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Showing posts with label The Blues Foundation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Blues Foundation. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 15, 2023



















     (Memphis TN) – Kimberly Horton has been named President and CEO of The Blues Foundation, a position she has held on an interim basis since last Fall, it was announced by R. Scott Fitzke, Chair of the Board of Directors.  

     Horton is a native of Jackson, Mississippi and has been a passionate advocate of the blues genre since she was young. A graduate of both Jackson State University and Belhaven University with degrees in Management and Public Health, Kimberly has dedicated over sixteen years of her career to higher education. Her love for the blues, however, led her in a different direction: becoming President of a successful blues booking and management agency, Heathrow Muzik Box.

     Through her agency, Kimberly has managed several well-known artists in the blues genre. Her expertise in the industry helped earn Horton a position as a Board Member with The Blues Foundation. Possessing a strong desire to inspire and educate the younger generation, Kimberly plans to lead The Blues Foundation to new heights by, among other things, implementing youth education initiatives and updating the Blues Hall of Fame Museum with modern technology.

     In addition to her professional achievements, Kimberly cherishes her family. She is a proud mother to two beautiful children, Tyra and Jerin. Tyra is currently following in her mother’s footsteps as the CEO of Heathrow Muzik Box, while Jerin is a junior at Manassas High School. Horton’s passion for the blues, coupled with her leadership skills, is sure to leave a lasting impact in the world of Blues.

     “We are confident that Kimberly is the right person to lead The Blues Foundation into the next chapter of our history,” says Fitzke. “Kimberly shares our passion as well as our core values and has a clear vision for how The Blues Foundation can continue to make advancements in serving that mission. Kimberly is also committed to fostering a culture of collaboration, innovation, inclusion, and excellence both within The Blues Foundation, among our constituents, and with the community in general,” adds Fitzke.

     Please join us in welcoming Kimberly Horton as the President and CEO of The Blues Foundation. We hope everyone will have an opportunity to meet her at an upcoming event, at The Blues Hall of Fame, or on the road championing our cause. Please visit our website at to learn more about The Blues Foundation and our programs.






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Monday, January 23, 2017

Blues Foundation kicks off 33rd Int'l. Blues Challenge with free concert in Clayborn Temple 1/31

The IBC’S International Showcase will feature 
top blues acts from around the world 
performing at Memphis’ historic Clayborn Temple
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The blues will be coming home to Memphis on January 31st when The Blues Foundation hosts its 33rd annual International Blues Challenge. At this blues summit, musicians from around the globe will battle it out for cash, prizes, and bookings in the Challenge’s half-dozen categories.  
Before the much-anticipated competition begins, however, musicians, blues professionals and fans will first come together for the traditional kick-off concert, the International Showcase. Taking place at the historic Clayborn Temple on January 31, 2017, beginning at 5 p.m., this opening night event features performers — representing Europe, Asia, Australia, North and South America — celebrating the blues. You don’t even have to be an IBC pass holder to attend because this show is free and open to the public.  
The International Showcase serves as a terrific introduction to the five-day-long IBC as it presents a vibrant picture of the many exciting things happening in blues music today. The concert also gives this diverse lineup of musicians, hailing from 13 different countries, an opportunity to play together in one location. Additionally, it provides local Memphians the chance to be part of this celebration of the music for which the city is known throughout the world.  
This type of community building reflects what the Blues Foundation is all about. For more than 35 years, the local Memphis organization has not only worked to increase awareness of blues’ past, present and future throughout the world but it also has been an advocate for the vital and varied societal roles that this music plays. The Foundation runs two highly regarded education programs, Blues in the Schools and the Generation Blues Scholarship, along with operating the HART Fund, which provides medical assistance for musicians in need. The IBC festival, furthermore, features several youth showcases and benefit concerts, while its February 3rd keynote panel explores the role of “Blues as Healer.”  
This emphasis on community also makes the International Showcase’s venue, the historic Clayborn Temple, a wonderfully appropriate location. A Memphis landmark for more than 120 years, the Clayborn, which is currently undergoing renovations, played a particularly important role during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. As a frequent community meeting place, it acted as a distribution site for the now famous “I Am a Man” signs and also was the staging ground for many marches, including the last one Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would ever lead, the March 28, 1968 rally supporting the Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike. Dr. King’s final speech, the legendary “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” address, was originally scheduled for the Clayborn too, but at the last minute was moved to the nearby Mason Temple. The spirit of Dr. King’s message on breaking down the boundaries of color, nationality and gender is proudly carried on by the Blues Foundation.    
Memphians and IBC attendees from across the globe attending the International Showcase concert will have the exclusive pleasure of being able to witness the progress that has been made with the extensive restoration of the Clayborn, which has been vacant for the past few decades. The current owners, in fact, just received a $400,000 grant from the National Parks Service on January 12 that will further help reestablish its original grandeur and bring this historical significant building back to life.  
Honoring and preserving the past also is a main function of the Blues Foundation’s mission. In 2015, it opened the Blues Hall of Fame in Memphis to much popular and critical acclaim. Each year at the IBC, the Foundation also bestows its Keeping the Blues Alive Awards to salute those who have worked to keep the blues flame glowing strong. This year’s 16 honorees, who will be recognized at an IBC luncheon on February 3rd, include record labels, music festivals, recording studios, clubs, radio stations, publications and individuals located all around the world.
The International Showcase opening night concert, (the show’s performance schedule will be released that day) beginning at 5 p.m. on January 31 is just the start of the IBC’s five exciting days. In fact, music from additional international acts will be starting up in clubs on Beale Street that night beginning at 8 p.m. International Showcase attendees will be able to purchase passes ($100 per person) for the rest of the International Blues Challenge events. Passes can also be purchased at, where there is more information about the Blues Foundation and the IBC, the schedule of IBC activities and performances, and how to join the Blues Foundation. Daily wristbands for the competition events (beginning at 4:30 p.m. each evening) can be purchased each day on Beale Street. Passes are required for daytime activities.
About the Blues Foundation: This world-renowned, Memphis-based organization holds a mission to preserve blues heritage, celebrate blues recording and performance, expand worldwide awareness of the blues, and ensure the future of this uniquely American art form. Founded in 1980, the Blues Foundation has approximately 4,000 individual members and 200 affiliated societies representing another 50,000 fans and professionals around the world. Its signature honors and events — the Blues Music Awards, Blues Hall of Fame, International Blues Challenge, and Keeping the Blues Alive Awards — make it the international hub of blues music. Its HART Fund provides the blues community with medical assistance for musicians in need, while Blues in the Schools programs and Generation Blues Scholarships expose new generations to blues music. The recent opening of the Blues Hall of Fame Museum, in Memphis, now adds the opportunity for music lovers of all ages to interact with the music and its history. Throughout the year, the Foundation staff serves the global blues community with answers, information, and news.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Blues Music Award nominees announced by the Blues Foundation; ceremony is May 11

Awards ceremony to be held May 11, 2017 in Memphis

MEMPHIS, Tenn. The Blues Foundation is pleased to announce the nominations for its annual Blues Music Awards, which the international organization will present on Thursday, May 11, 2017 at the Cook Convention Center in downtown Memphis, Tennessee. Universally recognized as the highest accolade afforded blues musicians, The Blues Music Awards upholds its rich cultural tradition by honoring the past year’s superior achievements in blues performance, songwriting, and recording. This annual ceremony represents the premier event for blues professionals, musicians, and fans around the globe.  
Sugar Ray Norcia, individually, and collectively with his band, The Bluetones, received the most nominations with seven, including B.B. King Entertainer Award, Best Song, Best Album and Best Band. The total reaches ten with the inclusion of his Bluetones bandmates Monster Mike Welch (Instrumentalist-Guitar), Michael “Mudcat” Ward (Instrumentalist-Bass) and Anthony Geraci (Pinetop Perkins Piano Player). Chicago-based guitarist Toronzo Cannon garnered four nominations and he faces off against Norcia in both the Best Song and Best Album categories. Best Album probably ranks as the most competitive category, with Norcia and Cannon battling Bobby Rush, Kenny Neal, William Bell and the Nick Moss Band, who all have three nominations.  
Several nominees will be defending their titles won at last year’s Blues Music Awards. Instrumentalist-Harmonica winner Kim Wilson is one of this year’s nominees, and Cedric Burnside might again claim the Instrumentalist-Drums crown. Shemekia Copeland and Bettye LaVette also return to the categories they won last year (Contemporary Blues Female Artist and Soul Blues Female Artist, respectively), while 2016’s Acoustic Artist winner, Doug MacLeod, is one of this year’s contenders too.   
The Awards also honor the next generation of blues performers with the Best Emerging Artist Album category. In fact, two Emerging Artist nominees also are contenders for a second award. Detroit native Thornetta Davis’s “I Gotta Sang the Blues” is up for Best Song, while Terrie Odabi is competing against the likes of Bettye LaVette and Mavis Staples to be named Soul Blues Female Artist.  
The complete list of 38th Blues Music Award nominees also can be found at the Blues Foundation’s website — A ballot will soon be sent to all Blues Foundation members, as they have the privilege of deciding which nominees will actually take home a Blues Music Award in May. Anyone interested in casting a vote to decide this year’s winners may receive a ballot by joining or renewing their membership with The Blues Foundation at any time up to February 28, 2017. 
The Blues Music Awards ceremony annually proves to be one of the year’s best shows. Not only does almost every nominee attend, but they also perform, creating a lineup featuring the best of the best in blues all in one evening. More information regarding membership, voting, ticket, and host hotel information can be found at or by calling 901.527.2583.  
Major funding is provided by ArtsMemphis and the Tennessee Arts Commission.  The 38th Blues Music Awards are also sponsored by BMI, GET and I-55 Productions, Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise, Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company and Sony/Legacy.    
The Blues Foundation is Memphis-based, but world-renowned as THE organization whose mission is to preserve blues heritage, celebrate blues recording and performance, expand worldwide awareness of the blues, and ensure the future of this uniquely American art form.  Founded in 1980, The Blues Foundation has approximately 4000 individual members and 200 affiliated local blues societies representing another 50,000 fans and professionals around the world.  Its signature honors and events — the Blues Music Awards, Blues Hall of Fame, International Blues Challenge and Keeping the Blues Alive Awards — make it the international center of blues music. Its HART Fund provides the blues community with medical assistance for musicians in need, while Blues in the Schools programs and Generation Blues Scholarships expose new generations to blues music. The recent opening of the Blues Hall of Fame Museum, in Memphis, TN, now adds the opportunity for music lovers of all ages to interact with the music and the history. For more information, log onto
38th Blues Music Award Nominees
Acoustic Album
Doug MacLeod - Live in Europe
Eric Bibb - The Happiest Man in the World
Fiona Boyes - Professin' the Blues
Jimmy “Duck” Holmes - Live at Briggs Farm
John Long - Stand Your Ground
Luther Dickinson - Blues and Ballads (A Folksinger's Songbook) Vol I and II

Acoustic Artist
Doug MacLeod
Eric Bibb
Fiona Boyes
Jimmy “Duck” Holmes
Luther Dickinson

Bobby Rush - Porcupine Meat
Kenny Neal - Bloodline
Nick Moss Band - From the Root to the Fruit
Sugar Ray & the Bluetones - Seeing is Believing
Toronzo Cannon - The Chicago Way
William Bell – This Is Where I Live
Golden State Lone Star Blues Revue
Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials
Nick Moss Band
Sugar Ray and the Bluetones
Tedeschi Trucks Band
B.B. King Entertainer
Joe Bonamassa
John Nemeth
Lil’ Ed Williams
Sugar Ray Norcia
Sugaray Rayford

Best Emerging Artist Album
Corey Dennison Band - Corey Dennison
Guy King - Truth
Jonn Del Toro Richardson - Tengo Blues
Terrie Odabi - My Blue Soul
Thornetta Davis - Honest Woman

Contemporary Blues Album
Al Basile - Mid Century Modern
Kenny Neal - Blood Line
Nick Moss Band - From the Root to the Fruit
The Record Company - Give It Back To You
Toronzo Cannon - The Chicago Way

Contemporary Blues Female Artist
Alexis P Suter
Ana Popovic
Janiva Magness
Shemekia Copeland
Susan Tedeschi
Contemporary Blues Male Artist
Albert Castiglia
Kenny Neal
Mike Zito
Sugaray Rayford
Toronzo Cannon

Historical Album
Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup, A Music Man Like Nobody Ever Saw, Bear Family Records
B.B. King, More B.B. King: Here’s One You Haven’t Heard, Ace Records
Bobby Rush, Chicken Heads: A 50-Year History of Bobby Rush, Omnivore Recordings
Michael Burks, I’m A Bluesman, Iron Man Records
Pinetop Perkins & Jimmy Rogers, Genuine Blues Legends, Elrob Records
Biscuit Miller
Bob Stroger
Michael “Mudcat” Ward
Patrick Rynn
R W Grigsby
Cedric Burnside
Jimi Bott
June Core
Tom Hambridge
Tony Braunagel

Bob Margolin
Joe Bonamassa
Kid Andersen
Monster Mike Welch
Ronnie Earl 

Dennis Gruenling
Jason Ricci
Kim Wilson
Mark Hummel
Sugar Ray Norcia
Al Basile
Nancy Wright
Sax Gordon Beadle
Terry Hanck
Vanessa Collier 

Koko Taylor Award (Traditional Blues Female)
Annika Chambers
Diunna Greenleaf
Inetta Visor
Shaun Murphy
Trudy Lynn

Pinetop Perkins Piano Player
Anthony Geraci
Barrelhouse Chuck
Henry Gray
Jim Pugh
Victor Wainwright

Rock Blues Album of the Year
Albert Castiglia - Big Dog
Mike Zito - Keep Coming Back
Moreland & Arbuckle - Promised Land or Bust
Tedeschi Trucks Band - Let Me Get By
Walter Trout - Alive in Amsterdam

“Blues Immigrant” written by Matthew Skoller & Vincent Bucher and performed by Matthew Skoller on Blues Immigrant
“I Gotta Sang The Blues” written and performed by Thornetta Davis on Honest Woman
“Seeing Is Believing” written by Ray Norcia and performed by Sugar Ray & The Bluetones on Seeing Is Believing
“Walk A Mile In My Blues” written by David Duncan, Curtis Salgado & Mike Finigan and performed by Curtis Salgado on The Beautiful Lowdown
“Walk it Off” written and performed by Toronzo Cannon on The Chicago Way

Soul Blues Album
Bobby Rush - Porcupine Meat
Curtis Salgado - The Beautiful Lowdown
Johnny Rawls - Tiger in a Cage
Wee Willie Walker - Live! Notodden Blues Festival
William Bell - This Is Where I Live  
Soul Blues Female Artist
Bettye Lavette
Lara Price
Mavis Staples
Terrie Odabi
Vaneese Thomas

Soul Blues Male Artist
Bobby Rush
Curtis Salgado
Johnny Rawls
Wee Willie Walker
William Bell

Traditional Blues Album
Big Jon Atkinson & Bob Corritore - House Party at Big Jon's
Bob Margolin - My Road
Golden State Lone Star Blues Revue - Golden State Lone Star Blues Revue
Lurrie Bell - Can't Shake This Feeling
Sugar Ray & the Bluetones - Seeing is Believing

Traditional Blues Male Artist
Bob Margolin
John Primer
Lil’ Ed Williams
Lurrie Bell
Sugar Ray Norcia