Luke Winslow-King is an old soul in a young body.

On May 12, Winslow-King will return to Lulu's Chocolate Bar for a performance. "This is my second time at Lulu's," he says. "I played a duo show with my partner, Esther Rose, last fall."

Bassist Cassidy Holden also performs with Winslow-King, and the trio has performed across the United States and Europe. They've shared stages with Taj Mahal, John Anderson, Cheick Hamala Diabate, Jack White, Robert Earl Keen, Tower of Power, Rebirth Brass Band and Chris Thile.

Winslow-King also has performed live on CNN, the Discovery Channel, and BBC-TV. He was named Writer of the Week by American Songwriter Magazine.

A guitarist, singer, composer and lyricist known for his slide guitar work, Winslow-King is originally from Cadillac, Mich., but has lived in New Orleans since 2001. With a strong interest in pre-war blues and traditional jazz, his work is an eclectic mix of delta-folk music, classical composition, ragtime and rock and roll.

Winslow-King was just 14 when he began performing with the Luke Winslow-King Blues Band. He studied jazz guitar at the Interlochen Arts Academy.

In 2002, Winslow-King went to Louisiana with Earthwork Music founders Seth Bernard and Daniel Kahn. They were on tour to present "From California to the New York Island: The Songs and Stories of Woody Guthrie."

"My car got stolen my first day in New Orleans," Winslow-King says. "We lost all our instruments, all three band members' worth, but we got the van back.

"In the time I was in New Orleans after the van got stolen, I was charmed by the city," he says. "I returned there to go college."

After enrolling in the music theory and composition program at the University of New Orleans, Winslow-King was awarded an ambassador scholarship to study Czech classical music at St. Charles University in Prague that summer.

He got quite an education in New Orleans, where he learned gospel and jazz standards by accompanying John Boutte, bottleneck guitar from blues maestro Roberto Luti, formerly of The Washboard Chaz Blues Trio, and traditional jazz playing with The Loose Marbles Jazz Band. Winslow-King busked on Royal Street by day and worked the clubs on Frenchman Street at night.

In New York City, Winslow-King was employed as a music therapist by the Institutes of Applied Human Dynamics in the Bronx, and held a music teacher's position at the La Velle School for the Blind. He studied composition privately and recorded with Grammy-nominated avant-garde composer "Blue" Gene Tyranny, and attended Jack Hardy's legendary songwriter's circle.

"All sorts of things" inspire songs for Winslow-King. "Humanity, good weather, traveling and nature," he says. "Just the way people speak, small things like that. I just see what comes naturally from all these influences.

"Music is a natural language," Winslow-King says. "I've been in it since I was young and it comes naturally to me."

At Lulu's, Winslow-King plans a varied program. "We'll be playing a lot of new stuff off our album, 'Coming Tide,'" he says.

"We'll do a few traditional Mississippi blues, with some New Orleans jazz mixed in, and a bunch of songs we haven't recorded yet but we're excited to show," Winslow-King says. "And we'll have some romantic songs for your mom if you bring her down for Mother's Day."


What: Luke Winslow-King

When: 7 p.m. May 12

Where: Lulu's Chocolate Bar, 42 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Info: 912-480-4564, 912-238-2012,,