Best of the blues

Ruth Davies’ Blues Night with special guest Ruthie Foster

Wednesday, July 19

7:30 p.m.

Dinkelspiel Auditorium

SJW MEMBER: $44 premium | $34 reserved |  Child (17 and under) & Student (present valid student ID card) $10

NON-MEMBER: $52 premium | $42 reserved |  Child (17 and under) & Student (present valid student ID card) $18

Ticket prices include all fees; what you see is what you pay.

Programs, personnel, venues, and pricing subject to change without notice.


Ruth Davies, bass
Ruthie Foster, vocals and guitar
Kristen Strom, sax
Tony Stead, piano and organ
Garth Webber, guitar
Leon Joyce Jr., drums

Sponsored by the Judith Kays Memorial Blues Fund.

About Ruth Davies and Ruthie Foster

“For bassist Ruth Davies, it’s all about the groove.” —San Jose Mercury

“Foster commands a stage as completely as Judy Garland or Janis Joplin, but with unfailing grace and good cheer.” —ZealNYC

For more than two decades Ruth Davies’ Blues Night has anchored the Stanford Jazz Festival with one of the music’s essential wellsprings, providing musicians and audiences with a visceral blues experience courtesy of leading masters of the essential African-American idiom. A well-traveled veteran herself who’s toured and recorded with blues greats such as Elvin Bishop, Charles Brown, and John Lee Hooker, Davies has put her expansive network to work in bringing storied artists to Stanford, from harp legend Charlie Musselwhite and blues troubadour Keb’ Mo’ to guitarists Chris Cain and Robben Ford. Ruthie Foster, who makes a new batch of fans whenever she performs, was such a hit in her 2019 Blues Night performance that she’s returning for a reprise. Over the past two decades she’s taken home the Koko Taylor Award for Traditional Blues/Female Artist of the Year from the Blues Music Awards six times, earned three Austin Music Awards, and the Grand Prix du Disque award from France’s Académie Charles-Cros. Despite being pegged as a traditional blues artist, she exemplifies all the best impulses and practices on the contemporary blues scene, drawing from a deep well of sacred music. A full rich contralto, Foster’s magnificent voice brings glory to whatever kind of material she sings. She’s also an accomplished guitarist and songwriter with a series of acclaimed albums for Blue Corn Music, most recently 2022’s pandemic-inspired Healing Time. For this performance Ruth and Ruthie are joined by a stellar band featuring veteran drummer Leon Joyce Jr., ace saxophonist Kristen Strom, the consummate accompanist John R. Burr on piano and organ, and guitarist Garth Webber, an underappreciated master who’s played with everyone from Miles Davis, Mose Allison, and Merl Saunders to Gregg Allman, Bob Weir, and Joe Louis Walker.

sight & sound