To: For Immediate Release
From: Northern Arizona Blues Alliance
Subject: Cottonwood Old Town Center of the Arts - “Ladies Sing the Blues”, March 11 at 7PM
Date: January 3, 2023
The Northern Arizona Blues Alliance (NAZBA) is proud to partner with the Cottonwood Old Town Center of the Arts, presenting the “Ladies Sing the Blues”, on March 11, starting 7PM, featuring three outstanding Blues singers, all with very accomplished Blues backgrounds.
Opening the show is soulful songstress, singer-songwriter, and soloist, Jacqui Foreman. She favors the classics and covers many well known artists like, Bonnie Raitt, Nina Simone, Janis Joplin, Otis Redding, Tracy Chapman, Jewel, Sheryl Crow, Leon Bridges and Amy Winehouse, all with a taste of Blues interpretation. Her original songs are as eclectic in style as her choices in cover songs, using all of her influences and personal and world experiences to weave stories with a positive message of hope and perseverance. Her shows incorporate loops of vocal harmonies, beats tapped out on her guitar, shakers, and tambourine, which she layers over while she sings her soul out. Her interpretation of old school blues won her the 2019 solo spot for the Northern Arizona Blues Alliance, taking her to compete nationally at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN, in January 2019. She also received the opportunity to open with her solo show for British Blues Legend, John Mayall at The Orpheum Theater in Flagstaff, Arizona on January 31, 2020.
Next up is Betty Jo Vachon, delivering Blues to the audience with power and finesse like no other. She is a charismatic vocalist hailed by fans as a "Passionate…Powerful… and Soulful vocalist that connects with people." Betty Jo takes her Chicago roots music and mixes it with Blues and Motown to give soulful and engaging shows. She brought her music to Arizona in 2009, joining The BluesHounds as the lead vocalist, participating in shows all over Phoenix including The Phoenix Blues Society Blues Showdown in 2010 and 2012 as well as performing at Hot spots including The Rhythm Room. Currently, she is collaborating with Big Daddy D & The Dynamites joining them on gigs all over the Phoenix area. Betty Jo also spends time writing and recording her original music with her sites on releasing a single sometime this year.
Closing the show is Sedona's own renowned singer, Renee Rice, continues to wow audiences with her vocal talent and stage presence, with a wide selection of songs, ranging from jazz standards to contemporary Pop, Blues, and R&B. She has performed with many great artists such as, Ray Charles, The Temptations, Sheila E. and Aretha Franklin and was honored to sing the national anthem for the NBA’s Detroit Pistons and the Arizona Rattlers. Renee is classically trained and attended college with a full music scholarship at Macomb Center for the Performing Arts in Sterling Heights, Michigan where she had the honor to perform for former President Ronald Reagan. She performs regularly in Phoenix at select venues during the year and received standing ovations at the Greater Prescott Valley Blues Festival in 2021 and Elks Theater Performance in 2022. Renee has been a semi finalist at the 2017 Memphis International Blues Competition (IBC).
Backing up these great singers is a stellar band consisting of Big Daddy D, Darryl Porras on Guitar, 2020 Memphis International Blues Competition (IBC) Semifinalist, and 2022 Memphis IBC Finalist Runner Up. Big Daddy’s guitar work is a combination of old and new styles and guaranteed to grab your ear. On drums is the Northern Arizona Blues Alliance Founder and current President, Dr. Bob Sellani, a 2017 Memphis IBC Semifinalist and a 2019 Heritage Blues Hall of Fame Inductee. On keys, is S.E. (Steve) Willis, whose music is deeply rooted in traditional American forms, playing alongside such artists as Chuck Berry, Bo Diddly, Albert King, Jimmy Rogers, Roy Gaines, and, since 2000, Elvin Bishop. Rounding out the back-line on bass is Mahlon Hawk, a gifted musician, who entertains regularly around the State, playing a wide variety of genres, including jazz and blues. Mahlon was also a Memphis IBC competitor in 2019.
To: For Immediate Release
From: Northern Arizona Blues Alliance
Subject: Camp Verde Pecan and Wine Festival - March 18th and 19th at the Camp Verde Fair Grounds
Date: January 16, 2023
The Northern Arizona Blues Alliance is proud to partner with the City of Camp Verde's Pecan and Wine Festival, on the Camp Verde festival grounds, on March 18th and 19th with thematic Blues and Roots Music for the event! The lineup is a s follows:
Saturday Lineup – March 18th
Noon-2PM is Eric Ramsey (solo) - Eric is the Winner of the International Blues Challenge as well as the Memphis Cigar Box Guitar Award for the outstanding guitarist in the Solo/Duo Category. He's a three time Champion of the Phoenix Blues Society's Blues Showdown,a two time Finalist at theTelluride Blues Challenge. He's a Winner of the Stefan George Memorial Songwriting Contest sponsored by the Tucson Folk Festival, Winner of the Peoples' Choice Award at the Wildflower Arts and Music Festival, a Finalist in the Al Johnson Songwriting Competition, and has been tapped for the prestigious Songwriter's Showcase produced by Tempe Center for the Arts, filmed for PBS distribution. He's been a 4x featured performer at the Dripping Springs (TX) Songwriter's Festival, has garnered numerous accolades for his songwriting, and performs at concerts and festivals nationwide.
2:20PM – 4:20PM is the Tommy Dukes Band
The Blues worked into Tommy’s soul when he was just a kid living on Duke Avenue in Hattiesburg Mississippi. In 1954, when Tommy was ten, his family moved to Winslow, Arizona. Like Tommy, his father loved the blues and would tune in Jimmy Reed on his battery-operated radio or head to the juke joints to listen to music. Tommy often followed along, transfixed by the plates dropping onto the jukebox and spinning his beloved blues. Over the last several decades, Tommy has performed all over Arizona, playing Blues Festivals and Nightclubs. In 1997, the singer, songwriter, and masterful blues guitarist was inducted into the Arizona Blues Hall of Fame—this from a man who’d taught himself to play Jimmy Reed by ear when he was just thirteen-years-old. Joining Tommy is Roger Smith on bass, Dr. Bob Sellani on drums and Tom McMillian on keys.
4:40PM – 6:40PM is Thunder and Lightning
Tony Cook, known throughout the highest echelons of country music in the state of Arizona brings a massive catalog of styles, techniques and influences to the already eclectic mix of the band's repertoire. Despite being in high demand across the state, Tony has taken up full time residency with Thunder & Lightnin'. With his lightnin' bolt embossed fiddle, Tony is tearing it up. Add Steve Estes on guitars and vocals - a true entertainer with a contagious and personable enthusiasm honed from years of solo performing and band management. Alternating symphonic and percussive treatments on 6 and 12-string guitars, Estes drives the rhythm and leads the pace of Thunder & Lightnin's dynamic, harmony-filled shows. Bassist Tom Wehr caught a Thunder & Lightnin' show in November of 2017 while visiting from Pennsylvania. He made his wishes clear stating that once moved to Arizona in the following spring he wanted to provide the bottom end from his bass guitar. Arriving as expected, he came fully familiar with the band's repertoire and an outstanding vocal presentation. There was no saying no. Anchoring the musicality of the show is Rob Gibbs, a truly gifted banjoist, guitarist, harmonica guy, and singer-songwriter. Whether leading with precise Scruggs-style banjo, weaving soulful harmonica passages or driving solos on guitar, Gibbs is arguably among the most talented and tasteful multi-instrumentalists anywhere. As if not enough, Rob's vocal styling is nothing short of superb.
Sunday Lineup – March 19th
2:00 – 4:00PM – Chicago Bob and the Blues Squad
Bob Frascone is a blues traditionalist to the core! He started playing harmonica as a teenager growing up in Chicago listening to and studying from some of the blues greats of all time. He credits his old-school “tongue-blocking” style mainly to harmonica great and custom harmonica maker, Joe Filisko. Originally from Philadelphia, lead and rhythm guitarist, Pete O'Reily moved to Arizona in 1979 with his family and graduated from Musicians Institute in Hollywood, CA in 1987. Pete brings a unique style of his own to his lead playing, creating awesome solos that really wow the crowd. Also on lead and rhythm guitar is Bob Tenser, playing guitar in Arizona for over 40 years after relocating from Pittsburgh, PA in 1979. He cites his influences as eclectic, ranging from Blues to Jazz to Rock and everything in between. On bass, is Gordon Jennings, a solid seasoned player who played in many rock, country and blues bands throughout California. He has had the good fortune to be in bands that opened up for internationally-known blues artists such as “Sista Monica” Parker (RIP), Andrew “Jr. Boy” Jones, James Armstrong and twice for The Delgado Brothers. Gordon enjoys his role of holding down the bottom end, staying true to the old-school bass style and being a part of the rhythm section that keeps the “blues engine”running for Chicago Bob and the Blues Squad. On drums is Carlos Jones who started drumming in the 60’s in Los Angeles, CA. After playing in many great bands, he was off to college where he studied percussion performance, classical, jazz and world music. His love of the blues and jazz recently brought him into the drum chair with Chicago Bob and the Blues Squad.