European Blues Union Board
Current board – April 2017:
Davide Grandi, A-Z Blues, Italy
I was born in 1970, during a period in which the blues, thanks mainly to Great Britain and France also, was spreading throughout Europe. Son of one for the main, if not the best, blues lovers and experts in Italy, Marino Grandi, I had the chance to see most of the old and well known bluesmen while I was a child (Johnny Shines in Milano, Luther Allison, Willie Dixon in Montreux and many many others), and I grew up listening to blues, soul, R&B and rock-blues. When just 12 years old I saw the birth of Il Blues, the first and still only Italian blues magazine, around a group of musicians, journalists and simple blues lovers, lead by my father Marino. Year after year, I gave my personal contribution to the Italian blues scene development, writing reviews and articles, going to the first Italian blues festivals, helping musicians like James Son Thomas or Roosevelt “Booba” Barnes to feel at home so many miles away from their country. Slowly but continuously I was involved in many projects related to the magazine and not, up to the new coming European Blues Union that, as I said many times, will probably help to overcome the usual local problems to develop a grid and a collaboration useful first of all to the music we love!
Winne Penninckx, Naked Productions, Belgium
Born near Brussels in 1956 during the rock & roll explosion, Winne became a bass player in the early seventies, through the discovery of the Blues. By the end of the seventies he made his first recordings and got involved in different rock and pop bands & projects. In the eighties he even got carried away into the electro scene. Happily, all pictures of that adventure (the dress code!) have been destroyed. By the end of the eighties he also got involved in publishing & funding and other mysterious activities to get albums recorded. In 1990 he was asked to join as MD a new independent record & publishing company with different labels covering singer-songwriters, rock, pop, novelty, a little jazz, and blues & roots music. The company is still standing today and has concentrated its activities in recent years on blues & roots music through the Naked Productions label. Besides his other musical activities, Winne is still hitting the road as a bass player. He experienced himself the difficulties to get in touch with the blues scene in different European countries. That’s why he got strongly involved into the European Blues Union, with the conviction to change and improve the connection between European Blues lovers.
Jean Guillermo, France Blues, France
Voluntary administrator of a “socio-cultural” center having as main mission from the township the socialization of young people through music Founder of Blues sur Seine, an 18 days long festival on 23 cities (volunteer full time since 12 years) with a triple positioning artistic/social/educative Founder and president for 2 years of “Comité de liaison Blues”, linking 9 French blues festivals. Recipient in 2008 of the “Keeping the blues alive award”, international category (Memphis)
Jostein Forsberg, Norway
Jostein Forsberg hails from the town of Notodden, Norway.
He is the Creative Director for the Notodden Blues Festival. A festival that now is in its 25th year. Jostein Forsberg has also been instrumental in starting the Notodden Blues Society, the Norwegian Blues Union, European Blues Senter (KBA winner 2004 for Historic Preservation) and the Norwegian independent blues distribution company Blues Music Club Notodden that now is in its 12th year. Besides being a musician and songwriter in the Norwegian blues band Spoonful Of Blues, he is also co-owner of and producer for the Norwegian record label Bluestown Records. Bluestown Records has recorded and released several award winning albums with Norwegian blues artists in addition to the 2010 Blues Music Awards-winning album ‘Chikadelic’ by Mississippi bluesman Super Chikan and the 2010 Blues Music Awards-nominated album Louisiana Red & Little Victor’s Juke Joint – ‘Back To The Black Bayou’ and the 2012 Blues Music Awards-nominated Lazy Lester – ‘You Better Listen’.
Pertti Nurmi, Finland
Pertti Nurmi has been heavily tied with the activities of the non-profit organization, Finnish Blues Society and its publication, the Original Blues News magazine, since the early 1970s. Blues News is one of the oldest still existing journals, globally, devoted to African American music derivatives. Pertti was the editor-in-chief of Blues News during 1983-90 and has been since then, and still is, the magazine’s principal photographer. He has also been one of the team responsible for the compilation and layout of the magazine for the past quarter century. Pertti started photography as youngster in 1970, soon specializing on black Blues artists visiting and touring Finland. This is closely associated with his love for the Blues and affection in record collecting – he may have one of the largest collections of black Blues music in Finland. Pertti’s Blues photography archive covering 40+ years is unique in Finland and of high appraisal even internationally. His exhibitions have toured all major Finnish Blues festivals and have also been on display in New York and Hollywood.
Roser Infiesta, Mrs. Zúmel, Spain
Secretary / Legal Affairs EBU
Roser Infiesta, together with her husband Vicente Zúmel, have a wide knowledge on the blues world. Since she was a teenager and as the years have been passing by, she has always loved and been involved on different blues fields. She helped in the organization of international blues festivals in Catalonia like Figueres, Valls, Reus or Hospitalet, that brought to play for the first time in Spain musicians like Louisiana Red, Hubert Sumlin, Luther Allison, Koko Taylor, Little Charlie & The Nightcats, Legendary Blues Band John Hammond, Carey Bell, Albert Collins, or Pinetop Perkins among others. Both Vicente and Roser have also collaborated with some national and international blues magazines, writing articles or sending pictures. From 1985 to 1999 she worked as manager of her husband band ‘Harmonica Zumel Blues Band‘, one of the first Spanish blues bands. She travelled all over Spain for gigs in the most important national blues events and festivals. She was founder and board member of Barcelona Blues Society and, from February 2005 to March 2009, she did secretary and communication with affiliates tasks, as well as organizing blues events and venues with local and international artists like Bob Margolin, Sugar Ray & The Bluetones, Rob Rio, Paul Oscher, Barrelhouse Chuck, Mississippi Heat, Bob Corritore or Dave Specter among others. She has and still collaborates with La Hora del Blues radio show, hosted by Vicente Zúmel, the pioneer Spanish blues radio program (30 years on air and now the eldest blues radio show in Spain), and in La Hora del Blues website. She regularly translates to English blues CD reviews (she has done about 3.000 till now) and they gather a collection of more than 5.500 blues records. She keeps updated La Hora del Blues website www.lahoradelblues.com with reports, pictures, news and also runs the section Spanish blues gigs calendar that includes all blues gigs in Spain. Since 1983 the playlist is regularly submitted to Living Blues Radio Chart. Information from La Hora del Blues monthly arrive to more than 1.300 international record labels, more than 3.500 blues related people, managers, blues societies, magazines, musicians and fans all over the world, as well as the majority of blues involved people in Spain. La Hora del Blues belongs to The Blues Foundation in Memphis.
Ewa Matysik, Poland
Silvio Caldelari, Sierre Blues Festival, Switzerland
Silvio Caldelari, is born in 1963. He lives in Sierre, sunny city of 16’000 people in the middle of the Swiss Alps in a country where Cheese named « Raclette » and Wine are specialities. As Profession, he’s President-Manager of the Hockey Club Sierre. As passions he writes about his Family, Friendship, Motorcycle and Music, especially the Blues. His “Blues Life” starts in 1985 after seing the Movie “The Blues Brothers”. Not especially for the story, but for the music. After a few years, he opens the Blues Bar in Sierre in 1994 and closes it after 15 years of existence, after many hundred blues and rock concerts of which some still remain in memories. The same year he closed definitely the bar, he decided to organize with friends the Sierre Blues Festival, to continue the work to meet Sierre and the Blues music. In 2010 there was the first edition of the international Sierre Blues Festival. In parallel, his interest was to meet the Blues people around Europe and around the World. So, he participates at the first meeting in Parma in 2008 which will be the first step to build the European Blues Union. In 2010, with Christoph Losberger and Rolf Winter, they founded the Swiss Blues Challenge to give the opportunity to the Swiss Blues Musicians to go to the European Blues Challenge.