Tucson blues phenom Barten-Sherman hosting farewell gig | Entertainment

Roman Barten-Sherman is off to study music

Tucson’s blues guitar phenom Roman Barten-Sherman is all grown up.

He just graduated from high school and is heading to college later this month, but not before Tucson gives him a big old blues-blasting all-star send off.

Barten-Sherman will share the stage with fellow Tucson musicians Tom Walbank, Al Perry and Ralph White beginning at 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 14, at the MSA Annex, 267 Avenida del Convento. Tucson-based singer-songwriter Trans Van Santos opens the show with his “handmade folk music.”

It’s hard to believe that the 18-year-old Barten-Sherman, who has been playing blues since he was 4 years old and been a regular on Tucson stages including the Rialto Theatre and Hotel Congress since he won the Battle of the Bands at age 12, is an adult.

For years now, he’s played local and regional blues festivals and opened for big-name blues artists including David Bromberg, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Bobby Rush, John Mayall and Hubby Jenkins.

Barten-Sherman was still a kid, literally, when he recorded his first album of blues, released the year before he won the Battle of the Bands competition in 2015. He’s added six albums since then, including the last two under one of Tucson’s most respected and prolific bluesmen Walbank, with whom he also recorded three “Quarantine Blues” collections over 2020.