weis Center.

The performance is sponsored, in part, by PPL Electric Utilities.  

Every generation or so, a young bluesman bursts onto the scene and sends a jolt through the blues community. Jontavious Willis may just have that effect on people. Many fans of Willis regard him as an old soul. His style of playing and his voice touches the very roots of country blues, bringing back the true soul of the music. A newspaper headline once called him a “70-year-old Bluesman in a 20-year-old Body.” Hailing from Greenville, Ga., Willis grew up singing gospel music at the Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church with his grandfather. From an early age, he had the talent and passion for the music and the ability to sharpen his skills fast. At the age of 14, he came across a YouTube video of Muddy Waters playing “Hoochie Coochie Man” and was instantly hooked on the blues. He got his much-needed break from the living legend Taj Mahal in 2015, when Mahal asked Willis to play on stage with him. That appearance resulted in a roaring response from the audience and led Willis to bigger stages and broader opportunities, including an opening slot at select shows along the TajMo tour, featuring his musical mentors Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo’.

Jayy Hop is part of the new generation of Black bluesman. From Georgia, he got his start in the Church, first playing drums in Gospel groups before being introduced to guitar by his cousin. The guitar led him on a musical journey backwards through time, unpacking the history of blues guitar from Jimi Hendrix through Albert Collins and Son Seals through the funky soul of the Ohio Players (founded by his Uncles Robert and Billy Ward). He went to school with Jontavious Willis, who then opened his ears to an even earlier generation of acoustic players. Jayy is on the path to becoming a powerful force in Country Blues working with Jontavious as well one of the elder living master of the country blues sound, Bentonia, Mississippi ‘s own, Jimmy “Duck “ Holmes. For this show, he will be sharing the stage with his longtime friend, Jontavious Willis, for an evening of old blues, masterfully performed by the next generation of young masters.

Tickets are $20 for adults, $16 for seniors 62+ and subscribers, $10 for youth 18 and under, $10 for Bucknell employees and retirees (limit 2), free for Bucknell students (limit 1) and $10 for non-Bucknell students (limit 2).

Tickets can be reserved by calling 570-577-1000 or online at

Tickets are also available in person from several locations including the Weis Center lobby (weekdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) and the CAP Center Box Office, located on the ground floor of the Elaine Langone Center (weekdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.).

For more information about this event, contact Lisa Leighton, marketing and outreach director, at 570-577-3727 or by e-mail at

For more information about the Weis Center for the Performing Arts, go to or search for the Weis Center on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.

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