LATEST BLUES FOUNDATION NEWS

 

Greetings from Barbara 
  

Hello Blues Friends, 
Happy Spring. As I write this letter, here in Memphis, the sun is shining, the temperature is warm, and blues lovers and those who want to learn more about this music are streaming into The Blues Foundation's Blues Hall of Fame Museum. This warmer weather and our longer post-daylight savings time days just reminds me that the Blues Music Awards are not far off. I hope you will be joining us in Memphis this May as we celebrate the very best in blues recording and performance from the last year. Tickets are still available by visiting blues.org where you can easily purchase them online. 

With just 6 weeks until showtime, your Blues Foundation staff is hard at working preparing for a wonderful BMA Week. In addition to an awards show with performances by top blues artists who span blues' styles, we are working to create a BMA week that will offer education, networking, social opportunities, and as much blues as possible for everyone in attendance. We'll have meet and greets, new exhibit openings, book signings and conversations, and this year a continuation of our IBC panel discussion on "The Blues and Race" with panelists Terrie Odabi, Billy Branch, Paul Benjamin, Thornetta Davis, Bobby Rush, and our moderator from the National Civil Rights Museum, Dr. Noelle Trent. Please scroll down through this newsletter for the entire BMA week schedule.  

BMA week is also the time in which we honor our newest inductees into the Blues Hall of Fame. This event is also open to the public with tickets available at blues.org. Longtime host Bill Wax will be joined by co-host Dom Flemons as we welcome performers, industry individuals, single recordings, album recordings, and literature into the Blues Hall of Fame. In conjunction, we are putting together newly designed cases within the museum to celebrate our Class of 2019. Artifacts are already arriving in our offices, and visitors will enjoy seeing stage costumes, instruments, albums, correspondence, photos, and more from our 13 inductees. If you are not able to make it to Memphis for the Blues Music Awards and Blues Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, make sure to plan a trip to Memphis in the near future so you don't miss seeing these important blues artifacts which will only be on display for the next year.  

As we dress up the inside of the museum with new artifacts and exhibits, we are just a few weeks away from tearing up the exterior sidewalk and installing a beautiful new Brick Walk with bricks, you, our supporters, have donated as part of the Bricks for the Blues campaign.  If you have purchased and paid in full for your brick(s) and have also submitted your inscription form(s) by March 31st, your dedication will be included in this installation. But don't worry if you are not able to make this happen in the next few days. We will continue to accept brick donations until there is no more space on the walk, with updated installations each November (ahead of the International Blues Challenge) and each April (ahead of the Blues Music Awards). Your support for this project has been overwhelming, so thanks to each of you who has already made your brick donation.  

Next week, I'm off to the Azores for the European Blues Challenge, hosted by our overseas partner organization, the European Blues Union. Our blues friends across the ocean have supported blues music for decades, with many of our favorite blues artists introduced to European audiences going back to the mid-20th century. This is a wonderful opportunity for The Blues Foundation to thank our European friends for their continued support of the genre, to forge new alliances on behalf of the blues, and to check out the blues music being made by young artists who might not be American but who have gravitated to this uniquely American art form. I'll be excited to share photos and stories of what the European blues scene looks like when blues industry and blues players from across the continent converge upon this important blues event.  

Until then, keep supporting blues music with your music purchases and your attendance at live blues events. I hope to welcome you to The Blues Foundation's upcoming events in the very near future.  

Best regards, Barbara 

Barbara B. Newman 

President & CEO 

The Blues Foundation 

421 South Main Street: Memphis, TN 38103 

(901) 527-2583 Ext. 12 

www.blues.org