If you have been to the Blues Festival in the last three years,
you will remember Mac Potts as the keyboardist with the Ben Rice
Band. This year he performs solo, showcasing his incredible ablility
to perform on keyboards and probably a few other instruments
Mac Potts was born May 23, 1991. Although blind from birth,
he soon showed musical talent. He was picking out nursery rhymes
at the piano at 2, taking classical lessons at 4, and performing
by age 8 at local events. He began recording music at age 11
for fun, and began taking lessons from legendary Portland blues
pianist DK Stewart at 12. He became interested in jazz, blues
and boogie-woogie music from then on, and started learning more
material. He was invited to play at the Kalama Blues Festival,
where he was a big hit with the crowd. Mac also met Michael Allen
Harrison, who influenced his playing. He began playing at church
every week, and learned some technique from Ron Williams.
Meanwhile, Mac needed to learn an instrument for band. He was
given a broken alto saxophone. He taught himself despite the
fact that the horn was barely able to make notes. He got a nicer
keyboard, and began recording music more seriously.
Mac met Ben Rice and joined Ben Rice and the Youth of Blues
in early 2005. He also met Reggie Houston, a world famous saxophone
player, who gave Mac a few pointers and direction. Mac was now
getting more engagements, both solo and as part of the Ben Rice
band, or joining Reggie Houston with one of his projects. The
Ben Rice band has played the Waterfront Blues Festival in Portland
as well as concerts all over the Northwest. Mac began playing
solo piano at Hudson’s
lounge in the Heathman Hotel in Vancouver in the summer of 2005.
He is a crowd favorite, playing music from Gershwin to Elton
John, Ray Charles to Cole Porter, show tunes, pop tunes, and
almost every style (except country).
Mac studied jazz and gospel
with Janice Scroggins in 2006, and is currently studying accompaniment
and stage performance with Georgina Phillipson.
Mac traveled to New Orleans in 2006 and 2007 for the Jazz Fest.
He was introduced to many local musicians, and had the honor
of playing with Henry Butler, Charmaine Neville, and a quick
jam with Harry Connick, Jr. He has met Dr. John, James Cotton,
Michael Kaeshammer, Tom Grant and many other piano masters. Mac
also was a featured artist at the Cincinnati Blues Festival in
2007, where he performed solo and with a band at the Boogie Woogie
In his spare time, Mac has learned to do a little piano tuning,
play the harmonica and drums, and has recorded a new solo Jazz
album with piano, saxophones, drums, and keyboard bass. He continues
to strive to improve his musicianship on all the instruments.
For more information, visit www.macpotts.com