MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Blues Foundation will honor 11 individuals and organizations at its Keeping the Blues Alive Awards brunch 10:30 a.m. Jan. 25, 2019 at the Doubletree Hotel -Downtown Memphis.
The 2019 Keeping the Blues Alive Awards recipients are Atlanta Blues Society, Blues Alive Festival, Capitol Oyster Bar, Croation Blues Forces, Hans Ekestang, Jesse Finkelstein, Sarah French, Jean Guillermo, Tom Hyslop, Don Ottensman and Bob Trenchard.
Decided by a select panel of blues professionals, the annual Keeping the Blues Awards recognize the writers, disc jockeys, photographers, record labels, blues societies, music clubs, festivals, and others in the blues world that have played vital roles in advancing the art and commerce of blues.
The Keeping the Blues Awards are part of The Blues Foundation’s 35th Annual International Blues Challenge. The International Blues Challenge kicks off Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019 along historic Beale Street with International Showcase performances and culminates with the finals noon Jan. 26, 2019 at the Orpheum Theatre. More than 800 musicians from around the globe are anticipated to converge in Memphis to battle for glory, prizes and bookings at the world’s largest and renowned blues music competition. Showcases and jam sessions will occur daily along Beale Street with more music happening after the Challenge concludes each evening.
In addition to these events, The Blues Foundation will present a lineup of seminars, showcases, master classes, film screenings, exhibits, networking events, and receptions that musicians, blues professionals, and fans can attend.
A meet-and-greet with French photographer Sylvie Bosc, with a selection of her photographs on display takes place noon Jan. 23 at the Blues Hall of Fame Museum. Bruce Iglauer, Blues Hall of Famer and founder of Alligator Records, will discuss and sign his just-released memoir, “Bitten By the Blues” at 3:15 p.m.
The documentary “Two Trains Runnin’,” about the Civil Rights Movement and the search for forgotten blues musicians, screens at 1p.m. Jan. 24 at Blues City Café. Dick Waterman, a three-time Keeping the Blues Awards recipient and 2000 Blues Hall of Fame inductee as well as one of the subjects in the documentary, will participate in a post-screening Q&A.
The International Blues Challenge’s Keynote Panel 2:30 p.m. Jan. 25 concerns “The Blues and Race” with National Civil Rights Museum’s President and CEO Terri Freeman moderating this panel on the historical significance of race from blues music’s early origins through the present. Panelists will include Blues Hall of Famer Bobby Rush, 2005 International Blues Challenge finalist Teeny Tucker, Marquise Knox, representing the new generation of blues musicians, and Blues Hall of Famer, Jim O’Neal, the co-founder of Living Blues magazine and Rooster Blues Records.
The Blues Foundation will host health screenings for diabetes, cholesterol, PSA, Hepatitis C and other conditions free of charge to International Blues Challenge musicians and attendees. MusiCares will be on site to provide custom ear molds to those who qualify. Sponsored by the Blues Foundation’s Handy Artists Relief Trust Fund, the screenings take place noon to 2:30 p.m. Jan. 23 and Jan. 25 on the second floor of Club 152.
For tickets and more information, visit https://blues.org/international-blues-challenge/#ibc-details.
The International Blues Challenge is sponsored by ArtsMemphis, The Tennessee Arts Commission, Memphis Tourism, The Memphis Airport Authority, AutoZone, BMI®, Four Roses Bourbon, Old Dominick’s Distillery, The Gibson Foundation, Lee Oskar Harmonicas, Consulate General of Canada, and broadcast partner, Ditty TV.
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