Blues On The Belle

Of the many experiences Jarekus Singleton has had since embarking on his first national tour in April, he has yet to perform on a steamboat.

That will change as of Monday evening.

The Mississippi-based blues/rock musician will take his band aboard the Chautauqua Belle to perform on the waters of Chautauqua Lake in support of his second album “Refuse To Lose.” Though second in his discography, “Refuse to Lose” is the first of Singleton’s albums to be widely distributed through a record label. Since being signed to Alligator Records in Chicago, he has significantly expanded upon the geographic reach of his musical influence – including performances in several clubs and festivals across the South, and two appearances at the distinguished Chicago Blues Festival.

His Monday appearance on the Chautauqua Belle, however, marks the first time he has visited the Chautauqua Lake region.

“For me to write my own music and to have people receptive in different areas and places that I’ve never been before is very exciting and humbling to me,” Singleton said. “This is what I’ve been waiting on all my life, and I’m just ready to keep it going. But I’ve never performed on a steamboat before, so I’m going to have to try to use my firm stance that I had when I played basketball to keep my balance in mind.”

Singleton’s music features a blend of rock and blues music that draws influence from legendary musicians such as B.B. King, Albert King, Freddie King and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Although he originated as a rap artist, writing his own lyrics, he soon began combining his words with the music of his Mississippi heritage.

Singleton’s lyrics take an optimistic view of overcoming life’s obstacles. He said these lyrics come from personal experiences, and the inspiration he gained from seeing his mother struggle to raise three children as a single parent.

“The main thing I try to do with my music is to inspire people to get through tough situations; whether it’s in a relationship, or a bad job they’ve had or a student struggling to get through school,” he said. “When I perform and people hear my music, any time they’re inspired by what I’m trying to convey through my music is a really special thing. I just try to keep people motivated, and let them know that they don’t have to settle. Music has helped me through so much, and I just want to try to express that to the world.”

Since self-releasing his debut album, “Heartfelt,” in 2011, Singleton has been building his reputation as a gifted musician and performer. He was named the 2011 King of the Blues in Mississippi, and is the recipient of the Jackson Music Award for 2012 Blues Artist of the Year and for 2013 Local Entertainer of the Year.

He will perform on the Chautauqua Belle as the second installation of the 2014 Belle Bash Summer Concert Series.

The performance will begin at 8 p.m., and tickets are $50.

For more information, call 269-2355, or visit www.269belle.com.