Luke Winslow-King (born March 12, 1983) is a guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, singer, composer, and lyricist based out of New Orleans, Louisiana, who plays vintage Blues and Jazz music and is known for his slide guitar work. In 2012, Winslow-King signe...
Luke Winslow-King (born March 12, 1983) is a guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, singer, composer, and lyricist based out of New Orleans, Louisiana, who plays vintage Blues and Jazz music and is known for his slide guitar work. In 2012, Winslow-King signed with Bloodshot Records. He is a music traditionalist, playing a mixture of "people's music" and improvisational jazz based in collective improvisation, with influences from New Orleans jazz, Delta blues, ragtime, pre-war American folk, with influences from diverse sources like Béla Bartók and Antonín Dvořák's String Quartet No. 12 (American String Quartet) and Woody Guthrie.
Winslow-King was born in Cadillac, Michigan. His mother, a painter and farmer, runs a soup kitchen and his father, also a musician, works at a hospital. He grew up in the Baptist church. Winslow-King's family come from the Winslow descendants of the Mayflower.
He began playing guitar at a young age. Starting at the age of 14, he performed with his band, Luke Winslow-King Blues Band, and did a weekly gig at McGuire's Resort in Cadillac. He attended Interlochen Center for the Arts, where he studied bebop jazz. In 2001, he graduated with a major in jazz guitar.
Winslow-King attended Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and the University of New Orleans where he was in the music theory and composition program. While there he studied classical music.
During the fall of 2002 when he was 19 years old, he dropped out of college after a semester at Western Michigan University. Winslow-King went on a cross-country tour with musicians Seth Bernard and Daniel Kahn, playing Woody Guthrie songs in a show called "From California to the New York Island." While making a stop in New Orleans, the band's car and instruments were stolen. The theft meant Winslow-King had to spent time in New Orleans. During the weeks he was there, when they got the van back, but no instruments, Winslow-King fell in love with the city, and in 2001 decided to permanently relocate to New Orleans. He knew the soul singer John Boutté of the band ¡Cubanismo! during their stop at Mackinaw Island, and soon got a first-hand immersion into the local music scene, often busking on the street and playing with various bands and musicians - like "Washboard Chaz" Leary, George Porter, Jr., Paul Sanchez's "Nine Lives" project, Roberto Luti, The Loose Marbles Jazz Band - in the city. He often plays at local New Orleans clubs like Three Muses and DBA on Frenchmen Street in the 7th Ward.
In the summer of 2003, Winslow-King spent the summer in the Czech Republic after he won an ambassador scholarship to study Czech music at Charles University in Prague. While living in New York City, Winslow-King studied composition and worked with avant-garde composer "Blue" Gene Tyranny and played in Jack Hardy's well-known songwriter's circle.
From 2004 to 2006, Winslow-King lived in Harlem and worked as a music therapist for people with developmental disability (blind, mentally disabled) at the Institute of Applied Human Dynamics (IAHD) in the Bronx neighborhood of New York City. He also taught music at the Lavelle School for the Blind, also in the Bronx.
Winslow-King co-founded the Michigan-based music label, Earthwork Music, with local Michigan musicians with whom he was friendly. He released his self-titled debut via Earthwork in 2006. Winslow-King wrote many of the songs, a mix of classical string quartet music and songwriting, with his ex-girlfriend, the musician Ji Un Choi.
Winslow-King has worked as a composer for both theater and film. His song, "Swing That Thing," from his record Everlasting Arms was directed by the comedian Kyle Newacheck from Workaholics. It was filmed in New Orleans at the Balcony Room at Blue Nile.
His 2009 record, Old/New Baby, was recorded at Preservation Hall and was distributed by EMusic. American Songwriter named it one of 2009's Top 10 Record.
2011: American Songwriter's Writer of the Week,
2014: Offbeat Magazine's Best of the Beat Awards - nominee for Best Blues Performer,
Winslow-King is married to his wife, Esther King, a singer and songwriter who is known by her maiden name Esther Rose. She sings with Winslow-King in his band and has co-written with Winslow-King since his first records. Winslow-King gave Rose his grandmother's ring, which was even more meaningful as Esther King was his grandmother's name. The couple lives in Arabi, St. Bernard Parish Louisiana. Rose King is Jewish.
Winslow-King and his wife are known for wearing clothes that are dapper on stage, reflecting his wife's interest in sewing. She also has a fashion line at the store Bon Castor in New Orleans.