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Bay Area Beats: Aki Kumar

Evelyne Balliner
Aki Kumar on the Chicago Blues Festival tour 2015

South Bay bluesman Aki Kumar started his musical career after taking harmonica lessons at the School of Blues in San Jose. He built up his music cred playing show after show at blues joints around the Bay.

Eventually, he became so busy with gigs, he quit his day job at a software engineer to do music full time.

On this edition of Bay Area Beats, we’ll hear the backstory behind Aki’s musical roots in both Bollywood and down home blues.

"I was trying to cater to a culture in the blues where I was trying to be the ideal entrant into the blues scene, and that meant being more American. Somewhere along 2014, 2015 with this whole changing political landscape I had the realization that it was more important to represent myself through the music."

Aki Kumar plays a weekly blues jam at The Poor House Bistro.