In 1995 Portland Maine’s Jason Ricci began his international music career by moving to Memphis to study with former Johnny Winter sideman Pat Ramsey. That same year Ricci won the Sonny Boy Blues Society contest and played the King Biscuit festival at 20 years old. Since then Ricci has won dozens of blues and harmonica contests, toured the world and amassed an impressive collection of awards, honors and accolades. In 2010 Ricci’s album “Done With The Devil” (Delta Groove) was nominated for a BMA Award. In 2010 Jason won the BMA Award for “Best Harmonica Player” beating his childhood heroes: Kim Wilson, Billy Branch, Mark Hummel and Rick Estrin. In 2014 Ricci was a featured artist on Johnny Winter’s Grammy Award winning album “Step Back”produced by Paul Nelson appearing along side names like Eric Clapton, Dr. John, Brian Setzer, Billy Gibbons, Leslie West and more. In 2015 Ricci was invited by Paul Shaffer to play on the HBO televised Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony for Paul Butterfield. At The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Ricci performed in front of 10,000 people and millions of HBO viewers with Zac Brown ( Multi-Platinum Singer Songwriter) and Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello with the Paul Shaffer band.
Jason Ricci is well known for having one of the most exciting, energetic and unpredictable live shows on the circuit. His live performances are sweaty, sexual, intense and creative events. Ricci has been actively touring the Blues circuit in the USA and Europe for over twenty years. In 2005 The Mercury News listed Jason Ricci’s show in a “Top Ten Best Shows” of 2005 list alongside acts such as Springsteen, Rush, Prince and Green Day for best concerts of the year. Jason’s shows feature a variety of music from Blues, Punk, Jazz, R&B, and Fusion. He s just as likely to cover music by Little Walter, Otis Rush, Sonny Boy Williamson and Slim Harpo as he is The Misfits, Sun Ra, Lou Reed or Cheech and Chong. Ricci is an edgy performer, singer, songwriter and interview. Jason’s career has been ripe with discussion, controversy and appreciation alike. He was/is the first and only male Blues performer in history to admit, interview, discuss and own the fact that he is openly gay/bi-sexual or “queer” as he call’s it. His song “Broken Toy” is a a testament to those struggles and a favorite amongst his audiences straight, gay and otherwise.
As a sideman Jason Ricci has professionally gigged or toured with: Walter Trout, Nick Moss, Junior Kimbrough, RL Burnside, Big Al and The Heavy Weights, Damon Fowler, Sugar Ray Norcia,The Mark Hummel Harmonica Blow Off, The Johnny Winter Remembrance Project, Mike Zito, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux, Ana Popovic and many more.
As a recording artist Jason Ricci has released eight solo albums. His last two (Delta Groove/EclectoGroove Records) “Rocket Number Nine” (produced by John Porter) and “Done With The Devil (produced by Phil Wolfe)” both charted The Billboard Blues Charts in top five positions and both won numerous awards. As a session musician Jason Ricci has played harmonica on albums by: Nick Curran, JJ Appleton, Rue Davis, Nick Moss, Walter Trout, Johnny Winter, The Mannish Boys, Ana Popovic, Cedric Burnside and Lightin’ Malcom, Joe Louis Walker, Sean Kellerman, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux, JP Soars and so many more.
Additionally, Jason Ricci has one of the most popular harmonica related youtube channels with over 150 free harmonica lessons, 15,000 subscribers and and well over 4,500,000 total million views. Ricci is well known in the harmonica community as an early pioneer of the “over-blow” technique (transforming the 10 hole diatonic into a fully chromatic instrument) invented/popularized by Howard Levy, the mastery of this technique has earned Jason a variety of jobs recording and performing in musical situations where other players technically simply could not. Jason is also one of the very first harmonica players to widely use, incorporate, design and popularize the use of effects pedals for harmonica.