The Blues Foundation will present the 30th International Blues Challenge. The International Blues Challenge known as the World’s Largest Gathering of Blues Acts takes place in Memphis on January 21 to 25. Blues fans from around the world converge for this yearly event.
Many local Blues Societies have an event to pick a band and solo/duo act to go to Memphis.
The Connecticut Blues Society has a Blues Challenge bringing together some of the best bands in the state. The band winner was the Danny Draher Band. They are also sending a Solo/Duo act, Swamp Shaka and Tony C.
As an added attraction, the Balkun Brothers will be representing Massachusetts.
There will also be a youth showcase for the future of the blues. Connecticut has an entry in Jake Kulak and the LowDown. The youth showcase is for those under the age of 21. There will be an afternoon (Friday) of talented young people showcasing their talents for record labels, media, festivals, managers, talent buyers and the fans.
If you travel to Memphis, you can expect to see 255 acts in 600 performances over 5 days. But Blues isn’t the only thing going on. You have a choice of Blues or NBA Memphis Grizzlies Basketball. You really do not have to make a choice as the games are on Monday and Saturday. The Grizzlies have created a discount ticket for the game on January 20th vs. New Orleans (Martin Luther King commemorative game), and January 25th vs. Houston.
The IBC will begin Tuesday Night (Jan 21) with the International Showcase. Bands from outside the US put on a concert at the New Daisy Theater.
Wednesday and Thursday night (January 22-23) the quarter finals will be conducted.
Youth Showcase and Semi Finals will be held Friday night (Jan 24).
Saturday (Jan 25) IBC will conclude with Finals in the beautiful Orpheum Theater.
For up-to-date information check the BluesBeatNews blog each morning of the IBC.