Finally the 9th European Blues Challenge is approaching! And nex April we will be in The Azores, more precisely in Ponta Delgada, San Miguel. Thanks to the joint organization between Associação dos Escravos da Cadeinha and Trovas Soltas, next April the Blues from Europe will move in the middle of the Ocean!
Associação Escravos da Cadeínha was founded in 2002 to promote and encourage sporting and cultural initiatives. It also promotes the main Blues festival in Portugal, Santa Maria Blues, that during the years presented artists such as like Chris Jagger, Diunna Greenleaf, Albie Donnelly’s Super Charge, Ana Popovic, Popa Chubby, Mr. Sipp, Eric Gales.
The festival is produced by Trovas Soltas established in January 2007 at Porto, a company that organizes several other festivals, such as Gaia Blues, Seia Jazz & Blues, Évora Jazz & Blues, Lisbon Blues Fest, Festival Vilar de Mouros 2014 as well as several summer concerts.
The main EBC event will be held on April 5 and 6, 2019 at Coliseum Micaelense.
Invited by Boris Totev from the Bulgarian Blues Association, French bluesman CadiJo performed in Sofia at the Delta Blues Bar, accompanied by local musicians, on Saturday, November 17th.
As soon as he arrived at the airport, Georgi Dimov, the boss of the Delta Blues Bar welcomed him and during the whole stay, everybody took care of CadiJo with a rare and friendly hospitality. On Friday night, with Boris, they went to a jazz jam at the Jazz Bar. The musicians there had a breathtaking level. Be-bop, swing, Cuban jazz, etc., everything has passed with brilliance, panache, emotion and virtuosity. CadiJo played with them Alligator Bogaloo by Lou Donaldson and it was a real treat.
A big thank to Denis Apov (acoustic guitar) for the acoustic part particularly appreciated by the public. All CadiJo gratitude for Miroslav (electric guitar), Axel Yordanov (drums) and Youlian Traykov (bass) for the electric set, which they have mastered and energized the public as it should. His blues in French have received an attentive and warm thanks to these musicians who, not knowing him the day before, knew how to carry my repertoire to the height of his artistic requirement. That’s the blues!
CadiJo thanks also go to Georgi Dimov for his welcome in this very nice place that is the Delta Blues Bar and of course to Boris Totev for his availability of all times and the organization of this event, which also allowed to meet with Hungarian harmonica player Andras Kohalmi and other musicians and participants in the jam that followed.
A further recognition this year for the Blues Heaven Festival and for Peter Astrup who, after receiving a Danish Music Award, was again rewarded by the French web-magazine Zicazicfor an Award for the Best International Festival 2018. The ceremony took place during the festival and attended by Walter Trout and Paul E. Benjamin from the Blues Foundation and was an opportunity to promote the Blues and the European Blues Union.
The Santa Maria Blues Festival that every year is held in the beautiful Santa Maria island in the Azores, this year had the visit of the EBU President, Davide Grandi, that spent three fantastic evenings for its 15th edition.
From July 12th to July 14th the stage was shared by international artist such as Zac Harmon and Eric Gales but also by the EBC 2018 winners, the Ragtime Rumours, that were opening the first night with a terrific set. A detalied interview made by the EBU President at the Ragtime Rumours will appear soon on our website.
The Portugese organization was perfect, even facing a lot of issues due to the location so far in the Atlantic Ocean, but with the good spirit of friendship and collaboration everything was solved and the festival was a big Party! Thanks to Adalberto, Jose and Antonio and we are looking forward for the EBC 2019 in Ponta Delgada, San Miguel island of the Azores!
The result if the strict collaboration between the European Blues Union and the Vallemaggia Magic Blues Festival, is a special night on July 11th that will be devoted to European Blues Challenge bands, called the European Blues Night!
We hope that this example of supporting the European Blues will be followed by many others Blues Festival!. For info on organizing an European Blues Night please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks also to the European Blues Union two European students had the opportunity to be invited at the Pinetop Perkins Foundation workshop and really had a great time there!
Guy Smeets and Matt Henderson – Hopson Commissary June 13, 2018
This fantastic experience, lived by Guy Smeets and Matt Henderson, has been possible thanls tp The Pinetop Perkins Foundation and the Dutch Blues Foundation. Another mission accomplished of our Blues For Youth program!!
The EBU president was invited by the UK Blues Federation at the UK Blues Awards 2018 ceremony that took place at the Worthing Pier last May 19th .
Kaz Hawkins, 2017 European Blues Challenge winner, received an Award for the category Blues Act of the Year – Northern Ireland
As one of the main projects of the EBU is the Blues For Youth program, our president, Davide Grandi, together with Ian Siegal that was awarded also as Male Blues Vocalist Of The Year and Acoustic Blues Act Of The year, had the honour to give the award as Young Blues Artist Of The Year to Toby Lee, one of the youngest blues guitar player of the world.
The readers of Polish magazine Twój Blues have voted and selected the European Blues Challenge 2017 (Horsens, Denmark) “The Blues Event Of Year 2017” in their annual poll. The Gala Ceremony took place on 28 April at the Chorzów Cultural Center as part of the festival “Bluestracje”. In addition to unique performances (winners played not with their regular bands, but with other winners), this year edition of the Gala Awards also celebrated its 15th, anniversary.
Pertti and Roser receiving Twój Blues Magazine readers award (photo by Aigars Lapsa)
Our board members Pertti and Roser travelled to Chozów (Poland) to receive the award. The European Blues Union feels really honored for this recognition. We thank the excellent Twój Blues magazine and especially its readers for the award and congratulate the Bluestracje Festival for the amazing organization.
The 8th edition of the European Blues Challenge in Hell was a great success! A fantastic organization and a warm welcome despite of the outside temperature at the Scandic Hotel! The Winners if this edition were:
1st Place: The Ragtime Rumours from The Netherlands
Tom Janssen (acoustic guitar, vocals), Niki van der Schuren (upright-bass), Sjaak Korsten (drums, washboard), Thimo Gijezen (guitar). The Ragtime Rumours (NL) @ EBC, 8th European Blues Challenge 2018, Hell (Norway), 16-17.03.2018. Winners of the EBC2018. (c) Christophe Losberger
2nd Place: The Fried Okra Band from Denmark
Photo by Christophe Losberger
3rd Place: Victor Bacalhau from Portugal
Vítor Bacalhau (guitar, vocals), Luís Trindade (Bass, backing vocals), João Ventura (drums). Vitor Bacalhau (PT) @ EBC, 8th European Blues Challenge 2018, Hell (Norway), 16-17.03.2018. (c) Christophe Losberger
All the bands on Stage:
The Ragtime Rumours, Fried Okra Band, Vitor Bacalhau @ EBC, 8th European Blues Challenge 2018, Hell (Norway), 16-17.03.2018. Winners of the EBC2018. (c) Christophe Losberger
On January 19th the European Blues Union received in Memphis the Keeping The Blues Alive award from the Blues Foundation.
During the ceremony, held by Art Tipaldi, Jay Sieleman, the previous president of the Blues Foundation, introduced our association describing the first steps since 2008 in Italy and the Blues Conferences in Notodden and Hondarribia.
A delegation of the EBU board was present to receive this prestigious award.
We are very proud of promoting the European Blues in USA!
The trophy will be presented at all the EBU members during the General Assembly in Hell on March 17th.