“AJ Lee & Blue Summit”
“Could This Kid Be the Next Allison Krauss?” Mother Jones magazine asked about AJ Lee — and for good reason. AJ has been turning heads in the bluegrass world since she was just 7. She has won the Northern California Bluegrass Society’s (NCBS) Best Female Vocalist award nine times — and she’s only 21! Popular Webzine Californiality called AJ "California's Hottest Singer" because of her jaw-droppingly beautiful voice. AJ previously played in the phenomenal young band The Tuttles with AJ Lee, along with Sullivan Tuttle and his father, brother and sister - acclaimed Americana artist Molly Tuttle. Sullivan has also been winning awards from the NCBS (Best Guitarist & Best Male Vocalist), and in the past two years AJ Lee and Blue Summit took home the Best Band of the Year award. They have recently been nominated as finalists for the FreshGrass Band Award, IBMA Momentum Band, and IBMA Momentum Vocalist (AJ).
AJ and Sullivan are joined in the band by super talented musicians and singers Jesse Fichman and Chad Bowen. From a young age, Jesse, AJ and Sullivan grew up playing music together at California bluegrass music festivals, performing on stage, jamming late into the night and honing skills in lightning fast picking and skillful musical improvisation. In 2016, they formed Blue Summit, a young, Santa Cruz based Americana band, and were joined last year by talented bassist and singer Chad Bowen. The band delights audiences of all ages with their wide range of material, including the music of Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Merle Haggard, the Grateful Dead, swing standards, blues, bluegrass classics and AJ’s outstanding original material. AJ Lee and Blue Summit has been widely recognized for their unique sound, sharing their music all over the west coast of the U.S. and performing in the U.K., Ireland and France.
AJ Lee is the band’s lead vocalist and mandolinist. AJ began singing and performing on stage at the astonishing age of five. By twelve, she began writing her own songs and showcasing them nation-wide. AJ has traveled with many bands, including “The Tuttles with AJ Lee,” which was featured at numerous festivals across the U.S. and beyond. She is a fantastic mandolinist and songwriter with a gorgeous voice. Now twenty-one, Ms. Lee is excited to share Blue Summit’s latest album consisting of all original material.
Jesse Fichman started playing guitar at the age of ten when he and his friends decided to form a bluegrass band. Since then, he has played in multiple bluegrass bands, multiple jazz combos, and a country band. When Jesse lends his rich voice to old, classic country songs audiences burst into applause. Jesse graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a degree in biology, and took a majority of the music classes offered there. He is a full time and original member of Blue Summit, and is studying and writing music on the side.
Sullivan Tuttle began playing guitar at age seven, learning quickly from his music teacher father, Jack Tuttle, with nightly home lessons and practice in the family band, the award-winning Tuttles with AJ Lee. By age ten Sullivan started to have an international following with a YouTube video of El Cumbanchero, which he played with his brother and sister (Michael and Molly Tuttle) - their video now has over 1.7 million views. Sullivan has developed a reputation for his rich, deep singing voice and astonishingly skillful guitar solos.
Chad Bowen was born and raised in Northwest Ohio and has been with Blue Summit since May 2018. A hardworking musician, Chad has been playing bass with numerous bands in the Bay area for almost 10 years. Music has always been a huge part of his life. Growing up he played piano, guitar, and sang in choirs. Eventually he gravitated to the double bass where he finds himself today smiling big, holding down the low end, singing sweet harmonies and sometimes singing lead on popular Grateful Dead tunes.
AJ is also featured here in this 2017 article by Ed Maxin of No Depression:
Other venues we've played include:
The Curran Theater, San Francisco, CA
Moe’s Alley, Santa Cruz, CA
Don Quixotes, Felton, CA
Father’s Day Bluegrass Festival, Grass Valley, CA
Parkfield Bluegrass Festival, Parkfield, CA
Kate Wolf Music Festival, Laytonville, CA
Strawberry Music Festival, Tuolomne, CA
The Crepe Place, Santa Cruz, CA
Freight and Salvage, Berkeley, CA
Hopmonk, Sebastopol, CA
Crow’s Nest, Santa Cruz, CA
Redwood City Music in the Park, Stafford Park in Redwood City, CA
Good Ol’ Fashioned Bluegrass Festival, Hollister, CA
McCloud Bluegrass Festival, McCloud, CA
Plumas Homegrown Americana Festival, Quincy, CA
Showcase at IBMA, Raleigh, NC
The Catalyst, Santa Cruz, CA
Santa Cruz Music Festival
DIO Fest, Boulder Creek, CA
Amnesia, San Francisco, CA
Hovander Homestead Bluegrass Festival, Ferndale, WA
4 Peaks Music Festival, Bend, OR
Gate to Southwell Festival, Southwell, UK
Westport Folk and Bluegrass Festival, Westport, Ireland