(Hayward, CA) – The 18th Annual Hayward-Russell City Blues Festival celebrates its 18th year in Hayward, making this one of the oldest continuous Blues festivals in the West. The festival will he held July 8-9, 2017 from 11am-7pm at the Hayward City Hall Plaza (777 “B” Street, Hayward, California).
Some of the talented artists appearing over Saturday and Sunday are Lil Ed & the Blues Imperials, Grady Champion, Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, Little Jimmy Reed, Southern Soul Review featuring Johnny Rawls, Blues Boy Willie & Linwood Taylor, The Kimbrough Brothers, The Oakland Blues Divas and many, many more (lineup subject to change).
This little town of African-American’s, who migrated here from the deep south, was one of the proving grounds for many blues musicians. Russell City, an unincorporated area of Hayward, California is about 12 minutes from the City of Oakland. This community of modest houses and small farms along the bay is now gone. During it’s heyday, Russell City was a down home, known for its clubs with dirt floors, bootleg electricity and a steady stream of musicians playing a unique style of Delta Blues. During the early part of their careers, artists such as Big Joe Turner and Big Mama Thornton played Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana style blues in Russell City. West Coast Blues music eventually influenced the traditional sound when horns replaced the harmonica and West Coast Blues was born. Russell City is a landmark on the map of American’s contributions to world culture giving Hayward a unique musical legacy reflecting the African-American experience. We are pleased to bring those sounds back through the Hayward-Russell City Blues Festival. The Hayward-Russell City Blues Festival celebrates the rich history, musical and cultural art form found in Russell City and Hayward during the post war years from the 1940’s thru the 1960’s.