Opening this year’s festival is UK piano player extraordinaire, Ben Waters. His highly acclaimed release “Boogie For Stu”, a tribute to Rolling Stones pianist Ian Stewart, brought members of the Stones into the studio for the project. He makes his Edmonton debut to kick off the 20th annual Edmonton Blues Festival.
Brent Parkin’s Red Hots was put together to back artists at The Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival. The group features the cream of western Canadian blues players including Winnipeg based guitarist Brent Parkin and Edmonton’s own Dave Babcock on sax.
Nikki Hill is a fast-rising star on the blues and roots scene. If you haven’t heard of Nikki Hill yet, you soon will, and once you see her perform, you won’t forget her. Based in the Carolinas’ and with a band that features Laura Chavez on guitar, this fireball of a performer makes her Alberta debut at this year’s festival.
Closing Friday of this years’ festival is Booker T Presents: a Stax Revue and a Journey Thru Soul, Blues and R&B. “Green Onions” and “Time is Tight” are familiar tunes that defined R&B for many in the 60’s, but they’re just the beginning… the man behind those iconic grooves and much more brings his 10-piece Revue to close Friday night.
IBC solo/duo winner, Alberta blues veteran, and master showman Tim Williams opens Saturday at the festival this year in a duo with fellow Calgarian Kevin Belzner on drums.
Living Blues Magazine says that Cecilé Doo-Kingué is “Full of sophisticated musicianship and striking lyricism” and that’s just the beginning. Working from her adopted home of Montreal, guitarist, singer and songwriter Cecilé Doo-Kingué brings a unique vision to the blues that deserves your attention.
The Paul DesLauriers Trio is quite likely the title holder for the most Maple Blues Awards… Each member of the trio has taken the trophy for their instrument and as a band they have won as “Entertainer” and “Electric Act” of the year many times. Catch them in their Edmonton Blues Festival debut!
What’s not to like about 3 pianists working together and inspiring each other to perform at their very best? Catch the electricity and energy as David Vest, Ben Waters and Graham Guest bring everything they have to the stage, backed by Brent Parkin’s Red Hots
Do we have to tell you anything about Monkeyjunk? This trio has taken the Canadian blues scene by storm since getting together 10 years ago. Holders of the record for CD sales at this festival (458 during their set in 2010), we’re honoured to have them back one more time.
Samantha Fish is, according to the New York Times, “An impressive blues guitarist who sings with sweet power and is one of the genres’ most promising young talents.” The Kansas City native kicked off her recording career in 2009 and has since taken the blues world by storm, touring worldwide to incredible acclaim while charting her own blues journey through her song writing and incendiary playing. Catch her Edmonton debut as Saturday’s closer.
Native Alabaman and Victoria based David Vest writes incredibly succinct and wry blues songs, plays a mean piano and brings it all together with panache and style. He’s been at the festival twice before with bands but it’ll be a rare treat to have him open Sunday this year as a solo performer.
Rusty Reed is a fixture on the Edmonton Blues scene. He’s won a Juno and the hearts of many… He has played the festival many times, beginning in 2001 when he appeared with Brent Parkin. This time around he fronts his band of Edmonton veterans.
Marcia Ball first brought her down-home Texas/Louisiana style of piano playing and song writing to the Edmonton Blues Festival way back in 2002. She returns with her All Star, Austin based band to add a little southern swagger to our Sunday afternoon.
Zydeco has been a regular visitor to the Edmonton Blues Festival over the years. Chubby Carrier’s Bayou Swamp Band is certainly a favourite, having been here on 3 separate occasions (2004, 2009, 2011). Don’t forget your dancin’ shoes and you’ll become a “Zydeco Junkie”!
Rick Estrin played the very first Edmonton Blues Festival, closing Friday night. He’s an award-winning harmonica player, full of witty songs and incredible showmanship. It’s an honour and a pleasure to welcome Rick Estrin and the Nightcats back to our stage!
Closing this year’s festival is one of the most requested acts ever to hit the stage here. Sugaray Rayford is 6’6” of Texas blues power, energy and dynamic showmanship. First appearing as part of the Mannish Boys in 2013, he returned in 2015 fronting his own band. Sure to lift the roof off the Heritage Amphitheatre, we can’t think of a better way to close our 20th Annual festival than with Sugaray and his powerhouse big band.