(MEMPHIS, TN) – All around the globe excitement is mounting for the respective regional blues challenge winners as many hold sendoff concerts and fundraisers in anticipation and preparation for their arrival in Memphis to compete in the 35th annual International Blues Challenge. Just arriving in Memphis as a participant is an instant high. We congratulate the regional winners of the band, solo/duo and youth divisions and wish them an unforgettable time on this pilgrimage. The categories to win in include: Band – 1st place; Solo/Duo – 1st place; Band – 2nd place; Solo/Duo – 2nd place; Band – 3rd place; Band – Gibson Guitar Award; Solo/Duo – Cigar Box Guitar Award; Lee Oskar Harmonica Award; and Best Self-Produced CD.
Not only will the streets be teaming with artists and fans but there will be many other events and workshops held in conjunction. Along with the IBC cutting contests and showcases held in various clubs, some of the other week’s highlights include an invitation to a reception with leaders from the Recording Academy™, photography exhibits, conversation and book signing with Bruce Iglauer, founder of Alligator Records, a feature-length documentary directed by Sam Pollard, narrated by Common, and featuring the music of Gary Clark Jr.; Musician Workshops, 2019 IBC Keynote Panel on “The Blues and Race,” and much more!
This is also the time the Blues Foundation presents the prestigious Keeping The Blues Awards to this year’s recipients. A luncheon will honor and celebrate our 2019 KBA recipients, non-performers who are being recognized for their years of behind-the-scenes work to share, promote, and bring greater awareness to the blues genre. The 2019 KBA Recipients are: Atlanta Blues Society, Blues Alive Festival, Capitol Oyster Bar, Croatian Blues Forces, Hans Ekestang, Jesse Finkelstein, Sarah French, Jean Guillermo, Tom Hyslop, Don Ottensman, and Bob Trenchard.
IBC passes and upgrades, official 2019 IBC merchandise, and the full event week schedule can be found at the website as well. Online ticket sales will close Monday, January 21. They are no longer mailing tickets. Passes purchased online will be available at Will Call.