by Mike Irelan
If you liked Selwyn Birchwood at last year’s Kalamazoo Blues Festival, you will be very happy with his new Alligator Records release, “Don’t Call No Ambulance”. It is a showcase for what we saw live on the festival stage in 2013, featuring 12 songs all written and performed by Selwyn, with sax, bass and drums backing him. Joe Louis Walker, among others, sits in and adds to the mix.
I really like the song “ Brown Paper Bag”. The CD covers many styles of blues, so there is a little something for everybody. The liner notes say it best: the album “captures the thrill of Selwyn’s live shows”, “embracing an eclectic mix of sounds and styles: ballads, traditional blues, funk and rootsy swamp rock”.
“Don’t Call No Ambulance” will be available June 9th. Alligator was kind enough to send me a promo, which you will be hearing on Bluespower!
Volunteer For the Festival! Have Fun! Help the KVBA! Get In Free!
Amazing, the Kalamazoo Valley Blues Association is celebrating its 21st Annual Blues Festival this year! We were so excited to present our 20th festival last year, and we are even more thrilled about the upcoming 21st!
Thank You, Thank You to all the volunteers we have had over the 20 years of Blues Festivals! We are again asking for your help to make our 21st successful. Former volunteers and first-time volunteers are welcome! The Festival dates are July 10, 11, and 12, 2014. The Festival is held at the Arcadia Festival Site in downtown Kalamazoo.
All volunteers get into the Festival free on the day/s they volunteer. In addition, each person receives a t-shirt that he or she wears when volunteering. We have many people return year after year, and many exclaim, “It was so much fun, sign me up for next year”.
We ask volunteers to serve 3 hour shifts in various areas such as ticket, merchandise, and soft drink sales; main gate, service gate, volunteer, hospitality, and beer tents; festival services and children’s activities, and vendor ticket collection. In addition a few volunteers are needed for set up on Wednesday and teardown on Sunday morning. There’s a special need this year for volunteers to help in the children’s area—we are looking for people with interests and skills to work with children on a variety of fun projects, including tie-dying Blues Festival t-shirts, a popular activity in years past.
See a more detailed description of duties involved in each area on the form titled VOLUNTEER POSITIONS. If you are interested in volunteering, please print and fill out the VOLUNTEER REGISTRATION FORM found on the KVBA website at www.kvba.org.
Return the Registration Form to: Volunteer Coordinator, 2520 Bruce Dr., Kalamazoo, MI 49008, or email to email@example.com
It is important to indicate the number of DAY/S and TIME/S that you would like to work. Please indicate the name of the person you would like to be assigned to if applicable.
Times in specific areas may be slightly different than listed on the registration form. You will be informed by postcard to confirm the day/s and time/s of your assignment.
Hope to see you in July for great music, to see friends, and have fun!!
Questions? Call Nancy at 269.342.5733 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
23 National, Regional, and Local Blues Acts to Appear at Popular Three-day Festival!
Whether this will be your first year or your 21st at Kalamazoo’s annual blues festival, you’re in for a treat. For three days in July, the Arcadia Festival Site in downtown Kalamazoo will be filled with music and fun, as a total of 23 performers from across the nation and across the years appear on two stages to delight music fans both old and new.
Old hands on the southwest Michigan scene know to expect to hear the best of the blues at the 21st Annual Kalamazoo Blues Festival, and newcomers will be pleasantly surprised. Acts as diverse as piano sensation Marcia Ball and seasoned performers Tinsley Ellis and Coco Montoya will be on the scene, along with the electrifying singer/songwriter Dana Fuchs and up and comers like Brandon Santini, as well as a lively sampling of local and regional acts.
The three-day celebration of blues music, culture, and history offers continuous performances on two stages; a variety of free workshops covering topics such as guitar and harmonica techniques, slide guitar secrets, and homemade instruments; a large children’s activity area; a great selection of blues-related merchandise; a shade tent for those hot July days; and a wide variety of food and drink vendors. For the second year in a row, the price of an advance weekend pass includes entrance into the very popular post-festival blues jam, held Thursday night at the 411 Club.
The Kalamazoo Blues Festival is presented by the Kalamazoo Valley Blues Association, which was created more than two decades ago by a group of dedicated music lovers for the express purpose of putting on a festival. Staffed entirely by volunteers, the festival is rated highly by performers and attendees alike, and has earned the right to be known as “the best blues festival in the Midwest.” Over the years, the list of performers who have appeared onstage includes many of the best-known names in the blues, including Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, Son Seals, Joe Louis Walker, Lonnie Brooks, and Magic Slim and the Teardrops. The first festival of the third decade promises to be no exception!
Advance sales of weekend passes will begin June 1, online at kvba.org (go to the “Blues Fest/Advance Tickets tab), and at various retailers around the region, including the 411 Club, all ECCU branches, Kalamazoo State Theater, Marshall Music, the Union Bar and Grill, Bottoms Up, Green Light Music, and Salut Fine Wine and Spirits. An updated list of retailers will be available on the KVBA website.
The cost of an advance weekend pass will be $20, which represents a $12 savings over the total price of daily tickets for all events. Daily festival ticket prices will be $5 for Thursday night, $10 for Friday night, and $12 for Saturday; the Thursday night jam will be $5 at the door.
Watch the KVBA website regularly for the latest updates in Festival developments.
Some of the weekend highlights include:
Thursday, July 10
The Jimmys, a Chicago blues- and New Orleans funk-influenced 8-piece band that has gathered numerous music awards, including 2013 Artist of the Year and 2013 Blues Performer of the Year (Madison Area Music Awards). “Killer horns, greasy guitars, funky keys, and a rhythm section with the heart and soul the size of Brazil”—the Braille Blues Daddy, Bryan Lee
Brandon Santini, the North Carolina-born/Memphis, Tenn. based harp player, whose specialty is Piedmont-infused Mississippi hill country blues, has received Blues Music Award nominations for 2014 in two categories, Instrumentalist-Harmonica and Contemporary Blues Album. He also received a 2014 Blues Blast Music Award in the category of Sean Costello Rising Star, as well as a Seydel harmonica endorsement—truly a young man to watch.
Friday, July 11
Dana Fuchs, a powerhouse singer/songwriter hailing from New Jersey/Florida/New York City, is known as a queen of Pop/Rock Blues, while the Dana Fuchs Band has built up a reputation as one of the best live acts on the Big Apple’s blues circuit. Probably best recognized as the character “Sadie” from the Beatles-music-themed movie “Across the Universe,” Fuchs also landed the lead role in the Janis Joplin musical “Love Janis’,” toured with Ray Davies and Dickey Betts, and wrote and performed on the soundtrack of the movie “Sherrybaby.”
Lionel Young Band. The New York-born, Colorado-based blues & Boogie-woogie violin master won the 2008 International Blues Challenge (IBC) in the solo-duo performer category, and then, with the Lionel Young Band, went on to win the 2011 IBC band competition, making him the first double champion in the history of the IBC!
Marcia Ball, “a sensational, saucy singer and superb pianist,” whose style is known as “where Texas stomp-rock and Louisiana blues-swamp meet,” Marcia Ball has gathered awards and recognitions including multiple Blues Music Awards and Grammy nominations in 1998, 2003, 2005 and 2008. A lot of folks are looking forward to the return of Marcia Ball, who last rocked the Kalamazoo Blues Fest in 1998!
Saturday, July 12
Tweed Funk, the Milwaukee band fronted by Joseph “Smokey” Holman, who recorded under Curtis Mayfield in the early 70’s, has garnered national and international acclaim for its horn-driven, sweat-soaked, soul-blues, and boasts three Wisconsin Area Music Industry (WAMI) wins in the last two years for the band and its members, as well as Big City Rhythm & Blues Magazine’s 2013 Coolest Blues Song of the Year for “Dancemaker.”
Albert Castiglia, the New York-born, Miami-raised guitar player who features modern electric and contemporary blues, has toured with Junior Wells and Sandra Hall, and shared stages and jammed with an impressive lists of blues greats including Aron Burton, Pinetop Perkins, Melvin Taylor, Sugar Blue, Phil Guy, Ronnie Earl, Billy Boy Arnold, Ronnie Baker Brooks, John Primer, Lurrie Bell, Jerry Portnoy, Larry McCray, Eddy “The Chief” Clearwater and Otis Clay.
Tinsley Ellis, from Georgia, plays modern electric blues and blues-rock that is best described as a “unique blend of Memphis r & b, southwest blues and urban funk.” An outstanding performer, Ellis is also known for writing “A Quitter Never Wins,” that was famously covered by Jonny Lang.
Coco Montoya, from California, with a style described as modern electric blues and soul, won the 1996 Handy Award for Best New Blues Artist, as well as being nominated in the same year for Contemporary Blues Male Artist of the Year, Best Instrumentalist/Guitar, and Contemporary Blues Album of The Year for “Gotta Mind To Travel.”
2014 Kalamazoo Blues Festival – Official Lineup
Thursday, July 10: gates open at 4:30 p.m.
5:55 Big Trouble
6:50 Big Boss Blues Band
7:45 The Jimmys
9:05 Brandon Santini
10:30 Blues Jam (at the 411 Club)
Friday, July 11: gates open at 4:30 p.m.
5:00 Stan Budzynski
6:00 Steve Hilger Band
7:00 Dana Fuchs
8:30 Lionel Young Band
10:00 Marcia Ball
11:35 Crossroads Resurrection
Saturday, July 12: gates open at 11:30 a.m.
11:40 Too Left Feet
12:15 The Blues Shed
1:10 The Angelo Santelli Band
3:00 Fifi & The Dogs
3:55 Gee Daddy’s Big Blues Review
4:50 Out of Favor Boys
5:45 Tweed Funk
7:00 Albert Castiglia
8:25 Tinsley Ellis
10:00 Coco Montoya
11:35 Seventh Son
The District Square Summer Blues Series is upon us! KVBA Members are eligible to receive a series pass for the low, low price of $20 and only available with your current membership card at either the District Square Box Office or Perry Harley-Davidson. You can also purchase tickets on-line. Individual show prices vary from $5 to $10 – check out the District Square Blues Series web sitefor all the details, but read on for the short version!
Party time starts on Fridays at 7pm in the great outdoors (excepting the May 30th show which starts earlier!). You can bring your lawn chair or use a chair already there. As you can see from the lineup below, this is going to be a splendid lineup with artists we see in and around Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids, Jackson, Lansing, Battle Creek, Ann Arbor, and will also have a sprinkling of National Touring Bands as well.
District Square wants you “bluesers” to feel right at home and encourages you to check out the rest of the venues at the Entertainment District while you are there. Most of the time you can make your way to the District Square outdoor event area from any of the main entrances to the Entertainment District, your quickest and easiest entrance is at the Wild Bull on Edwards St in downtown Kalamazoo.
Big Boss Blues 5.23.14 Doors 7pm, music 8pm
JR Clark & The All Star Blues Mob 5.30.14* Doors 5pm, music 5pm
Out of Favor Boys 5.30.14* Doors at 7pm, music at 8pm
Harper 6.6.14 Doors 7pm, music 8pm
Chris Canas 6.13.14 Doors 7pm, music 8pm
Kevin Nichols 6.20.14 doors 7pm, music 8pm
Steepwater Band 6.27.14 doors 7pm music 8pm
Kalamazoo Blues Festival 7.10 – 7.12.14
Crossroads Resurrection 7.18.14 doors 7pm, music 8pm
Nick Moss Band 7.25.14 doors 7pm, music 8pm
Gee Daddy Big Blues Review 8.1.14 doors 7pm, music 8pm
Anthony Gomes 8.8.14 doors 7pm, music 8pm
Seventh Son Blues Band | Marci Linn Band 8.15.14* doors 7pm, music 8pm
Vincent Hayes 8.22.14 doors 7pm, music 8pm
Joanne Shaw Taylor 8.29.14 doors 7pm, music 8pm
* two-fer blues shows on 5.30 and 8.15
It was a beautiful day for the 2014 Kalamazoo Marathon, and the KVBA was there to help cheer the runners on! The brave members of Sneaky Pete got up way earlier than musicians usually do and braved the chilly early morning temperatures to energize the runners of the 10K, Half Marathon, and Full Marathon with the best in the blues, while KVBA board members and other blues fans danced, waved, and cheered the runners on. The action took place at the Mile 23 watering station in Spring Valley Park, where some of the runners were reaching hard for the last of their of energy to finish the race. As tired as they were, many of the runners had smiles and waves for the KVBA as they passed. Here’s hoping to see many of those same folks at the 21st Annual Kalamazoo Blues Festival, July 10, 11, and 12. Spread the word!
KVBA Member Band Sneaky Pete to Host Blues Jam
The Kalamazoo Marathon (aka The Borgess Run) is one of the biggest community happenings of the season, and YOU can be part of it! This great race event, which includes a full marathon as well as other races of many lengths, continues to grow every year, attracting thousands of people from across the country and beyond. This year all of our KVBA members are invited to be part of the community-wide celebration!
Sneaky Pete will be playing an “extended set” at the excitement zone near the 23 mile water station (in Spring Valley Park). We’re pretty sure there will be some special guests on the music side of things…and you are invited to come out and join in the fun and cheer on the marathoners as they pass. KVBA board members will be on hand to coordinate things and distribute information about the upcoming 21st Annual Kalamazoo Blues Festival, happening at the Arcadia Festival Site July 10, 11, and 12.
Things are going to be happening from right around 8:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m (or perhaps a little later) this Sunday, May 4. Come on down and join the party!
In a special announcement on Sunday, March 9 at the final show in the popular series of concerts to benefit the Kalamazoo Blues Festival, KVBA Festival Coordinator Dennis Massingill and Board President Ralph Yingling revealed the names of many of the acts scheduled to appear at the upcoming 21st Annual Kalamazoo Blues Fest. In making the presentation, Massingill and Yingling noted that the complete list of performers, including several local acts, will be announced in the near future.
In the meantime, here’s some information about some of the great music you can expect to hear in July:
The Jimmys, an 8-piece band with US and European touring experience. Influenced by Chicago blues and New Orleans funk, the band and many of its members have been the recipients of numerous music awards, including:
“2012 Best Swing/Big Band Ensemble” (Wisconsin Area Music Industry)
2013 Madison Area Music Awards:
2013 Artist of the Year: The Jimmys
2013 Blues Performer of the Year: The Jimmys
2013 Keyboardist of the Year: Jimmy Voegeli
2013 Brass Instrumentalist: Darren Sterud
2013 Woodwind Instrumentalist: Peterson Ross
“Killer horns, greasy guitars, funky keys, and a rhythm section with the heart and soul the size of Brazil. This is a GREAT band that plays blues and everything else between. I would take them into the studio and record with them anytime. They’re a ‘good-un’. Get ready for The Jimmys!” – The Braille Blues Daddy – Bryan Lee
Brandon Santini, the North Carolina-born/Memphis, Tennessee-based harp player, whose specialty is Piedmont-infused Mississippi hill country blues, has received Blues Music Award nominations for 2014 in two categories: Instrumentalist-Harmonica, and Contemporary Blues Album. He also received a 2014 Blues Blast Music Award in the category of Sean Costello Rising Star, as well as a Seydel harmonica endorsement
Santini, who hits the road on March 20th to begin his spring tour (in Florida), is truly one of the rising stars. Remember Victor Wainwright, who was a big hit at the 2013 Festival? They are former room-mates, band-mates, and still remain great friends…artistry inspires more artistry.
Dana Fuchs, hailing from New Jersey/Florida/New York City, is known as a queen of Pop/Rock Blues, while the Dana Fuchs Band has built up a reputation as one of the best live acts on the city’s blues circuit
Probably best recognized as the character “Sadie” from the Beatles-music-themed movie “Across the Universe”, Fuchs also landed the lead role in the Janis Joplin musical “Love Janis’”, toured with Ray Davies and Dickey Betts, and wrote and performed on the soundtrack of the movie “Sherrybaby”.
Lionel Young. New York born, Colorado based, the blues & boogie-woogie violin master won the 2008 International Blues Challenge (IBC )in the solo-duo performer category, and then went on to win the 2011 IBC band competition, making him the first double champion in the history of the IBC!
Marcia Ball . A lot of folks are looking forward to the return of Marcia Ball, who last rocked the Kalamazoo Blues Fest in 1998.
Aptly described as “a sensational, saucy singer and superb pianist”, her style is known as “where Texas stomp-rock and Louisiana blues-swamp meet”. Her many awards and recognitions include:
1998: Grammy Award nomination
1998: Blues Music Award for “Best Contemporary Blues Album”
1998: Blues Music Award for “Contemporary Female Vocalist of the Year” and “Best Blues Instrumentalist-Keyboards”
2002: BMA Contemporary Blues Album of the Year for her album “Presumed Innocent”
2004: BMA Contemporary Blues Album of the Year for her album “So Many Rivers”
2004: BMA Contemporary Blues Artist of the Year-Female
2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009: BMA “Best Blues Instrumentalist-Keyboards”
Grammy nominations in 2003 for “So Many Rivers,” 2005 for “Live! Down The Road”, and 2008 for “Peace, Love & BBQ”
Tweed Funk. Formed in late 2010, Tweed Funk has garnered national and international acclaim for its horn-driven,
sweat-soaked, soul-blues. This Milwaukee, Wisconsin band is fronted by Joseph “Smokey” Holman, who
recorded under Curtis Mayfield in the early 70′s. Tweed Funk boasts three Wisconsin Area Music Industry
(WAMI) wins in the last two years for the band and its members. Tweed Funk’s two CD releases and performances at blues festivals and top bluesrooms have earned the band praise from press and media around the world.
Big City Rhythm & Blues Magazine’s 2013 Coolest Blues Song of the Year for Dancemaker
2013 WAMI Winner, Male Vocalist of the Year: Joseph “Smokey” Holman
2013 WAMI Winner, Bass Player of the Year: Eric Madunic
2012 WAMI Winner, R&B/Soul Artist of the Year
2012 Competitor at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN
Albert Castiglia. New York born ,Miami raised, Castiglia features modern electric blues and contemporary blues. He has toured with Junior Wells and Sandra Hall, and shared stages and jammed with Aron Burton, Pinetop Perkins, Melvin Taylor, Sugar Blue, Phil Guy, Ronnie Earl, Billy Boy Arnold, Ronnie Baker Brooks, John Primer, Lurrie Bell, Jerry Portnoy, Larry McCray, Eddy “The Chief” Clearwater and Otis Clay.
Tinsley Ellis, from Georgia, plays modern electric blues and blues-rock, best described as a “unique blend of Memphis r & b, southwest blues, and urban funk”. An outstanding performer, also known for writing “A Quitter Never Wins” that was famously covered by Jonny Lang.
He has shared stages with Warren Haynes, Widespread Panic, The Allman Brothers Band, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimmy Thackery, Otis Rush, Willie Dixon, Son Seals, Koko Taylor, Albert Collins and Buddy Guy. He often plays smaller venues that allow the band a more personal contact with the audience.
Coco Montoya, from California, with a style described as modern electric blues and soul, won the 1996 Handy Award for Best New Blues Artist, as well as being
nominated in the same year for Contemporary Blues Male Artist Of The Year, Best Instrumentalist/Guitar, and Contemporary Blues Album Of The Year for “Gotta Mind To Travel.”
Honoring The Man And Carrying On His Legacy
Well-known local keyboardist, guitar player, and music historian Boogie-Woogie Bob Peters may have left us four years ago, but his memory remains alive in the hearts and minds of all who knew him. Bob, who had been a fixture on the local music landscape for many years, passed away suddenly on March 13, 2010. He left behind a legacy of music and relationships which was taken to a new level in March of 2013 with the establishment of the KVBA Boogie Woogie Bob Peters Music Scholarship. The scholarship, which is administered by the Kalamazoo Valley Blues Association, provides a cash award to an area high school senior to help further that student’s musical education and training.
The new scholarship, which was created by Bob Peter’s wife Martie, brother Mike, and sister TJ, was initially funded by money raised at the third annual Boogie-Woogie Bob Memorial Jam on March 14, 2013, at the 411 Club, and by a very generous donation from GlobalNet Services, Inc (GNSI), a multi-award winning information technology firm based in Rockville, Maryland. Megan Grimm of Schoolcraft, Michigan, the first recipient of the scholarship , was presented with her award at the 20th Annual Kalamazoo Blues Festival on July 13, 2013.
This year’s scholarship is open to high school seniors in Kalamazoo County and counties bordering Kalamazoo. Applicants must have been accepted to college in a program with focus on music education and training. Application letters (see below) will be sent to all schools in the qualifying counties, and the deadline for application is May 17.
“We’re so grateful to Bob Peters’ wife and family for making the scholarship possible,” says Dennis Massingill, KVBA Education Committee Chairperson. “Helping an area student pursue a career in music is a wonderful way to keep his memory and his legacy alive.”
“BOOGIE WOOGIE” BOB PETERS SCHOLARSHIP
The Kalamazoo Valley Blues Association will once again offer our annual music scholarship. This scholarship is sponsored by the Bob Peters Family and this year’s recipient will be awarded $1,000. This general scholarship is for a graduating Senior who has been active in music programs during their High School career. Interested students must have:
Been active in the music program (vocal or instrumental) during their high school career (and in the community).
Have been accepted to a College or University. Proof of program acceptance in the form of an official signature will be required.
Write a 2-page, double-spaced essay on the topic “What Contributions has Blues Music made to our American Culture?”
In addition to the essay, emphasis will be placed on the number of years students have been in music classes, extra endeavors (musicals, special ensembles, music outside of school) and whether they will continue to pursue music in college.
The KVBA and the Boogie Woogie Bob Peters Music Scholarship joined forces in 2013 to create a fund dedicated to the memory & musical legacy of “Boogie Woogie Bob” Peters, a well-known local keyboardist, guitar player and music historian. Peters, a multi-talented artist who was a fixture on the local music landscape for decades, passed away suddenly on March 13, 2010. He left behind a legacy of music, art and relationships that his family, friends and loyal fans strive to keep alive. A vision of keeping that legacy and passion alive and passing it along for future generations became the mission of the scholarship fund.
Interested students should fill out the enclosed application and submit it along with their essay by email or by post to: DENNIS MASSINGILL, 1679 SYCAMORE ST., OTSEGO, MI 49078 or email@example.com. The deadline for applications remains May 17, 2014. The scholarship recipient will be notified by May 24th, 2014. A public announcement with the recipient will be at the annual Kalamazoo Blues Festival on Saturday, July 12th, 2014.
Questions should be addressed to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chairman KVBA Education Committee
Were you at the State Theater in Kalamazoo on March 14 to hear a pair of Chicago’s blues greats, L’il Ed and the Blues Imperials and Eddy “Chief” Clearwater, tear it up in the third show in the WRKR/Bud Blues Series? It was a show not to be missed!
L’il Ed has been a long-time favorite in Kalamazoo, from his appearance at the first annual Kalamazoo Blues Festival in 1994 (and his follow-up performance at last year’s Twentieth Annual!) to his many performances on local stages at clubs like Wonderful’s Funky Basement and the 411 Club. Lil’ Ed boasts a direct bloodline to blues history—his uncle and musical mentor was the great Chicago slide guitarist, songwriter and recording artist J.B. Hutto. According to The Chicago Tribune, “Williams represents one of the few remaining authentic links to the raucous, pure Chicago blues.” The Associated Press agrees, stating, “Williams fills Chicago’s biggest shoes with more life and heat than anyone on stage today.”
On the Chicago blues scene since the early 1950s, Eddy “The Chief” Clearwater was one of the architects of the so-called West Side sound, along with Magic Sam and Otis Rush. With his fierce guitar playing, soulful and emotive vocals and wild stage shows, Eddy “The Chief” Clearwater easily belongs on this list. A Chicago legend, Clearwater is an intense, flamboyant blues-rocking showman. He’s equally comfortable playing the deepest, most heartfelt blues or rocking, good-time party music. DownBeat said, “Left-hander Eddy Clearwater is a forceful six-stringer…He lays down some gritty West Side shuffles and belly-grinding slow blues that highlight his raw chops, soulful vocals, and earthy, humorous lyrics.”
After the show, the lucky folks who headed over to the 411 Club for the afterparty with JR Clark got a double treat. A long-time friend of L’il Ed’s, JR has performed with his mentor on numerous occasions, and has made a name for himself with his fiery guitar stylings and original music. JR started the music at the 411 at 9:00 pm, and things were going strong when L’il Ed and his bandmates walked into the club around midnight. After warmly greeting his happy fans, L’il Ed joined JR on stage, presently followed by the rest of the band, and together they made magic. It was truly a night to remember!
Be sure not to miss the final show in the WRKR/Bud Blues Series on April 11, when Sharrie Williams and Sena Ehrhardt will give true meaning to the term “Ladies Night”.
Sharrie Williams, known as “The Princess of Rockin’ Gospel Blues”, made a name for herself in Europe before taking this country by storm. As one reviewer wrote, “Her vibrant, gospel – drenched voice and clear and passionate delivery are absolutely compelling. The urgency, honesty, integrity and rich texture with which Williams belts out her deeply felt blues will surely earn her the respect she deserves among fans and critics alike.”
Sena Ehrhardt, called “one of the freshest and most dynamic emerging young voices on the blues scene today”, has been gathering awards right and left since 2012. Her Blind Pig debut recording, “Leave The Light On” was voted 2012′s Blues Blast Magazine’s “Best New Artist Debut Release” award winner. Additionally, Sena was a nominee for the Blues Foundation’s 2012 “Best New Artist Debut” Blues Music Award, Blues 411′s award for “Best New Artist Debut Recording” and the 2012 “Sean Costello Rising Star Award” by Blues Blast Magazine.
See you at the State Theater on April 11! The music starts at 8:00 pm, and tickets are $18 General Admission, or $16 with a State Theatre VIP Card, KVBA Card or WRKR Card, $20 Day of Show
WRKR and State Theatre VIP Discounts available before Day of Show at the State Theatre Box Office Only.
Limit 2 discount tickets per card. Discounts not available Day of Show.
One aspect of putting on the blues festival every year is creating a design for our posters, t-shirts and other promotional materials. With very few exceptions, the KVBA has partnered with art students at local universities to get those designs.
This presents an opportunity for the KVBA to have a very focused impact on a small number of students, in some cases giving them their first introduction to blues music and culture. After hearing what the KVBA requires for our materials, the students research blues music, culture and artists in an effort to create an easily-recognizable “bluesy” poster for the festival.
The KVBA is pleased to be working with students at KVCC again this year. Members of the education committee have visited a class at the downtown campus a couple of times to talk with students and then to offer feedback on initial designs. This week, the students handed over their final designs so that the KVBA board can decide which design to use for this year’s festival.
While this arrangement obviously benefits the KVBA, the students in this class are gaining practical experience. They’re working with a client, incorporating feedback into their designs. They’re learning to shape their own designs to suit the needs of a client. And most of all, they’re adding these potential designs to their own portfolios.
The education committee looks forward to presenting these designs to the board at the next meeting. At that time, a design will be chosen and the marketing for the 2014 festival will truly begin. The quality of the work is outstanding and we expect that the board will have a difficult time picking just one design.
Until then, we want to thank KVCC and the students we’ve been working with. Our relationship with KVCC is very important to us. It’s indicative of our commitment to working with and in the Kalamazoo community to preserve and promote the blues.