Jake Blount is a brilliant banjoist, fiddle player and singer... his fingering thrilling and pacy, his voice charismatic and limber.” - Jude Rogers

The Guardian

Jake Blount is an award-winning musician and scholar based in Providence, RI. He is half of the internationally touring duo Tui, a 2020 recipient of the Steve Martin Banjo Prize, and a two-time winner of the Appalachian String Band Music Festival (better known as Clifftop). Blount, a specialist in the early folk music of Black Americans, is a skilled performer of spirituals, blues and string band repertoire. Blount has performed at the Kennedy Center, the Newport Folk Festival, and numerous other venues across and beyond the United States. He has presented his scholarly work at museums and universities including the Smithsonian Institution, Berklee College of Music and Yale University. His writing has appeared in Paste Magazine, No Depression, and NPR, and he has been a guest on Radiolab and Soundcheck. His first solo album, Spider Tales, debuted at #2 on the Billboard Bluegrass Chart, received positive coverage from NPR, Rolling Stone and Billboard among others, and earned five out of five stars as The Guardian's Folk Album of the Month.  Spider Tales later appeared on "Best of 2020" lists from NPR, Bandcamp, The New Yorker, the Guardian, and elsewhere. His latest album, The New Faith, is slated for release as part of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings' African American Legacy Series on September 23, 2022.

On top of being wildly intelligent and knowledgeable, he's also a killer musician and it's an incredible combo.” - Rhiannon Giddens


An indelible benchmark by which we can better learn to queer old-time and string band music while telling its true, unabridged history, and centering Black, Indigenous, and non-white stories.” - Justin Hiltner

The Bluegrass Situation

Press Photos

Jake Blount

photo by Tadin Brown

Jake Blount

photo by Tadin Brown

Jake Blount

photo by Michelle Lotker

Ever since I met him years ago, Jake Blount has been aiming to tell the whole story of fiddle and banjo music - black, white, and native. His latest album... is an incredible example of historically informed, beautifully played old-time music.”

— Rhiannon Giddens

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