The Blues Foundation Honors Blues Boosters from around the world at February Awards Ceremony

in Memphis

 

Honorees Include Key Movers

 

Memphis, TN – The Blues Foundation will honor 17 individuals and organizations with its 2012 Keeping the Blues Alive (KBA) Award during a recognition brunch Saturday, February 4, 2012, in Memphis, Tennessee. Each year, The Blues Foundation presents the KBA Awards to individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to blues music. The KBA ceremony will be held in conjunction with the 28th International Blues Challenge (IBC), which begins January 31 and features the final rounds of the world’s largest and most prestigious blues music competition, as well as seminars, showcases, and receptions for blues societies, fans, and professionals.

 

The KBAs are awarded on the basis of merit by a select panel of blues professionals to those working to actively promote and document the music. “This year’s recipients showcase the breadth and diversity of the blues music community. The honorees range from a Mississippi juke joint to a Polish blues festival, from an educator specializing in the diddley bow and the khalam to one of rock’s most legendary guitarists, from a volunteer public radio jock to a television program reaching millions, but they all share a passion to bring the music to the people,” notes Jay Sieleman, Blues Foundation Executive Director.

 

The 2012 Keeping the Blues Alive Awards recipients are:

 

Agent: Rodgers Redding - Macon, Georgia

Club: Red’s Lounge - Clarksdale, Mississippi

Education: Dan Treanor - Arvada, Colorado

Festival-US: White Mountain Boogie ‘N Blues Festival - North Thornton, New Hampshire

Festival-International: Rawa Blues Festival - Katowice, Poland

Film, Television and Video: Treme, David Simon and Eric Overmyer, Executive Producers - New Orleans, Louisiana

International: Mike Lecuyer - Saint Michel de Montaigne, France

Journalism: Scott Barretta - Oxford, Mississippi

Literature: Life by Keith Richards - New York, New York

Manager: Toni Ann Mamary - Totowa, New Jersey

Organization: Blues Society of Western New York - Buffalo, New York

Photography: Aigars Lapsa - Riga, Latvia

Print Media: Soul Bag - Clichy, France

Promoter: George Wein -New York, New York

Radio: Commercial: Ted Todd–KKZX-FM - Spokane, Washington

Radio: Public: Harvey Stauffer–WVPE-FM - Elkhart, Indiana

Record Label: Severn Records - Annapolis, Maryland

 

Tickets to the KBA ceremony are sold only as part of the IBC Big Blue ticket package, available online at www.blues.org or by calling 901.527.2583. The IBC weekend, commencing Tuesday, January 31, 2012, is sponsored in significant part by ArtsMemphis, Beale Street Merchants Association, Budweiser of Memphis, FedEx, First Tennessee Foundation, Gibson Guitars, Lee Oskar Harmonicas, Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise, Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau, Tennessee Arts Commission, and VividPix & Design.

 

Media sponsors include Beale Street Caravan, Big City Rhythm and Blues, Blues Festival Guide, Blues Revue, Downtowner, House of Blues Radio Hour, Living Blues, Memphis Flyer, WREG-TV, and Sirius XM Satellite Radio B.B. King’s Bluesville.

 

The Blues Foundation is Memphis-based, but world-renown as THE organization dedicated to preserving our blues music history, celebrating recording and performance excellence, supporting blues education and ensuring the future of this uniquely American art form.  Founded in 1980, The Blues Foundation has 4500 individual members and 195 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 while its Sound Healthcare program offers musicians health insurance access.  Blues in the Schools programs and Generation Blues scholarships expose new generations to blues music.  Throughout the year, the Foundation staff serves the worldwide Blues community with answers, contact information and news.

 

 

 

 

About This Year’s Award Recipients:

 

Agent: Rodgers Redding - Macon, Georgia

As one musician has said, “If Rodgers Redding doesn’t represent you, you don’t work. If he does represent you, you work all the time.” For more than three decades, Rodgers Redding has been the number one booking agent for soul and soul blues musicians. A partial listing of his clients, past and present, include Shirley Brown, Solomon Burke, Clarence Carter, Tyrone Davis, Theodis Ealey, Z.Z. Hill, Denise LaSalle, Latimore, Bobby Rush, Marvin Sease, Johnnie Taylor, Mel Waiters, Bobby Womack, Betty Wright, and so many others. His start in the business came as the road manager to one of the biggest names in music, Otis Redding.

 

Club: Red’s Lounge – Clarksdale, Mississippi

Other Mississippi juke joints have come and gone, but for over 30 years, Red’s Lounge has provided the Mississippi juke joint experience to the world. A pool table, Christmas lights and Delta blues memorabilia lining the walls, and Red Paden at the door make this the place for real deal Mississippi blues. Delta players like Big Jack Johnson, Frank Frost, Sam Carr, T-Model Ford, Super Chikan, Robert Belfour, Big George Brock, Terry “Harmonica” Bean, Mr. Johnnie Billington, Jimbo Mathus, Cedric Burnside, Jimmy Duck Holmes, and so many others have played Red’s. National acts like Johnny Rawls, Watermelon Slim, and Eric Sardinas have also taken Red’s stage. Don’t be surprised to be standing next to a Tom Waits or Robert Plant who include Red’s on their Delta agenda. In addition, Red is very involved in community activities, hosting fund-raisers for local musicians.

 

Education: Dan Treanor - Arvada, Colorado

Dan Treanor was first approached in 1994 by the Colorado Blues Society to start up it’s Blues in the Schools program. His first program that April reached about 30 children. Since that inauspicious beginning, Treanor estimates he has touched the lives of more than 100,000 children. With a master’s degree in American History, Dan’s unique presentation combines history with music. As he says, “it’s a 400-year ride in the classroom.” Several years ago, Dan also took up creating handmade African instruments like the diddley bow, khalam, cane flute, and ngoni so that students can get an up-close look at the instruments important to the blues. His influence spread to the Grand County Blues Society and Austin Blues Society who both asked Dan to help them start their BITS programs. Whether he takes his message to facilities for at-risk kids or hands out harmonicas to first graders, Dan Treanor is there to ensure that the blues is perpetuated.

 

Festival (International): Rawa Blues Festival - Katowice, Poland

In 1981, when the Soviet Union still held countries in its iron grip of repression, the Rawa Blues Festival was born in the town of Katowice, Poland. That first festival gathered about 20 blues bands from all over Poland and attracted about 500 fans. That festival was the brainchild of Irek Dudek, a Polish singer, composer, and blues lover. For the first decade, Rawa only booked Polish blues bands. Once the Berlin Wall fell, the Rawa Festival began to expand and, in 1992, booked its first international act. Since then, the Festival, which is held the first or second Saturday in October, has consistently become an international blues happening, drawing 4-5,000 fans each year. The impact is much wider, however, as the festival is regularly televised to hundreds of thousands on Polish national television. The integration of Polish blues bands with American headliners like Koko Taylor, Junior Wells, Luther Allison, Magic Slim, Michael Burks, Lonnie Brooks, Eddy Clearwater, Debbie Davies, Rick Estrin, and many others has fostered great cultural exchanges.

 

Festival (US): White Mountain Boogie ‘N Blues Festival – North Thornton, New Hampshire

Now in its 15th year and held the third week in August, the White Mountain Boogie ‘N Blues Festival is the largest outdoor festival in the Granite State. The festival is set in a natural amphitheater on 72 acres of pasture at the Benton family farm in the heart of New Hampshire's White Mountains. This family-friendly, three-day festival combines camping, children’s activities, and Saturday night fireworks (a legend all its own) with the best regional and world-class blues performances. Past performers include Marcia Ball, Coco Montoya, Elvin Bishop, Ruthie Foster, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Shemekia Copeland and a host of others.

 

Film, Television or Video: Treme, David Simon and Eric Overmyer, Executive Producers - New Orleans, Louisiana

Set in 2005, Treme is the story of post-Katrina New Orleans told through a diverse group of residents. Central to New Orleans' rebirth is the music of the city. As the city where the American art forms of jazz and blues freely mixed, this series consistently features local and national musicians, either performing as part of the episode or with their music as the background of the scene. On any given episode, one can hear the music or see a performance of Irma Thomas, Dr. John, Allen Toussaint, the Neville Brothers, Clarence “Frogman” Henry, Deacon John, Trombone Shorty, Mem Shannon, Walter “Wolfman” Washington, Henry Butler, and others. At the same time, the local sounds of the Rebirth Brass Band, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Galactic, Kermit Ruffins, the subdudes, the Radiators, and George Porter, along with modern songsters like Steve Earle, John Hiatt, Shawn Colvin, and Lucinda Williams make up this eclectic soundtrack.

 

International: Mike Lecuyer - Saint Michel de Montaigne, France

Mike Lecuyer is one of the most important names in French blues. Though he began his love of the blues as a musician, it was his internet creation of La Chaine du Blues (the chain of blues) in 1999 that became his blues calling. This website connects the people of France with the totality of the country’s blues scene. The website, www.bluesfr.net, contains detailed information about clubs and festivals throughout France. It also features a comprehensive listing of French blues websites, web sites from other French-speaking countries, e.g., Belgium, Canada, Switzerland, etc., e-interviews, video, guitar instruction and blues news archives. For 12 years, he has coordinated the Tremplin Blues sur Seine (Challenge). He is the co-founder of W3 Bluesradio, the only French blues web radio playing continuous blues. He is also one of the 14 co-founders of France Blues, the new French association dedicated to promoting blues in France.

 

Journalism: Scott Barretta - Oxford, Mississippi

Few writers have given more to blues journalism than Scott Barretta. His years of tireless writing, researching, and preserving this American art form have impacted enthusiasts around the world. For three years, 1996 to 1999, Scott was editor of Sweden's Jefferson blues magazine. From 1999 to 2003 he served as the editor of Living Blues magazine, where he remains a contributing writer. Today Scott writes a weekly column on blues for the Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi, is the host of Highway 61, a weekly blues program on Mississippi Public Radio and, together with Jim O'Neal, is a writer and researcher for the Mississippi Blues Trail, which has dedicated over 140 markers since 2006. He's written liner notes for many artists andarticles for a wide range of magazines, and he continues to do so. In 2003, he co-founded the University of Mississippi's Blues Today Symposium.

 

Literature: Life by Keith Richards - New York, New York

That was all we listened to, American blues or rhythm and blues or country blues. Every waking hour of the day was just sitting in front of the speakers, trying to figure out how these blues were made....We went for the Chicago blues sound and listened to every Chess record ever made. Chicago blues hit us right between the eyes.... We didn’t think we were gonna do anything much except turn other people on to Muddy Waters and Bo Diddley and Jimmy Reed.... We were the unpaid promoters of Chicago blues.” That could be the genesis of almost any blues band in the world. But it’s the words of Keith Richards in his autobiography, Life, talking about the effect of American blues on Brian Jones, Mick Jagger, and himself in the early days of the Rolling Stones, the summer of 1962. Little did they know what their love of Blues would do to promote that music back in America. Throughout Life, Richards fires off stories which chronicle his insatiable love of the blues. A love that still rings true today as he continues to repay blues masters like Hubert Sumlin. And now, because of Life, millions of readers know of that love.

 

Manager: Toni Ann Mamary -Totowa, New Jersey

Toni Ann Mamary has been Hubert Sumlin’s manager for 12 years. In that time, Hubert has been inducted into the Blues Foundation’s Hall of Fame, won numerous Blues Music Awards, seen his album, About Them Shoes, nominated for a Grammy, been part of the Experience Hendrix tour, been featured in the recent movies, Cadillac Records and The Perfect Age of Rock ‘N’ Roll, and toured with the very successful Blues at the Crossroads tour this past year featuring Big Head Blues Club. Through Toni’s intervention, Hubert began working with Blue Mountain Artists and began to capitalize on his stature as one of the most innovative guitarists in the blues. He began to play American and International festivals on a regular basis. She has also entered a petition to the Rock and Roll Hall of fame signed by Eric Clapton, Elvis Costello, Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt, and Keith Richards to have him considered for induction as a sideman. Because Hubert lives in New Jersey with Toni, she has nursed him through the trauma of his lung cancer and his heart attack and has been at his side throughout every health crisis.

 

Organization: Blues Society of Western New York - Buffalo, New York

Founded in 1992, the Blues Society of Western New York’s mission is to preserve Blues music through educational endeavors and promotional events. The Society began with a drive that drew around 100 members. Subsequent drives increased membership to around 700. In 2009, the Society and more than 60 local blues musicians produced the Jammin’ for a Cure CD. Featuring original tracks from local blues bands, the project has raised over $11,000 to benefit breast cancer research. In 2001, the Society began its Blues in the Schools mission. Since then, it has sponsored over 30 individual programs in various schools reaching thousands of children. It has also brought in musicians like Joe Bonamassa, Marcia Ball, Eden Brent, Tas Cru, and others to lead BITS workshops for interested children and musicians. Amateur musicians of all ages flock to monthly AmJams to get on stage and play with seasoned blues artists. Current efforts include collaboration with Music is Art, a not-for-profit cultural organization founded by The Goo Goo Dolls bassist and Buffalo native, Robby Takac.

 

Photography: Aigars Lapsa - Riga, Latvia

When the Blues Bites Club opened in Riga, Latvia in 2001, it brought American blues men and women to perform twice a month. Sitting in the first row, with a small pocket camera was Aigars Lapsa. Taken by the show of the late Lil’ Dave Thompson, Aigars took his first blues pictures and vowed to never miss a show at the club. Since then, Aigars has been on a personal journey to photograph live blues performances at festivals and shows around the world. In 2004, he and his wife Zeltite traveled to Jazz Fest and the Chicago Blues Festival to record images for the Latvian press. Since then, he has taken pictures at over 60 festivals around the world. In 2006, he launched his website where his work has been seen by thousands of blues fans and industry professionals. He can often be seen giving packets of his stunning pictures to the subject performer. His photographs have been featured in every major blues publication around the world: Blues Revue, Big City Blues, Blues News (Germany), Blues News (Norway), Twoj Blues(Poland), and many others, as well on blues CD covers and inserts. His photos have been exhibited in Germany, Denmark, Norway, Lithuania, and Latvia and, in 2009, he and two other Latvian photographers created a traveling blues and jazz photo exhibition.

 

Print Media: Soul Bag - Clichy, France

Elvin Bishop says, “Soul Bag is the best thing to happen to France since Django Reinhardt.” Founded by Jacques Périn in 1968, Soul Bag is the oldest blues magazine in France. Since its founding, over 200 issues have been published, covering mainly blues and also soul, rhythm & blues, gospel, funk and zydeco. Though its title might give the impression the magazine’s content is soul, it truly is a blues lover’s find. Published every three months, Soul Bag reaches 3,500 subscribers by mail and another 11,000 through its newsstand sales. The July-September 2011 issue, for example, featured stories on John Lee Hooker, Jr., Derek Trucks, the myth of Robert Johnson, and 30 pages of CD, DVD, and book reviews. Even though it is published thousands of miles from the Delta and in a foreign language, Soul Bag, like so many foreign publications, keeps American blues history and its modern performers alive throughout France.

 

Promoter: George Wein - New York, New York

No single promoter has done more for bringing blues music to the world than 86-year old George Wein. To many, the Newport Jazz Festival® (1959) and Newport Folk Festival® (1960) are the starting point for American music festivals. Those groundbreaking events were the brainchild of the legendary George Wein. Since he began, Wein has been deeply involved with promoting the blues. Artists like Son House, Mississippi John Hurt, Skip James, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Lightnin’ Hopkins, B.B. King, Brownie and Sonny, and others were showcased at those 1960s Newport gatherings. Then, in 1970, Wein created the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, which for 43 solid years has become the premier showcase of American music. In addition, Wein established Festival Productions, which has produced hundreds of festivals and blues tours around the world, including B.B. King’s 1980s European tours. In 2010, he founded Newport Festivals Foundation to perpetuate the history of jazz, folk, and the blues in Newport. His tireless promoting of all forms of American music is a rare gift to us all.

 

Radio (Commercial): Ted Todd, KKZX-FM - Spokane, Washington

Ted Todd’s booming baritone has been a driving force behind the blues on Spokane radio for 19 years. His Sunday night three-hour show-The Blowtorch Blues Show-on classic rock KKZX radio is a major reason the station has produced a number one Sunday night rating. In addition to his commitments with radio, hosting shows and announcing at festivals, Ted is also very active as the editor and chief writer for the Inland Empire Blues Society’s monthly newsletter, which adds up to 20 years of writing CD reviews and stories. Clear Channel cites Ted’s inclusive programming as a factor in the station’s “Number One Top Rated 100 Market Classic rock” ranking in the nation. One look through a sample of his playlist illustrates the diversity of blues from current favorites to historic classics.

 

Radio (Public): Harvey Stauffer, WVPE-FM - Elkhart, Indiana

Harvey Stauffer and his Blues Revue show is one of the longest running public radio blues programs in the country. Stauffer’s three-hour show, which began 28 years ago, runs on Saturday and Sunday afternoon to over 9,000 regular listeners. In addition to his radio show and on-air interviews with performers, Stauffer is the lead singer in the Elwood Splinters Blues Band. He also works as talent booker for two major area festivals and his tireless efforts were recognized in 2003 by both the Blues Heaven Foundation and the Firefighter Blues Award for his contributions to the Firefighter Blues Fest. He received a proclamation from the City of South Bend, Indiana on the 20th anniversary of The Blues Revue. He also organized and booked the Blues and Ribs Festival for 12 years. After a six-year hiatus, Harvey helped South Bend revive this popular festival.

 

Record Label: Severn Records - Annapolis, Maryland

Severn Records was founded in 1997 by David Earl. In 1998, it released its first three records. Since that time, Severn has released over 50 critically-acclaimed titles. As one of the finest labels recording traditional and soul blues, Severn artists and recordings have been nominated for over twenty-five Blues Music Awards. Its roster of artists includes Tad Robinson, Lou Pride, Sugar Ray and the Bluetones, Darrell Nulisch, The Chicago Blues Harmonica Project, Mike Morgan, Nora Jean Bruso, Clarence Spady, Big Joe & the Dynaflows, Steve Guyger, and others. Severn continues to expand by signing new artists and recently moved to a state of the art, 3,100 square foot space that will house the label's offices and studios in Annapolis.

 

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