International Blues Challenge Event Week Highlights

The 35th International Blues Challenge takes place in Memphis, Tennessee from January 22nd through the 26th, 2019.

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The Blues Foundation has scheduled a week of live music, workshops, films, exhibits and more for the 35th Annual International Blues Challenge. More than 800 musicians from around the globe are anticipated to converge in Memphis to battle for glory — along with prizes and bookings — at the world’s largest and most renowned blues music competition.

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Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019

6:00 pm – The official opening of the IBC takes place on the 1st floor of Club 152. International challengers will perform in International Showcases at various clubs along Beale Street after the kick-off and into the evening.

8:00 pm – Tas Cru‘s 11th Annual Generation Blues Jam will take place at the Rum Boogie Cafe. Featuring both a youth and adult jam, all IBC contestants and visiting musicians are invited to attend. This jam is a fundraiser for Generation Blues, a Blues Foundation program to support young musicians’ development. Please come with open hearts and open pockets.

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019

8:00 am – Blues Foundation Board of Directors Meeting at the Doubletree Hotel.

11:00 am – 4:00 pm – Pacific Northwest Showcase at Club 152 (1st Floor). Hosted by the Pacific Northwest Affiliated Blues Societies, this showcase features all of the Pacific Northwest acts entered in the 2019 IBC. *IBC pass required for entry.

11:45 am – 2:00 pm – Recording Academy™ & GRAMMY® Awards IBC Reception at the Doubletree Hotel Grand Ballroom. Leaders from the Recording Academy™ & The GRAMMY® Awards shine an international spotlight on all music communities. Learn how you can get involved in the GRAMMY® Awards process by submitting your current projects for awards consideration, independently or with assistance from The Blues Foundation. Light food and beverages will be served. *RSVP and registration required.

12:00 pm – Sylvie Bosc Photography Exhibit Meet & Greet at the Blues Hall of Fame Museum. Mississippi, Terre de Blues (Mississippi, Land of Blues) is a photography exhibit from French artist Sylvie Bosc. Over the course of four years, Sylvie traveled throughout the Delta to explore its famed music and culture – the blues. Bosc will be in attendance to discuss her work. *Open to the public

12:00 pm – 2:30 pm – IBC Act Check-in at Club 152 (1st Floor).

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12:00 pm – 2:30 pm – HART Fund Health Fair and Screenings at Club 152 (2nd Floor). Funded by The HART Fund, The Blues Foundation will have doctors, nurses, and other health practitioners on site for a variety of health screenings included but not limited to blood pressure, pulse, cholesterol, diabetes, and PSA screenings for prostate cancer. We will also have a variety of educational materials on hand to address all aspects of preventative health. MusiCares® will also be on site to provide musicians with a custom ear-mold fitting. The requirements to get custom ear-molds are having at least 5 years of professional music industry experience (i.e. making an income in the industry) OR if less than 5 years, at least 6 commercially released recordings, and you must have never received ear plugs from MusiCares® at any event in the past. *Open to blues musicians and their family members at no charge.

1:00 pm – Affiliate Leader Roundtable at the Doubletree Hotel Main Ballroom. Barbara Newman, President and CEO of The Blues Foundation, will welcome affiliated blues society leaders to an open discussion about Affiliate needs and how The Blues Foundation can assist. This meeting is intended to be an open dialog and all questions and comments are welcome.
*Open to Blues Society Leadership

2:30 pm – IBC Act Orientation at Club 152 (1st Floor). All IBC Solo/Duo and Band acts are required to send a representative to attend Act Orientation ahead of quarter-final performances. Blues Foundation CEO, Barbara Newman, will welcome all acts to the IBC after which IBC Production Consultant, Joe Whitmer, will review all pertinent details for competitors and answer questions. Please note: space at Club 152 is limited, so we kindly request that each act select one representative to attend Act Orientation on their behalf.

3:00 pm – New Judge Orientation will take place at Club 152 (3rd Floor). All first-time IBC Judges are required to attend at least one New Judge Orientation before formally judging an IBC stage. Return judges are also welcome to attend an orientation for a refresher on the judging process.

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3:15 pm – Conversation and book signing with Blues Hall of Famer Bruce Iglauer at the Blues Hall of Fame Museum. Bruce Iglauer, founder of Alligator Records, will speak about his blues career and experiences as told in his new memoir Bitten by the Blues. Copies of the book will be on hand for purchase, and Bruce will be available to sign them. Bitten by the Blues is Iglauer’s memoir of a life immersed in the blues—and the business of the blues. No one person was present at the creation of more great contemporary blues music than Iglauer: he produced albums by Koko Taylor, Albert Collins, Professor Longhair, Johnny Winter, Lonnie Mack, Son Seals, Roy Buchanan, Shemekia Copeland, and many other major figures. Bitten by the Blues is also an expansive history of half a century of blues in Chicago and around the world, tracing the blues recording business through massive transitions, as a genre of music originally created by and for black southerners adapted to an influx of white fans and musicians and found a worldwide audience. *Open to the public

5:00 pm – International Blues Challenge Quarter-Finals Round 1. Competitions will take place at various clubs on Beale Street. *IBC pass or wristband required for entry.

BratGirlMedia Showcase at the Rum Boogie Cafe. Immediately following the IBC competition until late. All proceeds benefit Generation Blues. *IBC pass or wristband required for entry.

3rd Annual Beale Street Blues Harp Pro Jam at the Tap Room. Hosted by Rick Davis and featuring JD Taylor & Little Boys Blue. Immediately following the IBC competition until late. *IBC pass or wristband required for entry.

Thursday, January 24th, 2019

9:00 am – Blues Yoga Class at Blues Hall of Fame Museum. Come participate in a blues yoga class to reenergize your body and mind with Amy Hutcheson from Downtown Yoga.

10:00 am – 11:30 am – Blues Networking (Speed Dating for Musicians and Industry) at the Doubletree Hotel. 2019 IBC Challengers are invited to participate in networking opportunities/mentoring sessions with blues professionals across all areas of the music business. Throughout the morning you will be scheduled for a series of face-to-face sessions with a variety of industry professionals. You never know what great pieces of wisdom might come to you or what wonderful connections you might make. *2019 IBC Challengers only. Advance registration is required.

11:30 am – Great Canadian Polar Bear Blues Showcase at the Kooky Canuck Restaurant. You are invited to check out all of the Canadian acts entered in the IBC representing affiliates from across Canada. *Open to the public

11:30 am – National Women in Blues Annual Showcase at Alfred’s. Enjoy wonderful blues music by many of the great Women in Blues performers and some of our finest blues brothers, while partaking of Alfred’s tasty lunch menu. We’ll be passing a bucket with all donations going directly to The Blues Foundation’s Generation Blues Scholarship Fund, providing resources for youth musicians to attend summer blues camps and workshops. *IBC pass required for entry

11:30 am – 4:30 pm – The Galaxie Agency Showcase at B.B. King’s Blues Club. All proceeds to benefit Generation Blues. *IBC pass required for entry

12:00 pm – 2:30 pm – HART Fund Health Fair and Screenings at Club 152 (2nd Floor).

12:30 pm – 1:30 pm – Musician Workshop (Find Me the Money) at King’s Palace. Learn about the various income streams and expenses associated with the music business, so you can better manage your own career as a musician. Topics will include royalties, sync licensing, tour budgets, recording revenues/costs, and more. Hear from our experts in the areas of tour booking, record production, artist management, and law and tax. Panelists include Rick Booth (Intrepid Artist), Eric Corne (Forty Below Records), Jeff Delia (72 Music Management), and Bruce Newman (Newman, DeCoster). *IBC pass required for entry

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1:00 pm – 2019 IBC Official Documentary FilmTwo Trains Runnin’ at Blues City Cafe. Two Trains Runnin’ is a feature-length documentary directed by Sam Pollard, narrated by Common, and featuring the music of Gary Clark Jr. The film pays tribute to a pioneering generation of musicians and cuts to the heart of our present moment, offering a crucial vantage from which to view the evolving dynamics of race in America. Named one of the best documentaries of 2017 by Rolling Stone Magazine, Two Trains Runnin’ was also honored with a GRAMMY® nomination for Best Music Film. Dick Waterman, one of the film’s subjects, will be in attendance for a Q&A at the film’s conclusion. *IBC pass required for entry

2:00 pm – Master Class in Electric Guitar taught by Bob Margolin at the Rum Boogie. Bob Margolin, multiple Blues Music Awards nominee and winner, will offer a master class to all IBC musicians and any other electric guitar players in town for the IBC who would like to take their guitar playing up a notch. *IBC pass required for entry

2:00 pm – Master Class in Harmonica taught by Bob Corritore at Blues Hall Juke Joint. After this class all players are invited to go next door to Rum Boogie for a combined class with Bob Corritore and Bob Margolin exploring the interplay between harmonica and electric guitar. *IBC pass required for entry

2:00 pm – Master Class in Bass taught by Russell Jackson at King Jerry Lawler’s. Both upright and electric bass techniques will be explored. *IBC pass required for entry

2:00 pm – Master Class in Acoustic & Slide Guitar taught by Rory Block at Pig on Beale. This slide workshop with Rory Block will offer an in-depth examination of techniques, tones, and styles possible with slide. We will analyze and implement methods to obtain the cleanest sound, the best vibrato, individual notes, dampening and shimmer, while we learn to navigate the neck both up and down, plus numerous options and ideas for creating solos and backup riffs. We will discuss the choice of slides- metal, glass, ceramic, etc, and discuss which finger to use- pinky thru first, full finger or short slide, customized for each student. In addition, we will look at the unique slide styles of historic players from the past, such as Robert Johnson, Son House, Mississippi Fred McDowell, and others. *IBC pass required for entry

2:00 pm – Master Class in Drums taught by Tony Braunagel at the Tin Roof. Tony Braunagel, drummer, record producer, and composer will offer a master class to all IBC musicians and any other drummers in town for the IBC who would like to take their drumming up a notch. *IBC pass required for entry

2:00 pm – Master Class in Vocals taught by Shakura S’Aida at the Tin Roof. Shakura’s class will give you insight into how to present your most authentic self with confidence while singing. It will help identify and strengthen your entire performance vocally and performance-wise. You’ll come away with a new understanding of your capabilities and an awareness of how strongly perception can be changed by the sound of a voice. You’ll leave feeling confident about your performance ability. Bring a majorly positive attitude, courageous spirit and no fear of failing plus a willingness to sing in front of others and an ability to sing at least one song acapella. Also bring printed lyrics of 2-3 songs you’d like to perform plus a notebook, voice recorder if possible and comfortable, non-restrictive clothing. *IBC pass required for entry

3:00 pm – New Judge Orientation will take place at Club 152 (3rd Floor).

5:00 pm – International Blues Challenge Quarter-Finals Round 2. Competitions will take place at various clubs on Beale Street. *IBC pass or wristband required for entry.

Heart and Soul Showcase at Alfred’s. The music continues after the challenge performances conclude for the night! This showcase is hosted by Terrie Odabi and Shakura S’Aida. Performers to be announced. All proceeds to benefit Generation Blues. *IBC pass or wristband required for entry.

All Star Jam at Club 152 (1st Floor). Jonn Del Toro Richardson will coordinate an amazing line-up of musicians to join him for the All-Star Jam. No telling who will be on the bill – but it will definitely be a who’s who of established and up-and-coming musicians. *IBC pass or wristband required for entry.

BratGirlMedia Guitar Conspiracy at the Rum Boogie Cafe. All proceeds to benefit Generation Blues. *IBC pass or wristband required for entry.

International Jam at the Tin Roof. International blues continues into the wee hours with the International Jam. International IBC acts join the larger international blues community in a late hour blues jam. *IBC pass or wristband required for entry.

Friday, January 25th, 2019

Pinetop Perkins Youth Education Activities – 10:00 am Managing Child Entertainers at the Hard Rock Cafe; 11:00 am – 12:00 pm – Individual Instrument Instruction: Electric Guitar at Rum Boogie, Harmonica at Blues Hall, Bass at King Jerry Lawler’s, Drums at Tin Roof; 12:30 pm – Band Instruction at the Hard Rock Cafe. *IBC pass required for entry

10:30 am – Keeping the Blues Alive Award Luncheon at Doubletree Hotel Grand Ballroom. The annual Keeping the Blues Alive Awards 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. *KBA ticket required for entry

12:15 pm – 2:00 pm – Youth Showcase Act Check-in & Orientation at Hard Rock Cafe. All Youth Showcase acts are required to check-in in order to be included on Friday’s Youth Showcase schedule. All Youth Showcase acts are required to attend Youth Showcase Act Orientation at 2:00 pm sharp! IBC Production Consultant, Joe Whitmer, will review procedures and will answer questions ahead of the beginning of the IBC Youth Showcase. *IBC pass required for entry

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2:30 pm – 4:00 pm – Keynote Panel: The Blues and Race at Alfred’s. The 2019 IBC Keynote Panel concerns “The Blues and Race” with National Civil Rights Museum’s President and CEO Terri Freeman moderating this panel on the historical significance of race from blues music’s early origins through the present. Panelists will include Blues Hall of Famer Bobby Rush, 2005 IBC finalist Teeny Tucker, Marquise Knox, representing the new generation of blues musicians, and Blues Hall of Famer, Jim O’Neal, the co-founder of Living Blues magazine and Rooster Blues Records. *IBC pass required for entry

5:00 pm – Youth Showcases at various clubs on Beale. *IBC pass or wristband required for entry.

6:20 pm – International Blues Challenge Semi-Finals. Competitions will take place at various clubs on Beale Street. *IBC pass or wristband required for entry.

Youth Jam at B.B. King’s Blues Club. After the IBC competition until late.*IBC pass or wristband required for entry.

All Star Jam at Club 152 (1st Floor). Jonn Del Toro Richardson will coordinate an amazing line-up of musicians to join him for the All-Star Jam. No telling who will be on the bill – but it will definitely be a who’s who of established and up-and-coming musicians. *IBC pass or wristband required for entry.

Vizztone’s Blues Party on Beale at the Rum Boogie Cafe. Hosted by Bob Margolin and featuring Vizztone Records and BratGirlMedia artists. All proceeds benefit Generation Blues. *IBC pass or wristband required for entry.

Tas Cru’s Blues Jam at Blues Hall Juke Joint. *IBC pass or wristband required for entry.

Saturday, January 26th, 2019

10:30 am – 11:30 am – Charter Member, Big Donor, and Sponsor Breakfast at the Orpheum Theatre Juke Joint. *By invitation only

12:00 pm – International Blues Challenge Finals at the Orpheum Theatre. *IBC pass or Single Finals ticket required

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12:00 pm – 6:30 pm – IBC Silent Auction in the Orpheum Theatre lobby. The Blues Foundation will once again present a Silent Auction with a bevy of blues memorabilia and blues-related items on which to bid. You will find one-of-a-kind pieces of art, signed photos and posters, jewelry and clothing, and other surprises. Make sure to save a little extra in your wallet so you can take home a wonderful memento of your time at the 35th Annual International Blues Challenge. We will also have Blues Foundation and IBC merchandise for sale as well as CDs from your favorite 2018 IBC finalists. *IBC pass or Single Finals ticket required

Vizztone’s Blues Party on Beale at the Rum Boogie Cafe. After the IBC competition until late. Hosted by Bob Margolin and featuring Vizztone Records and BratGirlMedia artists. All proceeds benefit Generation Blues. *IBC pass or wristband required for entry.

Generation Blues Play-It-Forward Fundraiser at Hard Rock Cafe. After the IBC competition. Hosted by the Andy T Band, featuring Alabama Mike. *$10 suggested donation at the door to benefit Generation Blues.

*All photos courtesy of the Blues Foundation