Jimmy Dillon & Friends
Jimmy Dillon is an electrifying, soulful performer and an accomplished playwright, composer and educator with a rock and roll heart. An iconic member of the Marin community, Dillon is a longtime resident of Mill Valley. He not only gives back to his community, he brings life and spirit to it.
Dillon grew up in LA and Michigan, listening to Elvis, Chuck Berry, Ray Charles and such great Chicago bluesmen from across Lake Michigan as Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters and BB King. He formed his first band, the Fugitives, at age 15 and went on to master many styles—from Blues to Bop to Rock to Reggae, as well as rockabilly, Latin, funk and country music. He was a founding member of the Ska-driven band, The Edge, widely regarded throughout the 1980’s as “Marin County’s House Band”.
In addition to releasing five CDs of mostly original music, he has backed the best, trading licks with Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen, recording a duet with blues legend John Lee Hooker, and performing alongside Sting, Joe Cocker, Buddy Guy, BB King and many others. Jimmy was musical director and lead guitarist for the Clarence Clemons band, The Red Bank Rockers and toured the US and Europe extensively with Clarence and his own group The Jimmy Dillon Band, playing festivals and clubs.
In 1999 he wrote, produced and performed “Ascension of the Blues”, a hugely popular multimedia theatrical extravaganza tracing the history of the purebred American genre.Following the multi-city run of “Ascension”,it was time for payback.
Jimmy’s love of music and gift for teaching led him to found Blue Star Music Camps, where aspiring young musicians learn from professionals to interpret, perform and record in a supportive setting. Many well-known musicians have lent support to Blue Star including Bonnie Raitt, Bob Weir, U2, Dana Carvey, Robin Williams, Narada Michael Walden, Huey Lewis among many others. Many of Blue Star’s students receive scholarships in order to reach those who might not otherwise be able to attend.For his efforts, Blue Star was voted Outstanding Youth Program by Bread and Roses and Jimmy was awarded the 2012 Milley Award for Creative Achievement by the Mill Valley Art Commission.