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Billy Branch was born in Chicago in 1951 and picked up a harmonica at the age of ten. At the age of 18, he became immersed in the local blues scene—learning from such legendary harmonica players as Big Walter Horton, James Cotton, Junior Wells and Carey Bell. He eventually replaced Bell in Willie Dixon’s Chicago Blues All-Stars band and worked with Willie Dixon for six years. During this time, Billy formed the Sons of Blues (S.O.B.s) featuring musicians who were the sons of famous blues artists including Lurrie Bell, Freddie Dixon and Garland Whiteside. The S.O.B.s toured Europe and recorded for Alligator Records’ Grammy-nominated Living Chicago Blues sessions. Billy has recorded and/or performed with an incredible list of blues legends including Muddy Waters, Big Walter Horton, Son Seals, Lonnie Brooks, Koko Taylor, Johnny Winter, Albert King and Taj Mahal. He’s also dedicated to passing on the blues tradition to a new generation through his award-winning Blues in the Schools program. He is a dedicated blues educator and has taught in the Chicago school system for over 20 years as part of the Urban Gateways Project.