He’s been called a “Wonderboy” and “the Wunderkind” by blues legend Taj Mahal. And a newspaper headline once described him as a “70-year-old bluesman in a 20-year-old body.”
For the just-turned 21 Jontavious Willis, who hails from the Meriwether County seat of Greenville, Ga., about an hour north of Columbus, he humbly just wants to play the blues and soak up its rich history and cultural impact.
By Tony Adams for the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer | June 2017
Meet Jontavious Willis, the living proof in the current class of blues-death deniers. Only a few like him emerge every decade or so, when even the most hard core blues fans realize immediately that this is the real deal, a player and singer whose got it all: Deep roots feeling, instrumental prowess and a voice that carries the heart and soul of the blues with unwavering connection to the ancient roots. Not long ago people said that of Jerron Paxton, and now Jontavious Willis deserves to be celebrated as one of the brilliant new voices.
By Frank Matheis, as published in Living Blues magazine | April 2016; issue Nr. 242/Vol. 47/#2
The 20-year-old Greenville native and Callaway High School graduate’s fingers fly across the fret board with little apparent effort. He seems to play almost as easily as most people speak, and the instrument provides him a voice that speaks from deep within. The young singer-songwriter has already made a name for himself as a prodigy to the dwindling blues scene. A multi-instrumentalist, he also plays banjo, slide guitar and harmonica, among others.
By Matthew Strother for the LaGrange Daily News | July 2016
"A Sunday evening spent resting at his family’s home in Greenville, Georgia, in-between college classes and touring, Willis, humbled to share his musical journey, eases back to readjust his hands along the guitar, smiling as he begins strumming and singing along."
By Karah Rhodes & Molly Vines | November 2017
Jack Dappa Blues Radio | October 2016
20 year old Jontavious Willis from Greenville, Georgia is a touring, unrecorded, self-taught mult-instrumentalist who can be seen belting out pre-war blues on Youtube like some kind of prodigy.
Blues America - Show 59: August 2016
Jontavious Willis is a student at Columbus State University and a true blues prodigy. With mentors like blues icon Taj Mahal, there can be no doubt that the tradition of a unique American musical art form is being passed down to a worthy young artist.
By Michael Limnios for Blues.GR | April 2016
By Mo Barnes for rollingout.com | October 2015