Three Board Members were attending the 7th Hamburg Blues Nights where two ancient EBC contestants were scheduled during the week-end. On Friday, Michael van Merwyk from Germany (EBC 2012 in Berlin) was opening the first night where people also can see Victor Wainwright & The Train and Cecile Doo-Kingué. On Saturday, Smooth Gentlemen from Poland (EBC 2019 in Ponta Delgada) was the first act to play before Malone Sibun Band and Nick Schnebelen & Band. Congratulations and big thanks to Helge Nickel, Barbara Bloch and all the volunteers of Baltic Blues Society to keep the Blues and the European Blues Alive in Germany.
Steven Troch Band is the winner of the 2019 Belgian Blues Challenge and will represent Belgium at the 10th European Blues Challenge in Zaandam in The Netherlands on April 17 and 18, 2020, as it figures on the Belgian EBU page: https://belgium.europeanbluesunion.com
Thanks to the kind invitation of Swedish Blues Association and Malmo Blues, board members Fred, Pertti and Roser have enjoyed a great experience by joining the Swedish Blues Challenge, a national competition to choose the act which will represent Sweden at the European Blues Challenge in April 2020 in Zaandam (Netherlands). The challenge took place at the huge Clarion Hotel with twenty-five floors and a variety of conference rooms, bars, halls and the comfortable music auditorium where the challenge took place, as well as small Blues Market before the competition.
Three candidates got the final: acoustic blues roots duo Bert Deivert & Brian Kramer, Georg Meggs Quintet with a Chicago blues show and Ore Island Penitentiary Band, led by an spectacular front man. While jury was deliberating, Alain Apaloo from Togo delighted the audience with an intimate show and a deep feeling.
Also EBU vice-president Pertti Nurmi addressed a short speech praising the Challenge good organization and promoting the EBU among Swedish audience.
Finally the winners were announced: Ore Island Penitentiary Band with their unclassifiable front man, a cross between Freddy Mercury and Screamin ‘Jay Hawkins who really surprised the audience and juries.
Congratulations again to the participant musicians, to all members of the Swedish Blues Association and Malmo Blues for the good organization and thanks again for their warm welcome!!!
UKBlues Challenge will be taking place at the Bluefunk Rhythm and Blues Club, Poynton, Cheshire on Saturday 14th September 2019.
Doors open at 18.30 and the evening will close at around 23.15
Tickets priced at £17.50 (plus booking fee) seated and £15.00 (plus booking fee) standing are now on sale and can only be purchased via SeeTickets.com at this link:
Demand for tickets is already very high and there is a very limited number of tickets available so, to avoid disappointment, we do urge you to get yours now before they are all gone.
Participants in this year’s UKBlues Challenge were announced over a period of five weeks and they are, in alphabetical order:
Crossfire Blues Band
In addition, one of the four bands selected to play under the Jessica Foxley Stages banner at the Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival will be chosen by representatives of the Jessica Foxley Stages project to participate in the UKBlues Challenge.
The Foundation Blues in Zaanstad, Organizer of the EBC-2020, to be organized 17-18 April 2020, expects a full house during both nights. In order to give all European blues lovers an equal opportunity to get tickets, it has been decided to prepare an order form with which each person can show his/her interest. Each individual can pre-order one or two tickets. The pre-order period has started 1 June and will end 31 July. During the month of August everyone who has sent in his/her pre-order properly will receive information on how to order and pay for the ticket(s) with iDeal, credit-card etc. We kindly ask our national organisations to promote it.
Please note that those EBU active members who have paid for their membership fee for 2020 in due course will automatically have their tickets reserved for them without this pre-order and paying scheme. More information at https://www.ebc2020.nl/
Five non-American young guys (on a total of 40 students) were in Clarksdale for the Pinetop Perkins Foundation Workshop and had great blues moments with their teachers, all great stars from the American Blues scene.
Two of them were supported by EBU, Will Hemy from UK and Evan Guenebault from France, both guitar players, and enjoyed the lessons and masterclasses with the great Steady Rollin’ Bob Margolin.
After 4 nights of jam sessions at Hopson Commissary, the final showcase took place at the famous Ground Zero Blues Club where all the students had the opportunity to show the results of this amazing workshop.
Thanks to all the teachers, Bob Margolin, Bob Stroger, Anthony Geraci, Fiona Boyes, Phil Wiggins, Heather Crosse, Lee Williams … and to Pat Morgan and all the Board at Pinetop Perkins Foundation.
The association France Blues has organized in collaboration with the Toulouse Blues Society a new edition of the France Blues Challenge that every year takes place in a different festival. This year the event was held at The Guitare en Save Festival, in a beautiful open air place in the middle of the countryside and near Toulouse. The challenge chooses the artists who will represent France at the European Blues Challenge, as well as the solo/duo and band which will also represent France at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis.
Jury Members, Roser and Fred with Robert Mauries (Cahors Blues Festival) & Luc Tran Van (President of Toulouse Blues Society)
This time there were six finalists -4 bands and 2 solo/duo-, all with an amazing quality. After 20 minutes playing the selected ones were:
La Bedoune as solo/duo for IBC in Memphis
Thomas Doucet & The G.Lights as band for IBC in Memphis
Jessie Lee & The Alchemists for EBC 2020 in Zaandam (Netherlands)
Congratulations to winners and all participants!!
The night ended with an incredible show ny Nico Wayne Toussaint.
Roser with EBC 2020 French band, Jessie Lee & The Alchemists
The Bluestracje in Chorzow – Poland has become a tradition amongst the blues events in Europe. The previous edition took place from 26 until 28 April.
The Bluestracje in Chorzow, Poland, has become a tradition amongst blues events in Europe. The latest edition took place 26 – 28 April. The following bands performed at MDK Batory venue on 26th April: Nico Chona & The Freshtones (Fr), Vanesa Harbek (Arg) and Jo Harman (UK). Polish awards were distributed the following night during “Gala Blues Top 2018” at the Chorzowskie Centrum Kultur. Following artists performed: Natalia Kwiatkowska, Sebastian Riedel, Roman Puchowski, Bartłomiej Szopiński, Michał Kielak, Krzysztof Scierański, Blues Junkers, Blackberry Brothers and Willie Mae Unit. The festival ended on Sunday 28 April with a “Blues Brunch” at Sztygarka Club accompanied by the divine voices of the female trio “Ornery Broad”. The EBU community was also represented, among the attendants our efficient Board assistant Jorden Wouters (Brussels Blues Society). Naturally the hosts and organizers of the event, the Matysik family (Delta Blues), were there whom we congratulate and thank for their enthusiasm and supporting the blues in Poland and Europe!
Here is the letter Kyla Brox, winner of EBC 2019 in Ponta Delgada, has forwarded to the EBU with some of her impressions after the Challenge:
Our Experience at the 9th EBC
I’m so proud to have represented the UK Blues Federation at the 9th European Blues Challenge and thrilled that we won! The response from the crowd, the judges and our fellow musicians was amazing and it feels great to receive this huge accolade. I can’t stop smiling!
The event itself was truly brilliant. It went so smoothly; everything seemed to run exactly to time and exactly as planned, at least from my point of view. Congratulations must go to the European Blues Union and the Santa Maria Blues Festival Association for doing such a great job of organising it all. Held in Ponta Delgada, The Azores, we couldn’t have wished for a more beautiful setting: an amazing venue on a gorgeous island. I loved every minute.
The occasion and the dramatic venue demanded that we came on stage at the top of our game. The full weight of support and the pressure of expectation definitely spurred me on. Not only did we need to deliver our best performance, we had to make sure that we weren’t over or under time. As we got to the end of our last song, “Honestly Blues”, we still had over a minute left on the clock and I decided I wasn’t going to stop! I hoped the band would follow me and just carried on singing. It was that moment of improvisation, flying blind, when I really felt like we were playing out of our skin, purely in the music and the crowd could feel it, too. I dedicated the whole performance to Blues broadcasting legend, Dave Raven, who we lost to cancer so recently, and I’m pretty sure he was shining a light on me through the whole thing.
We are already reaping rewards from our win in the Azores; many new opportunities to play in countries we haven’t visited before, more DJs playing our music, some great press coverage. Taking part in the UK, European and International Blues Challenges has been an emotional rollercoaster, but it has definitely been a good thing for my career. Many thanks to the UK Blues Federation, the European Blues Union and The Blues Foundation for their dedication to the Challenges and the Blues. I’m so happy!
Candidates to host EBC 2021 are invited to send an official confirmation of their interest to potentially host it in accordance with the EBC rules (see EBU website) to the EBU secretary.
According to the rules, we will distribute a copy of the standard EBC event contract to all applicants as from 1st October next.
The detailed offers need to be sent to the EBU secretary before 15 January 2019.
Following this date the secretary will communicate all received hosting offers to the EBU Board followed by selection of the two most qualified proposals at one of the following Board meetings.
The two final candidates will be submitted to the vote of EBU Active Members at the GA. Only one city can host the EBC event.
If there is only one approved submission the Board will be entitled to appoint the EBC host.
Thanks in advance!!