Sound Advice: Ana Popovic with Noah Wotherspoon (Aug. 17)

Serbia-born/L.A.-based Blues phenom Ana Popovic swings through the Taft Theatre's Ballroom.

click to enlarge Ana Popovic - PHOTO: RUBEN TOMAS
Photo: Ruben Tomas
Ana Popovic
With a little over 20 years of professional music experience on her illustrious résumé, Ana Popovic has been dropping the jaws of her audience as well as her peer group for more than half of her life.

Picking up a guitar at age 15, the Belgrade, Serbia native’s personal connection to the Blues was fostered by her father and his love for the genre, but she quickly developed an affinity for Jazz, Soul, R&B and Funk. At 19, Popovic founded Hush, one of Europe’s premier Soul/Funk bands, which spent three solid years on the club/festival circuit before recording a debut album, 1998’s Hometown. It proved to be the only title in the band’s catalog, as Popovic left to study Jazz guitar in Holland and the band dissolved in the wake of her departure.

While a student, Popovic assembled a band under her own name and scored a submission to Blue Haze, the renowned Jimi Hendrix tribute album, which was followed by the Memphis-recorded Hush! in 2001. The overwhelmingly positive response to Hush! was strong enough that Popović left school and focused her energy solely on her career.

After seven studio recordings and her 2005 live CD/DVD set Ana! Live in Amsterdam, a faithful document of her incendiary show at Amsterdam’s storied Melkweg, Popovic released her magnum opus, last year’s aptly titled Trilogy. Utilizing a host of all-star producers and guest musicians like Joe Bonamassa, Cody Dickinson and Robert Randolph, the album presented nearly two dozen tracks across three discs, with the songs shifting effortlessly between Blues, Rock, Jazz and Funk.

Last year saw Popovic relocate with her family to Los Angeles before embarking on her first Australian tour, as well as her involvement in the prestigious Experience Hendrix tour. This year marked her appearance at the Tampa Bay Blues Fest, where she jammed with Blues legend Buddy Guy and his band, as well as her third nomination for Contemporary Blues Female Artist at the Blues Music Awards.

What’s next for Popovic? If there’s a God in a Blues-loving heaven, another 50 years of guitar-wrangling brilliance.


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