Rockin’ Jake has been hailed by many as one of the premier harmonica players in the country. His original sound is a hybrid of second line, swamp funk, blues and zydeco with influences from Paul Butterfield, Big Walter Horton, James Cotton, The Meters,WAR, J. Geils Band, Clifton Chenier, and the Fabulous Thunderbirds. Jake has conjured up this formula that is blowing crowds away from coast to coast. Widely known as a touring juggernaut among his peers, his schedule of over 200 performances per year include clubs, concert venues, and festivals.
Based out of New Orleans since 1990, Rockin’ Jake relocated since being flooded out by Hurricane Katrina, then settled in St. Louis and now lives in Southern Florida.Originally from the East Coast, the “blues bug” bit at an early age for Jake. He immersed himself in the thriving regional blues scene, which boasted such talents as Roomful of Blues, Ronnie Earl, Duke Robillard and Sugar Ray. Primarily self-taught, Jake briefly studied with Jerry Portnoy, harmonica player for Muddy Waters.
In 1990, when Jake moved to New Orleans where he began to work with such notable New Orleans mainstays as: blues diva Marva Wright, Mem Shannon, Coco Robicheaux, Little Freddie King, Tommy Ridgley, Eddie Bo and other local legends. During this time Jake also toured nationally with G. Love & Special Sauce, blues and pop legend Maria Muldaur as well as logging international miles with bluesman T.J, Wheeler. He was selected to perform in an all-star band featuring blues legends Pinetop Perkins and Hubert Sumlin at the Howlin’ Wolf.
In 1995 he formed the Rockin’ Jake Band as an outlet for his original music and his unique swampy sounds. One year later Jake recorded his debut CD, “Let’s Go Get ‘Em” (on Rabadash Records) which earned him national recognition. In 1999 Jake produced “Badmouth”, on Zuluzu records followed by “Full-Time Work” in 2002 on the same label. It included an all-star cast of musicians such as John Gros (Papa Grows Funk), Ron Johnson (Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe), Bryan Stoltz (the funky Meters), Ben Ellman and Theryl “Houseman” de Clouet (Galactic). In the spring of 2004 he recorded his band’s first live cd. Over four days in Key West, Florida at the Green Parrot, he and his band recorded 5 p.m. Breakfast on Zuluzu records. Jake’s work has also been heard on the soundtrack of “The Big Easy” television series, the theme for the “Mike Ditka Show, ” and a Miller Beer commercial. In 2010, Rockin’ Jake became an official BBQ judge for the Kansas City Barbque Society!
He is a five-time winner of Off Beat Magazine’s coveted Best of the Beat award for best harmonica player. Jake is truly a hard working musician with extraordinary talent. He and his band pour out their souls in every performance with high energy and electricity which consistently brings the audience to their feet. In his spare time Jake managed to snare some culinary kudos in New Orleans, taking the trophy for “Best Barbequed Brisket” at the 1999 New Orleans Musicians Barbeque Competition, and launching his own line of signature hot sauce: “Badmouth” (the edible version)…”man it’s hot!”…just like the band! Jake also takes time to give back to his New Orleans community with Project Prodigy Music Camp for children as well as the Blues in the Schools programs in New Orleans and other cities in the US.