Michael “Big Mike” Aguirre (“ah-gear-ray”) is an American guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and bandleader from St. Louis.
From a young age, Aguirre set out with his electric guitar and an ambitious goal: to learn the blues by playing with musicians from all corners of St. Louis, from his native East Side to haunts along Natural Bridge and West Florissant, where he supported artists such as Big George Brock, Boo Boo Davis, Blues Boy Bubba, Barbara Carr, Oliver Sain, Willie Johnson, Willie “Al” Green, Arthur Williams, Charles Hunt, Roland Johnson, Eugene Johnson and many others.
Determined to earn the respect of the musicians he idolized and shared the stage with (not to mention the savvy and discerning audiences accustomed to excellent live music in St. Louis), he relentlessly honed his craft night after night, year after year, before eventually fronting his own band. Not content to limit himself to playing with a handful of musicians, he formed the Blu-City All Stars (the name itself a shout out to its initial residency on St. Louis’s historic Delmar Boulevard in U-City), a vehicle to showcase the immense breadth and depth of talented musicians in St. Louis. In doing so, he developed his own talents as a passionate and engaging vocalist, guitarist and bandleader.
He has since developed a reputation as one of St. Louis’ most dynamic live performers on club stages and music festivals in St. Louis and abroad. These days Aguirre is most often found on that fertile strip of South Broadway, where he holds down the Sunday night social at the Beale on Broadway. His weekly gig with the Blu City All Stars shows his fluency in the various tributaries of blues music, but his bandmates — some of the most versatile players in the rock, rhythm and soul community — aid Aguirre in navigating our city’s wide musical waterways.
After 18 years and thousands of performances in St. Louis, Aguirre has been blessed with many opportunities to combine his love of music with his love of travel and meeting people around the world, including performances at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (’09), Bevrijdingsdag 5 Mei Festival in the Netherlands (’13) and 5 successful tours of the US & British Virgin Islands and Anguilla (’16-’18).