Blues Foundation's Intenational Blues Challange

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Published on: January 18th, 2009

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February 4th - 7th, Memphis

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Won't be winning one of these too soon....
I had hope to be writing you about WWOZ's live broadcast of The International Blues Challenge in Memphis on Feb 4th - 7th, instead I will simply be telling you about it when I get back. What is the International Blues Challenge? "IBC" The World's Largest Gathering of Blues Bands February 4-7, 2009 Memphis, Tennessee - The program for the 25th International Blues Challenge (IBC), set for February 4-7, 2009 in Memphis, Tennessee, is taking shape, full information of which is posted at The 25th edition of the world’s premier Blues music competition will feature more than 100 bands and 60 solo/duo acts from 36 states and nine countries. Blues musicians will be attending from Australia, Canada, France, Israel, Italy, Norway, Poland, United States and, for the first time, Croatia. The winners receive cash prizes, professional services and appearances at top Blues festivals. Advance tickets are available at The events begin Wednesday evening with the Beale Street Merchants hosting a Meet ‘n Greet at the New Daisy Theater, the Memphis Grizzlies presenting four IBC participants during its Blues night at the FedEx Forum in conjunction with their NBA game against the Houston Rockets. Following the game, a special 25th IBC Kick Off Concert, featuring a number of top finishers from recent Challenges, including Trampled Under Foot (2008 IBC 1st Place), Sean Carney Band (2007 1st Place), Homemade Jamz Blues Band (2007 2nd Place), Jonn Richardson (2005 IBC 1st Place and Best Guitarist), Zac Harmon (2004 IBC 1st Place). Friday afternoon will see the first-ever FedEx International Showcase, featuring many of the acts from outside the United States, and the Smokin’ Bluz Youth Showcase, featuring more than a dozen acts whose members are under 21. The IBC semi-finals commence at 5:00pm Thursday evening in 16 Beale Street clubs and continue before a different set of judges in those clubs Friday evening. The ten band finalists will begin at 2:00pm Saturday afternoon at The Orpheum Theatre while the six solo/duo finalists will commence at 8:30pm Saturday night at the Orpheum. The judges will also present a custom Gibson guitar featuring The Blues Foundation logo to the most promising guitarist. Blues musicians Cassie Taylor and Jason Ricci will host the band finals and Delta Groove Music’s Randy Chortkoff will be master of ceremonies for the evening finals. A complete list of participating acts can be found at The weekend also features the prestigious Keeping the Blues Alive (KBA) awards that honor the men and women, who have made significant contributions to the Blues music world, in 22 categories such as journalism, literature and photography and to the best clubs and festivals, as well as managers, promoters and producers. The Blues community will recognize its peers in a moving Saturday morning ceremony at the Downtown Doubletree Hotel. The International Blues Challenge and Keeping the Blues Alive Awards are produced by The Blues Foundation, a non-profit organization established to preserve Blues history, celebrate Blues excellence, support Blues education and ensure the future of this uniquely American art form. The Foundation consists of a worldwide network of 165 affiliated Blues societies and has individual memberships spanning the globe. In addition to the, the Foundation also produces the Blues Music Awards and the Blues Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. For more information or to join The Blues Foundation, log onto I am very sorry that you will not hear the live broadcast of the finals as had been planned. After I worked with The Blues foundation to set it up, a sponcer was on board, and I was told that all was go, station managment changed their minds and backed out. While never bothering to inform anyone officially they simply offered some double talk and ignored both me and The Blues Foundation. I will bring you back some music since you won't get to hear it live.
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<br>Hello Big D,
thanks for all the information and education !
It appears we seem to have something mutual.
Of course - music is universal.

<p>What really bothers me are the underlying facts why you had to do this post at all.</p>

Already in August 2008 I criticized to drop live-broadcasts of local or upcoming musicians in favor of fancy high profile events. And this is not just any talent show as you rightfully point out.

It is remarkable that the musicians now neglected will be played when they got the "approved" stamp aka made it through the different competitions.

<p><b>Thank god there is no general censorship yet</b> - only live broadcasts are something different - even if the showhost brings in his "own" sponsor as The Vibes proved !</p>

<p>And it is even more remarkable that <span style="text-decoration:underline;">the same station that neglects this striking gathering of young talents claims to foster young musicians to keep the musical culture alive.</span></p>
<p>The picture is to press a pillow on someones face while turning the
head smiling:"Yes we do everything to keep him alive".</p>

<p>It was OZ's GM David Freedman saying:"And until we can see those kids walking home playing their instruments, there will be no more music..." (Seattle, 2007)</p>
<p>I do not know who wrote this for him or if he lost his memory or his belief - i only know that the same person turns down such an amazing opportunity ! Most of us (blues loving listeners) would almost die to
go there but management turned it down.</p>
<p><b>Thank you Mr Freedman - another big disappointment !</b></p>
<p>You keep adding up. There are people getting annoyed.</p>

So as you already recognized Big D it is on you to keep us happy !
And I have no doubt that you will share your enormous expertise and keep the blues alive.

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