European Blues Union at Bluestracje in Chorzow (Poland)

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!

Letter from Kyla Brox

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!

Love Kyla

 

APPEAL TO CANDIDATES TO HOST EBC 2021

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!!

EBC 2019 PARTICIPANT COUNTRIES

At this moment countries have already confirmed their participation at 2019 European Blues Challenge in Ponta Delgada, Azores, Portugal and most of them are now running the band selection process. Here is the list of confirmed countries. Submission deadline 10 September!!:

1)  Germany
2)  Greece
3)  Spain
4)  Luxembourg
5)  France
6)  Sweden
7)  Finland
8)  Hungary
9)  Belgium
10) Italy
11) Slovakia
12) Norway
13) Switzerland
14) Austria
15) Netherlands
16) United Kingdom
17) Denmark
18) Portugal
19) Croatia
20) Poland
21) Romania
22) Estonia

THE BOARD PROMOTES THE EBU

– The 37th Cahors Blues Festival in France hosted the “Mississippi Blues Trail Challenge”, where originally 70 bands applied and eight of them were invited to the semi-finals and, finally, four bands reached the grand final. The jury members represented various French and European Blues festivals which had agreed to book one of the four finalists to play their festivals. Our board members Ewa and Roser represented the Bluestracje Festival of Poland and Benicassim Blues Festival of Spain, respectively. It was a nice time in Cahors where they had de opportunity to promote the EBU

Also other EBU board members attended the legendary Cahors festival. Pertti presented his successful photo exhibition “Five Decades of Blues” covering almost 90 photographs, including dozens of photos of artists who had along the years played at Cahors. Our legal advisor Jorden Wouters was there, too. All of us did our best to promote the EBU.

– Great blues in a small, cosy place: The kick-off of the St. Izaire Blues Festival took place on 25th July in the nearby village of Salelles, Aveyron, France. The festival organizer was our EBU member, Ben Buijs. Jorden Wouters, spending his summer holiday close by, had the pleasure of attending the kick-off and promoting the EBU. Among others, Dutch artists Dave Warmerdam and Lothar Wijnvoord created magic moments. Magic is also the setting of the festival: a medieval castle… The headliner was Mambo Jambo, the EBC 2017 participant of Spain. It was once again showcased how the EBC enhances the visibility of European blues artists. Thank you, Ben. Lots of success to your future blues projects!

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– Blues Peer has been a regular, important event in the festival calendar for three decades. It is held in the Belgian province of Limburg, not far from the border with the Netherlands and Germany. Since 1985, the festival has always remained true to its roots: the love of music, a relaxed atmosphere and the friendly hospitality of Limburg. So it’s not surprising that many renown Rhythm & Blues artists have graced the Peer festival grounds over the years. It should be highlighted that Blues Peer is one of our distinguished EBC Awarding Festivals. The Ragtime Rumours, EBC 2018 winners, played there with great success. Board member, our treasurer, Winne was there, too.

– Swing Wespelaar festival in Belgium celebrated its 31st edition in mid-August. The beautiful small town of Wespelaar greets a big blues event, always with an exciting roster of artists, a free event that attracts a good number of Belgian and European blues lovers. Like Blues Peer, Swing Wespelaar is one of our distinguished Awarding Festivals. The Ragtime Rumours played also there to a great success. Both Winne and Jorden witnessed them while also promoting the EBU!
The other EBC Awarding Festivals are Hondarribia (Spain), Lucerne and Sierre (both Switzerland), Notodden and Blues in Hell (both Norway), and BB Blues (Portugal)

Twój Blues Magazine readers voted EBC 2017 “Best Blues Event 2017”

We are happy to announce that the readers of Polish magazine Twój Blues have voted the European Blues Challenge 2017 the “Blues Event of The Year 2017” in their annual poll

Blues Event of the Year (International)

  1. EUROPEAN BLUES CHALLENGE
  2. Chicago Blues Festival
  3. The death of Gregg Allman
  4. Blues Alive
  5. International Blues Challenge
  6. Blues Festival Eutin
  7. Lucerne Blues Festival
  8. Sunflower River Blues & Gospel Festival
  9. Hudba v Meste
  10. Hamburg Blues Nights

Twój Blues Magazine received in 2011 the Blues Foundation Keeping The Blues Alive Award. It is Poland only printed publication devoted entirely to blues. The Gala and Award ceremony will take place on 28 April 2018

We hope that European Blues Challenge in Hell 2018 is at least as successful!!

See you in Hell!!

EBC 2018 Participant Countries

At this moment countries have already confirmed their participation at 2018 European Blues Challenge in Hell and most of them are now running the band selection process. Here is the list of participant countries:

1.- Netherlands
2.- Poland:
3.- Luxembourg
4.- Spain
5.- Romania
6.- France
7.- Finland
8.- Estonia
9.- Italy
10.- Belgium
11.- Sweden
12.- Hungary
13.- United Kingdom
14.- Germany
15.- Norway
16.- Austria
17,. Portugal
18.- Slovakia
19.- Switzerland
20.- Denmark
21,. Czeck Republick