Chris Yakopcic is a fingerstyle acoustic blues guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter inspired by pre-war delta and Piedmont players. His guitar playing builds on the rhythmic and often high energy thumb-bass picking patterns innovated by Robert Johnson, Bill Broonzy, and Blind Blake to name a few.

In January 2015, Chris was a finalist in the 31st International Blues Challenge (top 8 of 100 competing solo/duo acts) in Memphis, TN. He has qualified for the IBC four times after winning various regional completions

Chris Yakopcic performs regularly at bars and listening rooms mostly located throughout Ohio and Pennsylvania, but has also travelled to perform at venues in Colorado, Maryland, and Tennessee. He has performed on the main stage at blues festivals in Dayton and Cincinnati. He also recently started teaching and holding workshops on acoustic blues guitar. In 2011 he recorded his debut album “Done Found My Freedom ‘fore My Technique” and has now released his sophomore album, “The Next Place I Leave.”

Awards and Recognition

  • 2018: BSWPA Jim Weber Memorial Award for the Best Guitarist of 2018 (Pittsburgh, PA): Winner
  • 2018: Blues Society of Western PA Blues Challenge (Pittsburgh, PA): Winner
  • 2018: International Blues Challenge (Memphis, TN): Semi-Finalist
  • 2017: Blues Society of Northeast Ohio Blues Challenge (Canton, OH): Winner
  • 2016: Telluride Blues and Brews Fest Competition (Telluride, CO): 2nd Place
  • 2015: International Blues Challenge (Memphis, TN): Finalist
  • 2015: Dayton Blues Society Blues Challenge (Dayton, OH): Winner
  • 2015: Blues Society of Northeast Ohio Best Self-Produced CD Competition: Winner
  • 2014: Cleveland Blues Society Blues Challenge (Cleveland, OH): Winner
  • 2012: Cincy Blues Society Blues Challenge (Cincinnati, OH): Winner
  • 2011: Blues Society of Western PA Blues Challenge (Pittsburgh, PA): Winner


“Embracing individuality, Chris Yakopcic has more in mind than singing and fingerpicking guitar in emulation of past bluesmen…the Ohioan leans into classics by Robert Johnson and Fred McDowell with the pleasure of discovery, finding his own expressive qualities to share with listeners.”Downbeat Magazine, March, 2016

“This is an absolutely stunning surprise, packed with great material, picking and music of the highest order. Chris Yakopcic is a clearly talented acoustic/resonator guitar picker with a complete mastery over the instrument and the acoustic blues/roots US tradition.” Iain Patience: Elmore Magazine

“Even with Chris Yakopcic on the cover with a beautiful Resonator guitar I did not for one moment expect to hear truly wondrous Piedmont, Delta, Hill Country and Appalachian Blues of this caliber.”Peter Merrett: PBS 106.7, Melbourne, Australia

“Chris Yakopcic is one of the finest guitarists I’ve stumbled across in some time and a great storyteller to boot. Yakopcic has a great voice for the genre and has a great sense of delivery when it comes to his storytelling.” -Bill Wilson: Reflections in Blue

Fans of acoustic blues, roots music, and finely picked guitars will find plenty to like with Chris Yakopcic’s The Next Place I Leave. It is 40 minutes of well written and well played music that really clicks. –Rex Bartholomew: Blues Blast Magazine, April, 2016

Past Festival Performances

  • International Blues Challenge, Memphis, TN
  • Telluride Blues and Brews Fest, Telluride, CO
  • Durango Blues Train, Durango, CO
  • Silver Spring Blues Festival, Silver Spring, MD
  • Cincy Summer Blues Fest, Cincinnati, OH
  • Cincy Winter Blues Fest, Cincinnati, OH
  • Dayton Blues Festival, Dayton, OH
  • Brews and Blues Festival, Dayton, OH
  • Buckeye Blues and BBQ Fest, West Chester, OH
  • Richmond Blues Festival, Richmond, IN
  • Kent Blues Fest, Kent, OH
  • Guitar Fest, Centerville, OH
  • Creekside Blues & Jazz Fest, Gahanna, OH