Brother Tito Deler (New York)

Brother Tito Deler (New York) - 2019 VFMF

Born and raised in uptown Manhattan, Brother Tito Deler is the son of immigrants from the Dominican Republic.

With a natural gift for music, Deler began playing piano at an early age and picked up the guitar by age eight. But it wasn’t until he was 38 that he found his true instrument, a steel-body resonator guitar. He started writing his own music, combining sounds from his New York upbringing with the style of pre-war Mississippi Delta blues. He released his first record, The Original Harlem Slim, which Other Music named one of the top 15 albums of 2012.

Drawn to the Mississippi Delta blues of Willie Brown, Son House, and Skip James, Deler has played with various Mississippi bluesmen over the years. In October 2015, he played a gig with Mississippi blues legends Jimmy “Duck” Holmes and Leo “Bud” Welch. After that first meeting, “Duck” remarked, “Oh, boy, Tito. That Tito can play!” “Duck” then insisted Deler go down to Mississippi to play the Bentonia Blues Festival, the oldest blues festival in the United States. Deler has returned to Mississippi several times a year to play at Bentonia as well as at other roots and blues festivals in the South. The people of Bentonia have embraced Deler as an adopted son, and “Duck” launched the annual Spring Juke at the Blue Front Cafe in the middle of April to coincide with Deler’s birthday.

Blue Front Records is following up the success of its first two releases, It Is What It Is by Jimmy “Duck” Holmes and Rose Hill by Mike Munson, with an album by Deler recorded in his native New York City, to be released in mid-2019.

Brother Tito Deler The Original Harlem Slim @ Smoot's Natchez Mississippi

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Brother Tito Deler The Original Harlem Slim At Smoot's Natchez Mississippi

Performed live at Mississippi’s oldest running juke joint for Stella Youtsey and her husband Brad. This video was shot and edited by Tyler McLeod.