AJ Lee and Blue Summit made their first appearance in Santa Cruz in 2015. Led by singer, songwriter, and mandolinist, AJ Lee, the bluegrass band has performed all over the world, but finds home in California’s Bay Area.
The latest full length project, I’ll Come Back, debuted August 2021 – with national touring in support of the record ongoing. Although falling loosely under the bluegrass label, AJLBS generally plays sans banjo, with Sullivan Tuttle and Scott Gates on steel stringed acoustic guitars, AJ on mandolin, Jan Purat on fiddle, and Chad Bowen on upright bass – a configuration effectively used to create unique space and texture in the arrangements not as commonly found in the music of their peers. Drawing from influences such as country, soul, swing, rock, and jam music, the band uses the lens of bluegrass as a vessel through which to express and explore the thread that binds and unifies all great music.
“AJ Lee & Blue Summit are pure, beautiful American music. Soaring harmonies, top notch picking and strumming as well as a healthy respect and reverence for the classic country, bluegrass and folk music of the past all add up to a band who are masters of the genre. That’s not to say that AJ Lee & Blue Summit are antiquated in anyway. While the band tips a hat to the American masters of the past, their sound is modern and thoroughly of today. The band are great torch bearers of the music that helped build America. ”
-Eric Oblander – Musician, Producer of Rise Up on BCAN (Buckeye Community Arts network)