AUBURN – World-class harmonica player and powerful vocalist Mark Hummel will perform May 29 at the Midnight Blues Club and Restaurant, as part of the club’s 2005 Sunday Night Blues Series.

Hummel was born in 1955 in Hew Haven, Conn., and raised in Los Angeles. As a young man he became fascinated with the blues-rock of bands like Cream, The Rolling Stones and artists like Jimi Hendrix. After seeing credits to songwriters on the albums, he started exploring those band’s blues roots.

Wanting to be different from the huge group of guitar players in his high school, Hummel began playing harmonica. He studied the styles of Chicago-based blues legends James Cotton, Sonny Boy Williamson and Big Walter Horton.

In 1972, he moved to Berkeley, Calif., and started playing gigs with such bluesmen as Johnny Waters, Cool Papa and Sonny Lane. After graduating from high school, Hummel traveled to New Orleans, Boston and Chicago to learn from those cities’ top players.

He formed a band called the Blues Survivors in 1980, and has since taken the group to national prominence. Considered one of the top harmonica players in the United States, he has recorded several albums and has performed at numerous blues festivals around the world.

In 1985, the Blues Survivors released their debut album, “Playing In Your Town.” After meeting Canadian guitarist Sue Foley in 1988, Hummel recorded and released an album with her titled “Up and Jumpin’.” The band hit the road again and released its third album, “Hard Lovin,'” three years later.

Hummel has been described by Blues Revue Magazine as “a harmonica virtuoso. Quite simply, he is one of a handful of the best players ever on the instrument, and he gets better with each new release.”

In the mid 1990s, the Blues Survivors were true road warriors, stopping only to record “Feel Like Rockin'” in 1994 and “Married to the Blues” in 1995. Hummel traveled to the Windy City in 1997 to record his sixth album, “Heart of Chicago,” featuring former Muddy Waters sidemen Willie “Big Eyes” Smith and Bob Stroger.

Hummel’s latest release, “Blowin’ My Horn,” hit store shelves in 2004 and captures two live performances in Canada from September of 2003.

The Midnight Blues Club and Restaurant is located at 34 Court St. Tickets are $15. FMI: log on to

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