Guitarist Robben Ford to perform at UAB’s Alys Stephens Center on Jan. 23

A five-time Grammy Award nominee, Ford achieved worldwide fame as a solo artist and collaborator with artists including Miles Davis, George Harrison, Steely Dan, Joni Mitchell, Dizzy Gillespie, Kiss and many more.

Robben Ford, one of the premier electric guitarists today known for his blues playing, will perform at the University of Alabama at Birmingham on Thursday, Jan. 23.  

Ford2Ford is presented by UAB’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center. The show will be at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $39 with $10 student tickets. For tickets, call the Alys Stephens Center Box Office at 205-975-2787 or visit

UAB faculty and staff may receive $15 off two single tickets. A limited number of student, member, and faculty/staff tickets are available.

A five-time Grammy Award nominee, Ford achieved worldwide fame both for being a solo artist and for his collaborations with a diverse musical “who’s who” that includes Miles Davis, George Harrison, Steely Dan, Joni Mitchell, Dizzy Gillespie, Georgie Fame, Kiss and many more. Ford has played with artists Jimmy Witherspoon, Phil Lesh, Bonnie Raitt, Michael McDonald, Bob Dylan, John Mayall, Greg Allman, John Scofield, Susan Tedeschi, Keb’ Mo’, Larry Carlton, Mavis Staples, Brad Paisley and many others.

His latest studio album, “Purple House,” co-produced by Casey Wasner, features nine powerhouse tracks. Exploring the range of the studio with a fresh approach, he weaves in and out of surprising musical moments, ear-wormy hooks and thoughtful lyrical themes, according to his artist statement. His sophisticated approach to the blues is evident throughout, yet the record is far more diverse regarding song structure and style. 

“I was inspired to go past what would certainly happen on a traditional blues or R&B album, take more chances sonically, and open it up without losing the essence of soulfulness or live performance,” Ford said. The album’s genesis, according to Ford, was simple and uncomplicated.  

“My concept for the record was to do something with a lot more emphasis on the production than I’ve had in the past,” Ford said. “I’m always pushing myself with each record. I haven’t made one record that sounded like the one before it, and this was going to be no different. ‘Purple House’ was a great opportunity to try something really different.”

On his interest in jazz, Ford says he fell in love with the sax-playing of Paul Desmond and The Dave Brubeck Quartet, and before long found Ornette Coleman, Archie Shepp, Yusef Lateef, Roland Kirk, John Coltrane, Wayne Shorter and, of course, Davis. These influences have stayed with Ford, playing a large part in his particular blend of jazz and blues that define him as a guitarist and allow him to play in a wide variety of settings.