$5 cover (21+)
9:30pm show time
Tomas Esparza was born in Mexico City in 1962. His father was known as a good singer, and the music of Pedro Infante, Jorge Negrete, and the guitar trio Los Panchos made an impression on young Tomas, along with the sounds of the streets and markets of Colonia San Rafel in Mexico city.
He first heard blues music when B.B. King and John Mayall appeared on Mexican television. Relocating to Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1985, Tomas saw harmonica great William Clarke play live, and event which proved to be a watershed moment for Tomas. I knew at that moment that I had to do that , says Tomas. Years of practice and study of Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson, Rod Piazza and others, set him on his way.
Receiving tips and advice from Junior Wells, Steve Guyger, and George Wild Child Butler, among others, Tomas began making his mark as one of the most energetic and exciting harmonica players, both working with local bands, and with his own band.
Tomas has opened shows for Charlie Musselwhite, James Harman, and Harmonica Shah, and his band has served as a backing band for ex-Fleetwood Mac guitar great Jeremy Spencer. He performed at Bluesfest International in Windsor, Ontario, and at Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids, as well as at some of the most prominent blues clubs in Michigan.
Tomas has succeeded at the rare task of creating something original, using the building blocks of the traditional harmonica greats of the 1950s, all the while being true to himself and incorporating the music he heard as a child in Mexico City.
His passion for Chicago Blues, and his electrifying energy, have opened many listener's ears and eyes to the power of the Blues. Working his own band, the Tomas Esparza Blues Experience, or fronting Detroit area band the Boa Constrictors, few harmonica players can channel the energy and feeling of the greats, yet combine their own soul to create something so deep and individual. Tomas is a man who feels has found his true calling: I really think I was born to play the Blues .