Joe Bonamassa (born May 8, 1977) is an American blues rock musician, singer and songwriter. Bonamassa opened for B.B. King when he was only 12 years old. In the last 13 years Bonamassa has put out 15 solo albums through his independent record label, J&R Adventures. Eleven of his solo albums have reached #1 on the Billboard Blues charts. He has played alongside such artists as Stephen Stills, Eric Clapton, Foreigner, Buddy Guy, Steve Winwood, Warren Haynes, and Derek Trucks among others. His career highlights include performances at Royal Albert Hall and a Grammy Award nomination in 2013. In addition to his music career, Joe Bonamassa runs a nonprofit organization called the “Keeping The Blues Alive Foundation” whose mission is to further music education by funding scholarships and providing music education resources to schools in need.
Joe Bonamassa was born in New Hartford, New York State. He started playing guitar at age four. His father was an avid music fan and exposed Bonamassa to records by Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck. Joe was very inspired by these British blues rock records. When he was 12 years old, he had his own band called Smokin’ Joe Bonamassa. The band gigged around western New York and Pennsylvania, cities such as Scranton and Buffalo, on weekends since Joe had school on weekdays. The guitar Bonamassa played, which he called “Rosie,” was a crimson 1972 Fender Stratocaster that Bonamassa’s father bought him from a store in Utica, New York, called Big Apple Music. Bonamassa was asked to open for B.B. King at approximately twenty shows, which he did. Before he reached 18 years old, Bonamassa was playing in a band called Bloodline with the sons of Miles Davis, Robby Krieger, and Berry Oakley. Although Bloodline did not become a famous act, it attracted some attention to Bonamassa’s guitar chops.
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