“I see and hear Jesse Lockridge often playing with the great Jimmy Johnson. Not just a side man, Jesse’s playing is integral to the ensemble. I asked Mr. Lockridge to send me his bio so that I might get to know more about him and share with our bBlues Note readers. His creds are deep and wide, like so many brilliant Chicago blues musicians who provide the musical backbone to our marvelous front men and women. On stage and in recording studios, these musicians are to be celebrated on these pages for their contributions to the Chicago Sound which we love to the core.” – Peter M. Hurley
JESSE LOCKRIDGE has been a part of the music scene in Chicago for the last forty-five years. Born in Chicago, Illinois on July 31, 1960, Mr. Lockridge’s interest in music was sparked through piano lessons at age nine. The Chicago experience provided him with the motivation and assertiveness he would need as a professional musician, a career he had already chosen by his first year of high school.
As a teenager, Mr. Lockridge acquired valuable first-hand recording, and performing skills which would later benefit his career. This experience cultivated his innovative and unique piano style. By age nineteen, Mr. Lockridge was playing with various local bands until Chi-Sound Records hired him as a musician.
At Chi-Sound, Mr. Lockridge performed with such greats as Minnie Riperton, The Staple Singers, Gene Chandler, Chi-Lites, and Walter Jackson. Later, he turned his talents toward Chicago blues and performed with legendary blues artists Buster Benton, Mighty Joe Young, Elvin Bishop, Willie Dixon, and Jimmy Johnson. This experience launched his reputation as a first-rate musician and led to invitations to work with other well-established Chicago blues artists such as Johnny B. Moore, Billy Branch, Lucky Peterson, Artie (Blues Boy) White, Willie Kent, Byther Smith, Katherine Davis, Buster Benton, Willie Dixon, and Nora Jean Wallace.
Today, Jesse Lockridge continues to grace the stage with various well-known Chicago Artists. His recording contributions include Byther Smith, Katherine Davis and Jimmy Johnson. Also, he has toured in Europe and Africa with the legendary Jimmy Johnson.
Mr. Lockridge’s unique blend of R&B and the Chicago blues experience makes him one of the premier musicians today. With the soul and intensity of R&B, and the spirit and honesty of blues, Mr. Lockridge has created his own personal sound. The tradition of the Chicago sound lives on through Mr. Lockridge. He continues to be sought out as one of Chicago’s premier independent musicians.
Bio by Angela Chambers
Photo of Jesse Lockridge by Peter M. Hurley taken @ B.L.U.E.S. on Halsted, 2021.
© Peter M. Hurley
Jesse Lockridge Facebook page: HERE.
Mr. Hurley is a contributing photographer and writer for Living Blues Magazine and the staff photographer for Chicago Blues Network. His recent book Blues Legacy: Tradition and Innovation in Chicago, in collaboration with Blues historian and author David Whiteis, showcases his work in the field. His passion for blues music began with a 6th grade dance party discovery of Bo Diddley which led to Little Walter, muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf and so on. It continues to this day. VISIT PETER’S WEBSITE HERE.