On Friday, Dec. 20, The Blues Project played their first ever Christmas show to a packed house at Living Hope Community Church, and it was a great success. Joined by local legends Chad Clifford, John Derado, Paul Schreiner, Michael Shaefer-Murray, Chad Burton, John Scott and Brett Deardorff, the Blues Project played a cornucopia of classic Christmas tunes spanning blues, soul, gospel and rock. The event was put on to benefit Project Zongo, an organization founded by a former Valparaiso University law student that works to build sustainable and sanitary housing for the Zongo neighborhood in Ghana. The concert was able to raise over $1000 to go towards starting construction on their first apartment complex. Thanks to all who donated and came out to support the cause. A special thanks to Mix Master Mary Cvelbar who kept everyone sounding good all night long from behind the board. Merry Christmas!!
Don't miss the Blues Project when they open up for Grammy Award winning artist, Mike Farris, at Gabis Arboretum on Saturday Sept 14th. We go on at 7 followed by Mike Farris and his band at 8:30. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at the event. Bring your lawn chairs and settle in for an amazing night of music under the stars.
The Blues Project got the chance to grace the Michigan Street Stage at Popcorn Fest this year, and it was truly a blast. Jules and the Cellar Door (Blues Project alumni Julia Dalton and Bobby Gallowitch) put together an amazing set before us, and we filled the next three hours with classic blues, soul, jazz and rock music. Thanks to everyone and Valpo Events and Front Porch music for giving us an opportunity to share the stage and be a part of this great Valparaiso tradition!
Its been a couple years since we've got shirts made, so its time to rectify the situation. I'm going to place a shirt order on Tuesday, Sept 3 so that the participants in our Taltree show will have one to wear for that concert on Sept 14. Any student who participated in a Blues Project concert this year will be receiving a baseball style Blues Project jersey with a customized name on the back free of charge. The link to the form below will have a mock-up of the design and a place to specify size and the name you want on the back. Since this needs to be in on Sept. 3, please get your shirt order in ASAP. If you have multiple kids in the project, please fill out the form multiple times. There is an second link below to purchase additional shirts if you so desire. Feel free to share that link with others who might want a shirt. Let me know if you have any questions.
Participant Form (free shirt): https://forms.gle/hAjUWpWepuSg3emPA
Order Form for to purchase additional shirts: https://forms.gle/mmwBfBmdvwHhj1NE7
The 10th anniversary of Blues Camp was a huge success, highlighted by performances at the Old Town School of Folk Music, Navy Pier, Reggies, and Hard Rock Cafe. A huge thanks goes out to Fernando Jones and the folks at the Blues Kids foundation for always treating us so well and inviting us to be a part of camp each year. Being immersed in the blues for a full week along with other musicians from around the country is an invaluable learning experience and we are beyond grateful for the opportunity. In addition to the musical adventures with the camp, the Blues Project got to tour historic Bronzeville with Harold Lucas from the Black Metropolis Tourism Council and see ground zero for the great migration. It was especially exciting to see the home of Muddy Waters and talk about a possible collaboration in the renovation and restoration of that part of city. Mark your calendars for the first week of July in 2020 if you're interested in joining us for Blues Camp next year!
We couldn't have been more happy to celebrate Independence Day with the folks at Chess Records in honoring the late Willie Dixon. We sho' 'nuff pitched a Wang Dang Doodle in the Blues Garden outside the historic studios along with Big Lew and the Crew. I can't think of a better way to honor our county's heritage than to celebrate the blues, a truly American music, and the heroes that brought it to Chicago.
The Blues Project journeyed to Three Oaks, MI to party with the folks from Journeyman Distillery on June 29th for their annual Corsets, Whips, & Whiskey festival. It was a warm and beautiful afternoon for some putting, sipping, eating, and playing the blues. We were ecstatic to have been asked to play and really enjoyed their distillery. Looking forward to their new location coming soon in sweet home Valparaiso!
During the 1960's when the great heroes of the Blues were playing Chicago dive bars and generally unappreciated, Germans Horst Lippman and Fritz Rau organized a tour of Europe for these American musical legends. In 1962, the American Folk and Blues Festival emerged from their efforts, and it continued annually through 1972, packing European theaters and concert halls with adoring fans and giving giants like Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson, Howlin' Wolf, Willie Dixon, and others their due. The AFBF introduced Europeans to the blues and helped to spark a blues-rock revolution in young rockers like the Yardbirds, Animals, and the Rolling Stones, changing the history of rock and roll. The Blues Project was honored to join with the Original Chicago Blues All-Stars and the Blues Kids Foundation in celebrating this Chicago-German connection on Saturday, April 27th in Daley Plaza in Chicago!
One of my favorite moments of the year is our time at Blues Camp in Chicago. The Blues Kids foundation puts on a week long camp that includes daily instruction and performance opportunities in really cool locations around the city. A huge thanks to Fernando Jones and everyone involved in the Blues Kids foundation for inviting us to be a part of the fun. Our Blues Project contingent managed to also sneak in some other fun and educational stops throughout the week like the Chicago History Museum's Blues Exhibit, The Dusable Museum of African American History, Buddy Guy's Legends, and Chess Records. Can't wait until next year!