20TH ANNUAL BLUES FESTIVAL VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
Amazing, the Kalamazoo Valley Blues Association is celebrating its 20th Annual Blues Festival this year! We are so excited that we have been able to sponsor a Blues Festival for 20 years.
Thank You, Thank You to all the volunteers we have had over the 19 years of Blues Festivals! We are again asking for your help to make our 20th successful. Former volunteers and first-time volunteers are welcome! The Festival dates are July 11, 12, and 13, 2013. 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 they wear 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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: email@example.com
20th Annual Kalamazoo Blues Fest Set For July 11-13, 2013
Kalamazoo, Michigan sits midway between Chicago and Detroit, a two-hour drive in either direction to two of the greatest centers of music history in the world. This vibrant city located near the Midwest’s “third coast” has long had a lively and varied music scene of its own, taking the influence and energy of the nearby metropolitan areas and building on them to create something unique. The Kalamazoo Blues Festival, which celebrates its 20th anniversary July 11-13, has showcased the talents of national, regional, and local blues acts since 1994, and earned the right to be called “The Best Blues Festival in theMidwest”.
As it approaches its twentieth year, the Kalamazoo Blues Festival stands out for several reasons. Not only is it one of the oldest continuously-running festivals in town, it’s one of the only ones in the country staffed entirely by volunteers. It’s also popular with performers, who consistently rate it one of their favorite venues of the busy summer festival season.
Held at the Arcadia Festival Site in downtown Kalamazoo, 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 and learning to play a cigar-box guitar, a large children’s activity area, and a wide selection of food and drink vendors. In addition, for the first time this year, the price of an advance weekend pass will include entrance into a pair of post-festival blues jams, to be held Thursday night at the 411 Club and Friday at Shakespeare’s Pub.
The Kalamazoo Blues Festival is presented by the Kalamazoo Valley Blues Association, which was created two decades ago by a group of dedicated music lovers for the express purpose of putting on a festival. Over the years, the list of performers who have appeared on stage 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. This year’s festival pays homage to its past and looks forward to the future, opening with rising stars Selwyn Birchwood and JP Soars, and closing with seasoned Chicago headliner Lil’ Ed and the Blues Imperials, the final act on the last night of that very first festival back in 1994.
Some of the weekend highlights include:
Thursday: Traditionally a night for acoustic and solo and duo acts, the format for the opening night of the festival has been converted to all bands, and the lineup keeps getting stronger. This year there will be two headliners, Selwyn Birchwood, and JP Soars & the Red Hots, both winners of the Best Guitarist Award at the International Blues Competition inMemphis. Birchwood, this year’s winner of the prestigious honor, and JP Soars, a previous winner, represent the next generation of blues stars.
Friday: Friday’s lineup features artists nominated for Blues Music Awards, including Blues Caravan, Victor Wainwright and the WildRoots, and Janiva Magness. Among the awards these artists are up for are Best Album, Best Contemporary Blues Album, Contemporary Blues Female Artist, BB King Entertainer of the Year, Pinetop Perkins Piano Player Award, and Song of the Year.
Saturday: More award nominees take the stage for the final night of the festival, including performers nominated as Traditional Blues Male Artist of the Year, Band of the Year, and the Pinetop Perkins Piano Player Award. Kenny Neal and Deanna Bogart will be followed by Lil’ Ed, whose closing performance will echo his first appearance on theKalamazoo stage at the end of the first festival in 1994. It’ll be a moment of true historical significance, and not one to be missed!
Advance sales of weekend passes will begin June 1, online at www.kvba.org (go to the “Blues Fest/Advance Tickets tab), and at various retailers around the region, including all ECCU branches, Kalamazoo State Theater, Marshall Music, and the Union Bar and Grill. An updated list of retailers will be available on the KVBA website.
The cost of an advance weekend pass will be $20.00, which represents a $17.00 savings over the total price of daily tickets for all events. Daily festival ticket prices will be $5.00 for Thursday night, $10.00 for Friday night, and $12.00 for Saturday; the Thursday and Friday night jams will be $5.00 at the door.
Watch the KVBA website regularly for the latest updates in Festival developments.
2013 Festival Lineup
5:00 – 5:50 Big Boss Blues Band
5:55 – 6:45 Blues Time
6:50 – 7:40 JR Clark
7:45 – 9:00 Selwyn Birchwood
9:05 – 10:35 JP Soars & the Red Hots
10:30-1 am Blues Jam at the 411 Club
5:00 – 5:55 Big Trouble
6:00 – 6:55 Marci Linn
7:00 – 8:25 Blues Caravan
8:30 – 9:55 Victor Wainwright & The WildRoots
10:00 – 11:30 Janiva Magness
10:30-1 am Blues Jam at Shakespeare’s Pub
11:50 – 12:20 Picarso Star
12:25 – 1:15 Marble Garden
1:20 – 2:10 Barrelhouse Catts
2:15 – 3:05 Kevin Nichols & Blue Tuesday
3:10 – 4:00 BMF
4:05-4:55 Out of Favor Boys
5:00 – 5:50 Big Willy
5:55 – 6:45 Bosco Gee Blues Band
6:50 – 8:20 Kenny Neal
8:25 – 9:55 Deanna Bogart
10:00 – 11:30 Lil Ed & the Blues Imperials
11:35 – 12:30 Crossroads the Resurrection
WRKR, Elwood Blues to Promote the 20th Annual Kalamazoo Blues Festival
In an exciting development announced last winter (KVBA website post 11/27/12), popular local radio station WRKR announced its return as media sponsor for the Kalamazoo Blues Festival. Mike McKelly, the well-known host of the Rocker Morning Show (and huge blues fan) shared his enthusiasm for our local blues scene and discussed some of the many ways that WRKR was planning to publicize the 2013 Festival, including a possible tie-in through Elwood’s BluesMobile, the weekly blues show hosted by Elwood Blues (aka Dan Aykroyd).
The KVBA is happy to announce that Mike McKelly has confirmed that beginning 6/10, WRKR will be doing at least 5 recorded and 5 live festival ad spots – each day through 7/13 (at least 350 spots total). MOST exciting is that at least HALF of those spots will be by “Elwood Blues”.
“WRKR is awesome!! ” says KVBA Marketing Committee member Colleen Barker. “We are elated to be working together with Mike and WRKR to spread the word about the Festival!”
Be sure to tune into WRKR throughout your day for great music and updates on the 20 Annual Kalamazoo Blues Festival.
Anothony Gomes Scheduled for April 19
Blues lovers in southwest Michigan are treated each year to a great lineup of some of the best of the blues , when the WRKR Blues Series comes to town. The popular series of concerts, which takes place at Kalamazoo’s historic State Theater, features an opening set by a local band, followed by nationally known performers and recording artists.
This year’s series opened on December 21 with the traditional All-Star Jam, featuring many of the Kalamazoo music scenes well-known blues jammers, followed by a headline set by Studebaker John. Ana Popovic, with Thirsty Perch opening, took the stage on February 1, while perennial local favorite Tab Benoit played to a packed house on February 22, following an opening performance by Bryan Michael Fischer.
In a sad development, Magic Slim, who was scheduled to perform March 1, passed away shortly before the show. Seventh Son and Nick Moss and the Fliptops took over for a tribute to Magic Slim that night.
On March 15 audiences were treated to Bluestime opening for Deanna Bogart, and Robert Johnson impersonator Rocky Lawrence shared the bill with Samantha Fish on March 29.
Blues fans will have a last chance to take advantage of the WRKR Blues Series on Friday, April 12, when “hardest working bluesman on the scene today” (Guitar Player) Tommy Castro comes to town. Castro, who has performed at the Kalamazoo Blues Festival on several occasions, is known for “infectious, roaring roadhouse romps with incendiary licks and a touch of New Orleans soul” (Philadelphia Enquirer).
But wait, there’s more! For folks who just can’t get enough, be sure to come back to the State on April 19, when Chicago-based powerhouse (and card-carrying KVBA member) Anthony Gomes takes the stage. Anthony, who played to an enthusiastic crowd at the 2012 Kalamazoo Blues Festival will bring his ”vibrant masterwork of blues-based rock, soul and R&B” (Blues Toronto) to Kalamazoo to close out the season and help usher us all into spring.
All shows begin at 8:00 pm. Discount tickets are available at the State Theater box office with a WRKR or State VIP card before the day of the show.
Big Trouble, Marble Garden To Play Closing Show in Popular Concert Series
Who was there that afternoon on May 25, 2008? If you were, you were one of the lucky ones. The occasion was well-known local keyboard player Dave Cleveland’s 60th birthday party, a supreme occasion of fun and celebration held at the Lawrence, Michigan home of Dave and his wife Lynn (who, incidentally, had a birthday one day away). A large, happy crowd of friends, family, and music lovers from all over had gathered to enjoy the Memorial Day weekend and help Dave and Lynn welcome in one more year.
As so often happens at such events, a jam session developed. Players of all types took their turns on the backyard stage, bringing their voices and instruments to add to the fray. And late in the afternoon, one of those truly rare and magical moments occurred. Tom Duffield, who has been entertaining folks with his own brand of piano stylings for years, sat down at the keyboard and started to play. Shortly thereafter, Bob Peters, known as “Boogie Woogie Bob”, happened by, watched for a moment, and then leaned in and lent a hand. A delighted Tom moved over and made room, and for several minutes the two of them played together, sharing the keys and creating a unique four-hand sound. Hearing what was happening, people began to gather from all over the party grounds, sensing something special was going on.
And then, as if that weren’t enough, birthday boy Dave decided to join the party. Bob and Tom welcomed him in, and at that moment music history was made. As an enthusiastic and amazed crowd watched, the three piano men jammed together, laughing and rocking and giving that piano a voice no one player could ever have summoned. The music built and grew, getting ever more exultant, filling the air with such a joyous sound, until the guys wrapped it up with a flourish and stepped back to the roar of approval from the crowd.
Bob, who passed away on March 13, 2010, has left the building, but his memory remains in the hearts and minds of all who knew him and heard him play. And for those of us who shared that Six Hands On The Keyboard moment, we were given something special that we will never forget.
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You are cordially invited to a KVBA Blues Community Meeting on Thursday, April 4, 2013 from 7:30 – 8:30 p.m. at The 411 Club. (411 N. Westnedge. Corner of Westnedge and Willard.)
This meeting is open to the entire Kalamazoo Blues Community – whether you’re a KVBA member or you’re just interested in the Blues. Everyone who attends will be entered into a drawing for a fabulous door prize!
This month’s topics include:
- KVBA State of Affairs – Summary of how things are going; Fund Raising, Membership, Special Projects, etc.
- An Eye On The Festival – The 20th Annual Kalamazoo Blues Festival is ramping up; what’s happening, ways you can help, etc
- Renew your membership that evening and get a special surprise!
- Bring in a new member to join that night (friend? relative? associate?) and get a SUPER special surprise!
Then, after the membership meeting, stay for the Thursday Blues Jam, hosted by our own Out of Favor Boys. And as always, the 411 Club will have fabulous dinner and drink specials (and 25% off food to KVBA Members!).
Keep Supporting the Blues!
The KVBA Membership Committee
New Scholarship Program to Honor Local Musician
Thursday, March 14 was a special night at Kalamazoo’s 411 Club for a couple of reasons. As in the two previous years, the regular Thursday night jam session, which is hosted by perennial favorites The Out of Favor Boys, was dedicated to the memory of “Boogie Woogie Bob” Peters, a well-known keyboardist, guitar player, and music historian.
Peters, a multi-talented artist 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 that has been kept alive by his family and friends. This year that legacy was taken to a new level with the establishment of the KVBA Boogie Woogie Bob Peters Music Scholarship, which will be administered by the Kalamazoo Valley Blues Association.
Bob Peters’ wife Martie, brother Mike, and sister TJ banded together to create the new scholarship and begin the process of funding it. The jam session included a silent auction that featured items belonging to Bob, pieces of his artwork donated by Martie, and a variety of framed images of Bob donated by local photographers. The auction was a big success and provided a healthy start to the fund. The jam session was recorded by the 411 Club, and CD sales are expected to bring in additional revenue.
The scholarship fund was given an enormous boost by the announcement of a very generous donation from GlobalNet Services, Inc (GNSI), a multi-award winning information technology firm based in Rockville, Maryland. On learning of the scholarship fund from Mike Peters, who holds the position of Vice President of Systems Engineering with GNSI, President and CEO Ori Reiss made the offer of a contribution to help establish and fund the new scholarship in honor of Bob Peters.
“We’re thrilled to be able to help create this scholarship,” says Mike Peters. “It means so much to the family to see Bob’s legacy continued in a way that also helps talented high school students get access to a college education.”
The KVBA Boogie Woogie Bob Peters Music Scholarship will be awarded to an area high school student to help further that student’s musical education and training. As in years past, the scholarship winner will be announced on Saturday night at the Kalamazoo Blues Festival.
“We are so excited to once again offer this scholarship opportunity to local schools,” says KVBA Education Committee Chair Dennis Massingill. “It carries on the KVBA’s long tradition of nurturing the musical traditions of the blues, as well as the talents of upcoming performers. Huge thanks go out to the Peters family, GlobalNet Services, and everyone who attended the Boogie Bob Memorial Jam and participated in the auction and fundraiser. See you all at the Festival!”
Metro Toyota To Be New Auto-Dealer Sponsor
The opening night of the 20th Annual Kalamazoo Blues Festivalis less than four months away, and for the folks at the KVBA working hard to make one of the longest-running local music festivals happen, the pressure is on. Booking acts, planning for the festival site, arranging for support services, and attending to a thousand other details occupy those involved in preparing for the three-day event that has brought an outstanding lineup of the best blues acts in the country to the festival stage in Kalamazoo every year since 1994.
While every task, every detail is vitally important in creating what performers, attendees, and volunteers have regularly cited as one of the most enjoyable blues festivals around, without the support and sponsorship of businesses and individuals, the Kalamazoo Blues Fest simply wouldn’t happen. Over the years, the list of community members and local businesses who have stepped up and committed themselves to the festival has been long and illustrious.
“In the beginning, the Festival was funded solely by ticket and beer sales, but that’s no longer sufficient,” says a KVBA board member. “It’s the sponsors now who make it possible.”
In a recent announcement, the KVBA welcomed Metro Toyota as its new exclusive auto-dealer sponsor. A well-known and well-respected presence in the Kalamazoo-area business community since 1987, Metro Toyota offers a full range of Toyota and Scion products, and was recently awarded two of Toyota’s top honors, the Toyota President’s Award and the Signature Program Top Performer Award. Metro Toyota’s commitment of financial support for the Kalamazoo Blues Fest is one more example of the growing partnership between our community and the KVBA to help stage this historic festival.
“We are thrilled to have Metro Toyota partner with us,” says fund-raising committee chair Colleen Barker of the KVBA. “We owe a special thank-you to KVBA member and long-time blues supporter Bob Lapekas for introducing us to his friends at Metro. It’s people like Bobby, who suggested that Metro Toyota and the KVBA would be a great fit, who help the KVBA find the sponsors and create the relationships that keep the Festival going. Thank you, Bobby!”
Many other important names in community business leadership appear on the list of those who support the Kalamazoo Blues Festival with direct financial and in-kind sponsorships.
In November 2012, local radio favorite WRKR returned as media sponsor, renewing a relationship with the KVBA that dates back to the 1990’s. WRKR’s role in advertising and promoting the Festival, as well as its commitment to promoting the blues in its programming, is invaluable, and was detailed in an article on the KVBA website on 11/27/12.
Also returning for a second year as a major Festival sponsor, local design and printing specialist Portage Printing offers its top-quality design and layout services for the Festival program, posters, and other materials. In a unique partnership between the KVBA, Portage Printing, and Kalamazoo Valley Community College, students in the design program at KVCC are offered an opportunity to develop the design that will define the “look-n-feel” of the Festival.
And the list goes on. Some, like Imperial Beverage, have worked with the KVBA to support the Festival from the beginning, while others, like Educational Community Credit Union (ECCU) are continuing their support for a second year. ECCU promotes the Festival to its 36,000 membership base through direct marketing and ticket sales, as well as providing up-front financial support.
Kalamazoo’s 411 Club, which has been a major presence on the blues scene since opening in August, 2008, supports KVBA activities in a number of ways throughout the year. In addition to serving as the host venue for the Sunday Blues Series fundraisers (for the festival), the KVBA Blues Challenge competition, and many other activities, the 411 Club provides generous financial support each year.
Local television network Channel 3 WWMT has stepped up in its second year as a media sponsor, while Firekeepers Casino in Battle Creek is offering its fourth year of sponsorship. The Union Cabaret and Grill in downtown Kalamazoo will offer a second year of sponsorship with up-front financial support, advance ticket sales, and direct marketing to its 8000+ membership base.
As it approaches its twentieth year, The Kalamazoo Blues Festival stands out for several reasons. Not only is it one of the oldest continuously-running festivals in town, it’s one of the only ones in the country staffed entirely by volunteers. The Festival attracts a wide range of local and national acts eager to bring their talents to the twin stages at the Arcadia Festival site. And with such excellent and varied sources of support from the community, the Festival is a true joint local endeavor, and a labor of love that brings tremendous rewards for all involved.