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Blues violinist! Won the International Blues Challenge (IBC) in 2008 (Band) and 2011 (Solo/duo) - the first double champion in the history of the IBC

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Lionel Young is a high energy performer with a bent for the blues. His LIONEL YOUNG BAND, winners of numerous awards for best in and around the Colorado region, have won the 2011 International Blues Challenge (IBC) band competition. Added to his victory at the 2008 IBC in the solo-duo category, that makes Lionel Young the first double champion in the history of the IBC.


Fans of the driven, classically trained Young love his distinctive brand of blues on the electric violin. His show features not only Young originals but interpretations of blues classics by Willie Dixon, Leadbelly and Stevie Ray Vaughan, along with the strength and passion of Young’s playing, his smooth vocals and unique translations. The songs, which include his award-winning composition ” Brown Cloud Over Denver” and “Hey, O.J.,” a controversial little gem, alternately stir up social concerns and soothe the weary soul. It’s prime. It’s fun. It’s Lionel Young.


Born in Rochester, New York, Lionel Young began taking violin lessons at the age of six with Anastasia Jempelis at the Eastman School of Music. He was a member of the Pittsburgh Opera-Ballet Orchestra and the National Repertory Orchestra which commissioned him to play bluegrass and blues for their summer festival and on a tour of Japan, Taiwan, and Korea during the 1988 Summer Olympic Music Festival.

Throughout his career, Mr. Young has won numerous awards including: The Young Artist Award (Pittsburgh Symphony); The Concerto Contest (Carnegie-Mellon); The Passamenic Award (Branchwood String Quartet); and the award for the Best Blues Band in Westword’s Best of Denver. He’s also won a position with The Denver Chamber Orchestra and premiered a solo piece by William Hill.


Lionel has had the honor of working with such show biz luminaries as: Count Basie, Stevie Wonder, Jimmy Paige/Robert Plant, Doc Severenson, Linda Ronstadt, Living Color, Billy Taylor, Woodie Herman, Stanley Turrentine, Homesick James, Homer Brown, Hamlet Bluiett, Chief Bae, and Johnny Long.


"The Lionel Young Band from the Colorado Blues Society brought the Orpheum crowd to it’s feet with his horn-driven sound. Young, who won the solo-duo crown in 2008 is an entertainer’s entertainer, whether singing, playing guitar, or playing his violin."


"We were impressed with Lionel Young Band’s performance… acapella [Sam Cooke song] showcasing their vocal ability. Lionel also jumped off the stage and headed into the crowd playing his fiddle behind his back … Brilliant and effective for a convincing win! … [They] deserve a place on your must see list."




  • Winner—2011 International Blues Challenge (IBC), Band competition

  • Winner—2008 International Blues Challenge (IBC), Best Solo/Duo