Blues Alive 2016: significant female artists, domestic premieres and current names nominated for Blues Music Awards
Šumperk / Prague, 3 August - Šumperk Blues Alive festival, one of Europe's largest show focusing on this genre, will come into the third decade of its existence this autumn. From 17 to 19 November three major concerts at the House of Culture and a number of side musical events throughout the town will introduce the world's leading blues names and number of domestic musicians. "Most of the stars this year will premier in Sumperk and will perform in our country for the first time," says the festival director Vladimir Rybička. "This year will be marked by women - female blues in many different variations. In addition to that, we are going to bring many of the current faces that are in the blues music spotlight, as evidenced by the number of nominations for the prestigious Blues Music Awards, "says dramaturge Ondřej Bezr.
The opening night of November 17 will be headlined by American blues-folk singer Maria Muldaur with Her Red Hot Bluesiana Band. Maria Muldaur started her career in the 60s of the 20th century within the American folk movement, when she got chum up with Bob Dylan and many others. In 1974 she recorded her biggest hit Midnight at the Oasis, which won several Grammy nominations. She also worked with the Grateful Dead and the recording of Sweet Lovin 'Ol' Soul was nominated for the Blues Music Award and Grammy in 2005. "Her name has occurred in our list of unfulfilled wishes for a long time and we are happy that this year the singer is finally arriving in Šumperk," said Ondřej Bezr. The visitors to the first evening will also hear the American blues-gospel-soul singer Sharrie Williams or Franco-Cameroonian singer and guitarist Roland Tchakounté. "Despite his African ancestry Tchakounté plays blues more of American type, he sings in English and in his native language Bamileke," adds Ondřej Bezr.
The second main evening on November 18 will include primarily two American musicians: vocalist and guitarist Duke Robillard, who is not unknown to local audiences as he played for the first time in Prague eight years ago. "Robillard is one of the most significant blues guitarists today. He has played with Tom Waits, Bob Dylan, won twice as the guitar player of the year awards at the most prestigious Blues Music Awards and recording of Guitar Groove-A-Rama was nominated for a Grammy, "enumerates Ondřej Bezr. Guitarist and singer Slam Allen arrives in Šumperk for the first time as a new face of 2016 Blues Music Awards nominations. He combines blues with a very energetic soul in his concerts. Neither the second night will leave out female musicians - the most important Slovak blues singer Silvia Josifoska and American singer Shaun Booker with guitarist Sean Carney will also go on stage.
The third evening November 19 in Sumperk will be starred by young African-American singer Nikki Hill. "The raw rock and soul energy, which is intertwined with passionate blues, is sure to send the Blues Alive audience into raptures," says Ondřej Bezr. Nikki Hill comes from North Carolina and now lives in New Orleans. Minneapolis Star Tribune wrote: „If Tina Turner and Little Richard had a daughter and raised her with the help of uncles James Brown and Chuck Berry, she’d be like Nikki Hill.” Besides Nikki Hill this evening will also feature a distinctive British singer and guitarist John Fairhurst, who was recommended as the only one of the British scene by the pair Heymoonshaker, and French garage-blues duo Dirty Deep.
The theme afternoon of Saturday November 19 will also consist of women- Zuzana Dumková, Jana Koubková and together Blanka Šrůmová, Jan Sahara Hedl and Něžná noc. The festival program that night will be complemented at H-Club with a Slovak pair Erich Bobos Prochazka and Mark Wolf, presenting psychedelic blues, and the formation of Dura and Blues Club with Fedor Frešo, a long-time teammate of Marián Varga. As usual, there will live jam sessions late into the night at Holba Beer Hall and the foyer of the House of Culture.
Tickets will be available at prices ranging from 80 to 570 CZK from 4 August 2016 at www.bluesalive.cz. Two-day tickets will also be on sale.
The competition Blues Aperitiv has raised a great interest
Also this year the international music contest Blues Aperitiv is going to give bluesmen a chance to win participation at the prestigious festival Blues Alive, which will take place in Šumperk from 17th to 19th November.
24 bands from Poland, Netherlands, UK, Slovakia and the Czech Republic have entered for the 16th year of Blues Aperitiv contest.
In early February the expert jury, chaired by Ondřej Bezr and consisting of music journalists, active musicians and festival promoters, chose seven groups, which are allowed to play alive at the final concert in Šumperk on Saturday, March 19.
Two winners will be selected from the seven bands and these bands are guaranteed to play at the renowned Blues Alive festival. Previous experience from past years gives a chance to more than two bands. The other bands that will capture the jury´s or the audience´s attention may get an invitation to play at side stages of Blues Alive or in Poland.
The final concert of Blues Aperitiv contest will be held on Saturday, March 19 at Culture House in Šumperk from 7.00 p.m. Admission fee is 90 Czech crowns.
Advancing to the final concert Blues Aperitiv XVII.
CHEAP TOBACCO /PL/
SLOVAK BLUES PROJECT /SK/
MARTIN KETNER & TROUBLE HEROES /CZ/
GERRY JABLONSKI and THE ELECTRIC BAND /UK, PL/
TAMMY & THE YOUNIVERSE /SK/
FILIP VÍTŮ TRIO FEAT. MARKÉTA VODIČKOVÁ /CZ/