Ernie Hawkins

Ernie Hawkins

Wednesday February 12, 2020,

2:30 – 4 p.m.,

The Arizona Senior Academy

The day after graduating from high school in Pittsburgh, PA, in the mid-1960s, Ernie Hawkins moved to New York City to connect with the Rev. Gary Davis, a blind African American Baptist preacher in his late sixties who happened to be a genius guitarist. That began a relationship that lasted for years and set Ernie’s destiny.

Ernie’s program combining lecture and performance will trace his history in the context of country blues and classic jazz. He will show how important Rev. Gary Davis’ guitar style is to him and to the generations of fingerpickers from the 1960’s onward. He will also discuss his years in Texas and the deep influence of Texas country blues on his playing and teaching.

For many years Ernie Hawkins has been playing concerts, clubs, blues and folk festivals, workshops, colleges, museums, parties, fist fights and millennium celebrations in the United States, Canada, Japan and Europe, and at every stop in the road from “A Prairie Home Companion” to Antone’s in Austin, TX,  to the Madrid Jazz Festival. He has played with blues greats such as Son House, Mance Lipscomb, Fred McDowell, Jim Brewer, as well as the-Rev. Gary Davis and many others.

Ernie has been featured in such magazines as SingOUT!, Fingerstyle Guitar, Dirty Linen, Acoustic Guitar, Blues Revue, and Vintage Guitar. Besides “A Prairie Home Companion”, he’s played on “Mountain Stage,” “Woodsongs Old-Time Radio Hour” and XM radio. Ernie appears on Maria Muldaur’s Grammy and Handy-nominated and Indie Award-winning album, “Richland Woman Blues,” and was the guitarist for the national tour.

“Ernie Hawkins is an important link in the unbroken chain of blues and gospel artists. His guitaristry and love of the style is incomparable. From the Rev. Gary Davis into the future with his own style Ernie is one of the special ones!” Jorma Kaukonen

Written by Leslie Evans, Academy Village Volunteer

Feb. 12: “Ernie Hawkins: A Life with the Blues”