Jake Blount is an award-winning banjoist, fiddler, singer and ethnomusicologist based in Providence, RI. He is half of the internationally touring duo Tui, a 2020 recipient of the Steve Martin Banjo Prize, and a board member of Bluegrass Pride. He is a two-time winner and many-time finalist of the Appalachian String Band Music Festival (better known as Clifftop). Blount specializes in the music of Black communities in the southeastern United States, and in the regional style of the Finger Lakes. A versatile performer, Blount interpolates blues, bluegrass and spirituals into the old-time string band tradition he belongs to. He foregrounds the experiences of queer people and people of color in his work. His teachers include Rhiannon Giddens, Bruce Molsky and Judy Hyman. Blount has shared his music and research at the Newport Folk Festival, the Smithsonian Institution and Yale University, among other venues and institutions. He has also appeared on Radiolab, Soundcheck and NPR's Weekend Edition. He regularly teaches fiddle and banjo at festivals and camps like the Augusta Heritage Center, the Ashokan Center, and Midwest Banjo Camp. Blount tours domestically and internationally as a solo performer, with his duo Tui, and with his band The Moose Whisperers. He has performed and recorded solo, and in ensembles of up to six people. His first full-length solo album, Spider Tales, is out now on Free Dirt Records & Service Co. It 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.
“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
“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