This week we sat down with local blues guitarist Jules Leyhe to learn more about his upcoming projects, feature in the Ivy Hill Weekly, and what spurred his love of music.

Jules Leyhe grew up in the Bay Area in a house filled with music and dancing. It was his family that first fostered a deep love music in him. He recalls, “My dad took me to see a lot of live music, it definitely had a heavy impact on me”. Live music inspired him but the first time he saw School of Rock pushed that inspiration into action. Jack Black might be an unlikely fuel, but Leyhe went home and asked his dad to teach him basics on guitar. From the first song he learned, House of the Rising Sun, something clicked.

He spent all his free time into his teenage years studying guitar, and realized “that was all I really wanted to do”. Leyhe went on to graduate Berklee School of Music, and returned home to the Bay Area. The Bay Area helped shape him as an artist, and he realized “I feel happy here, it’s a place that is conducive to becoming the artist I really am. It’s home so there's a lot of support and love and I’m surrounded by people working towards the same goal of making a living as an artist”. After returning to the Bay, Jules gained the mentorship of blues legend Buddy Guy, and has had the opportunity to play with artists like Fantastic Negrito and Chris Cain.

Jules has since released four records, most recently Live Backwards and is currently working once again with Ivy Hill Founder Jon Devoto. Leyhe says the new album will be “bigger and better, we’re trying to creatively stretch one another and push each other to do new things”. He's excited to continue creating with The Family Jules Band so make sure you stay on the lookout for their shows around the Bay. 

Like many other musicians, Jules has become a music educator to support his performing and recording career. For the past five years he’s been teaching guitar privately and coaching bands at BandWorks, and he’s loved it. “No two students are the same so no two lessons are the same. I love the energy and love that so many of my students have. For me teaching is about igniting and keeping the fire going in kids (or adults) and it’s beautiful.” Leyhe refers to “experiences I've had playing music, things you can't learn from a textbook. Teaching from the bandstand can help influence and inspire students”.

Fun Fact: Jules is part of a popular meme and music social media movement @gifhead ! Described as a kind of social media experiment, Leyhe is creating "modern psychedelic, blues with an EDM twist" for the account. Be sure to check them out on instagram or facebook for some sweet tunes and lols. 

Check out Jules Leyhe at Ivy Hill's the guitarist series thursday march 9th

To stay updated with Jules' creative projects or learn more about his teaching head to his website