As so often with things that are simple but distinctive, a notable life story underlies Vinx's music. Growing up in a suburb of Kansas City, he was badly burned in a fire started by white terrorists who burned down his family's house. He recovered to make the second-longest triple jump in the world in 1979, which qualified him for the 1980 Olympics in Moscow before the United States withdrew. After that he turned to music. His father was murdered in a 1989 robbery in Detroit.
African American music tends toward attention-grabbing innovation, and musicians who do Vinx's kind of quiet distillation are rare. One of the few others is Taj Mahal, who was also among Vinx's early inspirations. Vinx has been more or less continuously creative since coming on the scene in the late 1980s, and he comes to the Ark on Thursday, February 26, with his recent, creatively overflowing CD, 50 Memoirs of a Hip Ole' Black Man.
[Originally published in February, 2009.]