News / Arts & Entertainment

Mitch Woods Takes His 'Blues Beyond Borders'

Mitch Woods
Mitch Woods
Doug Levine
Pianist Mitch Woods has been taking his swing and jump blues around the world for decades.  One of Woods' most heartwarming receptions came from the many fans that came to see him play in Turkey.

Woods spends more than half the year on tour, with many of those dates in countries around the globe.  Some are solo concerts and others feature his band The Rocket 88’s, who toured Turkey for five weeks in late 2010.
     
“It was just such an incredible experience," Woods said. "We went to 20 cities, played 26 shows, and a culture that I really didn’t know anything about and how accepting they were of the music.  So, I just kind of realized this music goes beyond borders; political, geographical, religious.  This is much better.”

Mitch Woods Takes His 'Blues Beyond Borders'
Mitch Woods Takes His 'Blues Beyond Borders'i
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

Woods studied classical music and jazz before catching the blues bug in his native New York.  He says he was drawn to a 1930s and 1940s style of blues known as boogie-woogie.

“I was in college and I started playing and sitting at in little jams in Buffalo where I was going to school," he said.  "And people would say you sound like some of the boogie-woogie guys.  And I said, ‘Oh yeah, what are their names?' and I found out these names: Albert Ammons, Pete Johnson, Meade Lux Lewis, and I went out and bought all the records I could find.  That kind of got me going.  Then I was just like, 'Oh yeah, this is stuff I really like.'”  
       
x
“A lot of my music comes out of New Orleans, and I think so much of this great music came out of there because it was such a melting pot," Woods said.  "You had African, African-Americans, Spanish, English, Caribbean, and it all mixed into this gumbo.  And blues came out of that.  A lot of it went to the Delta, there’s a big history of it, and then going to Chicago and other major cities from there.”
    
Woods’ triumphant tour of Turkey was recently released on a CD titled “Blues Beyond Borders,” featuring his four-man backup band The Rocket 88’s.  It includes a DVD of their concert in Istanbul, as well as behind-the scenes footage of their trip across the country.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

The Hamilton Live

Acclaimed jazz saxophonist Tia Fuller has made a name for herself appearing with such high-profile artists as Beyonce, Esperanza Spalding, and Terri Lyne Carrington. Tia and her quartet performed music from her CD “Angelic Warrior” on our latest edition of "The Hamilton Live."