‘Blues Challenge’ Sets Dates

Blues, blues and more blues await when the 33rd Annual International Blues Challenge sets up shop in Memphis in early 2017.

Hosted by The Blues Foundation, the Blues Challenge features new and up-and-coming artists seeking fame, fortune, cash prizes and bookings.  Acts will compete in a wide variety of categories, including band, solo/duo, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, harmonica player, and self-produced CD. 

The challenge rounds are planned for Memphis’ historic Beale Street Jan. 31 with quarter-finals taking place Feb. 1-2 and the youth showcase and semi-finals on Feb. 3.  The Orpheum Theatre will host the finals round Feb. 4.

Blues Challenges very impressive alumni list includes Susan Tedeschi, Tommy Castro, Delta Moon, Trampled Under Foot, Sean Costello and Grady Champion.

Photo: Anna C. Jones
Legacy Arena At The BJCC, Birmingham, Ala.

The week also features The Blues Foundation honoring individuals and institutions via its “Keeping The Blues Alive Awards.” 2017 recipients include the Baltimore Blues Society, Blues and Soul Records, Illinois public radio station WGLT and the Highway 9 Blues Club.  The honorees will also be feted at a Feb. 3 luncheon.

“Our 2017 Keeping The Blues Alive recipients are all wonderful examples of blues flame keepers, each working in their own sphere of influence to move the genre forward while honoring its past,” Blues Foundation president / CEO Barbara Newman said.

Along with all that blues, the International Blues Challenge includes lectures, workshops, seminars, networking, a silent auction and affiliated receptions to make the week an experience to remember.

Passes covering the entire week’s events are priced at $100 and are available now.  Visit Blues.org for more details.