(Bradenton, FL) – A month before the fifth annual Bradenton Blues Festival, organizers welcomed some important players in the blues world.
The International Blues Foundation hosted its annual board of director’s retreat in downtown Bradenton last week. The International Blues Foundation houses the Blues Hall of Fame in Memphis and is directed by a board of 23 individuals from Canada, Norway and across the U.S.
Thanks to the annual blues festival along the Manatee River, blues musicians such as Doug Deming relocating to the area, Blues Music Magazine headquartered within walking distance of downtown Bradenton, and blues venues like Ace’s Live and Blue Rooster, Bradenton has become a destination on the blues map.
“To have the Blues Foundation host an annual board retreat in downtown Bradenton acknowledges that Bradenton has the blues, and is becoming a desired destination for businesses,” said Johnette Isham, executive director of Realize Bradenton, the nonprofit behind the Bradenton Blues Festival, in a statement. “The Bradenton Blues Festival unites area-based businesses and organizations to support a common cause. These forward-thinking companies and organizations join us in celebrating Bradenton’s cultural distinctiveness. They understand that the arts and cultural industry is big business and events like the annual Bradenton Blues Festival are integral in how we promote our region to the world.”
As previously reported, the festival has expanded into a weekend event with a free Blues Appetizer concert on Friday, Dec. 2, the Bradenton Blues Festival on Dec. 3, and the Blues Brunch on Dec. 4. Festival organizers are encouraging pre-event online ticket sales as the festival and blues brunch will sell out. Advanced tickets can be purchased at bradentonbluesfestival.org
Realize Bradenton is also building the excitement with the “Blues Bar Buzz” concert series, featuring top blues artists performing at local music venues. Each “buzz” event will have Bradenton Blues Festival T-shirts available for $20, limited-edition posters for $30, and general admission tickets for $25 ($5 off the advance ticket price of $30).
The next “Buzz” event features Florida funk-soul-rock band Holey Miss Moley performing 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10 at Ace’s Live, 4343 Palma Sola Blvd., Bradenton ($5 cover). The “Buzz” series wraps up with Joe Louis Walker, a Blues Hall of Fame inductee and four-time Blues Music Award winner, performing 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12 at Ace’s ($15 advance, $18 door).
Walker also performs Wednesday, Nov. 16, at the Blue Rooster (1525 4th St., Sarasota; $15). More blues options? Deming’s band is back at the Blue Rooster, also on Saturday.