Blues Society Launches $50,000 Fundraising Campaign
Including a Festival Fundraiser May 3

Citing depleted coffers due to years of fighting Mother Nature, the Mississippi Valley Blues Society has announced the launch of a fundraising campaign with a goal of raising $50,000 by July 31st.  The campaign targets blues fans as well as community businesses and potential sponsors.  All donations are tax-deductible, and will go towards the Blues Festival scheduled for September 5 and 6 in Davenport’s LeClaire Park.

“We are using all available media outlets, including social media, to get the word out at the grassroots level,” said Scott Klarkowski, President of MVBS.  “In addition to seeking sponsors, we aim to find at least 2,000 blues fans who are willing to donate $25 or more each to the cause of ‘Keeping the Blues Alive’ through the MVBS.”

Donations can be made through the organization’s website at www.mvbs.org. Or donations can be mailed to the MVBS office at 102 S. Harrison St. Suite 300, Davenport IA 52801.

The Festival Fundraiser featuring seven local acts (many of them Iowa Blues Challenge winners) and a silent auction is scheduled for Sunday May 3 at the River Music Experience.  The Blues Society is currently seeking donations for the silent auction.  For more information about silent auction donations, contact Ellen Clow at ellenclow@hotmail.com.

“We have encountered unforeseen financial challenges over the past several years,” said Klarkowski.  “Flooding forced us to move from LeClaire Park to downtown Davenport three times in seven years, which added to our expenses and cut into attendance.  Even with these challenges, we continued to offer the first-rate Blues Festival that last year earned the Keeping the Blues Alive Award from The Blues Foundation of Memphis, TN, as ‘one of the longest running, most prestigious blues festivals in the world.’ We plan to continue that excellence for the 31st annual Blues Festival September 5 and 6, but we need community support to do so.”

The Mississippi Valley Blues Society plays an important role locally, nationally, and internationally to “keep the blues alive.”   The Mississippi Valley Blues Festival is the only major blues festival in the country that is produced by an all-volunteer blues society, without major corporate support.  “The Festival is just part of what the MVBS does to Keep the Blues Alive,” according to Klarkowski.  “We also have an active Blues in the Schools educational program that reaches over 7,500 students annually, as well as our Legends Concert Series that brings live blues to the Quad Cities, and our radio shows on KALA.”

The Mississippi Valley Blues Society is not only important to individual members of the community, but also to our community’s economic wellbeing.  Over the past 30 years, the Blues Festival has contributed over $21 million to the local economy through revenue and taxes generated when attendees stay at local hotels, eat at local restaurants, and use other essential services.

Klarkowski adds, “Your tax-deductible donation will allow MVBS to offer the high-quality BluesFest that you have come to appreciate.”

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Bruce Katz Tour Stops in Bettendorf, Iowa

At The Muddy Waters, Saturday, June 6th

 BruceKatzBandBN (3)The Mississippi Valley Blues Society announces that Bruce Katz and the Bruce Katz Band will be making a stop at The Muddy Waters, 1708 State Street, Bettendorf, IA on Saturday, June 6 starting at 8:30 p.m. The cost to see this brilliant performance will be $8 if you are a Mississippi Valley Blues Society member, or $10 if you are have not joined the blues society (application will be available at The Muddy Waters door).

 Bruce Katz was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and from 1996 – 2010 he was on the faculty at the Berklee College of Music in Boston as an associate professor. Playing music, both Blues and Jazz, has been his thing for many years and it shows in each of his performances.

In the early ’80s Bruce’s first major supporting gig was Big Mama Thornton; he then worked and toured with Barrence Whitfield & the SavagesBo DiddleyChuck BerryJimmy WitherspoonJohnny Adams, and Tiger Okoshi. Burned out from life on the road, he enrolled at New England Conservatory, earning a master’s degree in Jazz. Five months after graduation, Bruce met Ronnie Earl, who hired him as one of the Broadcasters. Bruce is also known as the dexterous pianist for the Gregg Allman Band.

Bruce has released 6 CDs with a seventh, Homecoming, newly released. He has also appeared on nearly 70 others CDs with the likes of Ronnie Earl, Delbert McClinton, John Hammond, Duke Robillard, Little Milton, Jimmy Witherspoon and many, many others. His list of national recognized awards go on and on, but naming a few – Bruce is a three-time Blues Music Award nominee for “Piano Player of the Year,” and a member of the New York State Blues Hall Of Fame.

 This event is being presented by The Mississippi Valley Blues Society. The objective of the Society is to educate the general public about the native art form of blues-related music through performance, interpretation and preservation, thus enhancing appreciation and understanding.

 

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BLUES SOCIETY OFFERS “BLUES CRUISE FOR TWO” RAFFLE

7-DAY CRUISE ON THE LEGENDARY RHYTHM AND BLUES CRUISE, JANUARY 2016


The Mississippi Valley Blues Society is offering a “Blues Cruise for Two” raffle for a 7-day cruise on the Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise sailing in January 2016.  Raffle ticket sales will officially begin on May 23, 2015.   Only 150 tickets will be sold for $100 each chance.   State of Iowa gambling regulations do not allow on-line purchase of raffle tickets.  However, the MVBS “Blues Cruise for Two” raffle ticket mail order forms can be found at MVBS.org.  This raffle is a fundraiser for MVBS, and proceeds will go towards producing the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival held September 5 -6, 2015.

 

The cruise for two will be on the Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise #26 to the Eastern Caribbean  January 17-21, 2016.  The Holland America ms Niew Amsterdam will sail from Ft. Lauderdale to Tortola BVI, St. Croix USVI and Bahamas Private Island. Blues bands that are scheduled to play to-date include Taj Mahal & the Phantom Band, Kenny Wayne Shepherd,  Elvin Bishop,  Mickey Thomas, Latimore,  North Mississippi Allstars,  Tab Benoit , Tommy Castro,  Samantha Fish,  Ruthie Foster,  Ronnie Baker Brooks,  Colin James,  Phantom Blues Band,  Danielle Nicole Band,  Sugar Blue Band,  Kelley Hunt, Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers, and more!

The Mississippi Valley Blues Society plays an important role locally, nationally, and internationally to “keep the blues alive.”   The Mississippi Valley Blues Festival is the only major blues festival in the country that is produced by an all-volunteer blues society, without major corporate support.  “The Festival is an important part of what the MVBS does to Keep the Blues Alive,” according to Scott Klarkowski, MVBS President. “We plan to continue that excellence for the 31st annual Blues Festival September 5 and 6, but we need some help to do so.  The ‘Blues Cruise for Two’ raffle is a great way to keep the blues alive and support our organization.”

About The Raffle:

  • Only one ticket will be drawn to win the cruise for two.
  • This raffle is being held in compliance with the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals Chapter 99B.
  • The IRS does not allow money spent on raffle tickets to be tax deductible contributions.
  • The winning ticket will not include transportation to and from Ft. Lauderdale FL, additional ship/port fees ($230 per person), fuel surcharges (announced no later than 30 days prior to sailing), and any gratuities (collected on-board by Holland America).
  • Only 150 tickets will be sold, with the drawing being held when the last of 150 tickets are sold or September 6, 2015 during the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival.
  • All are eligible to win, including MVBS members and affiliates.
  • You need not be present to win.

Raffle Entry Form

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Dave Moore by Sandy Dyas (1)Blues in the Schools with Dave Moore, April 20-24

Monday April 20 at the Redstone Room, Davenport, 7:00 p.m.

Tuesday April 21 at the Moline Public Library, noon

The Mississippi Valley Blues Society welcomes Dave Moore—singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and educator from Iowa City—for its April Blues in the Schools Artist-in-Residence program.  During the week of April 20 to 24, Moore will visit area schools and present two FREE open-to-the-public performances:

 Monday 20 April at 7:00 p.m.—The Redstone Room in the River Music Experience, 2nd and Main Streets, Davenport, Iowa.

  • Tuesday 21 April at noon—Moline Public Library, 3210 41st Street, Moline, Illinois.

Dave Moore’s residency is made possible by major funding from the Riverboat Development Authority.  Thanks to our sponsors The Lodge, KALA Radio, Alcoa, and the River Music Experience.

 Dave Moore is listed on both the Teaching Artists Roster and Performing Artists Roster of the Iowa Arts Council.   He has been a frequent guest of A Prairie Home Companion and appeared on NPR’s All Things Considered, World Café and Live from the Mountain Stage. In 2002, Moore was presented the annual Literacy Award from the Iowa Council of Teachers of English, in recognition of his contributions to literacy with the children of Iowa. His recordings include Juke Joints and Cantinas, Over My Shoulder and Breaking Down to Three.

Dave Moore is known for his elegant songwriting and instrumental prowess on blues guitar, button accordion and harmonica.  Coming of age in the late ’60s and early ’70s, Dave enrolled in college only to drop out to follow a girlfriend down to Guadalajara, Mexico.  Though the journey lasted only a few months, it was to be the first of many travels in Latin America and totally altered his world view.  Returning to the States for the holidays in 1971, his mother serendipitously left a harmonica in his Christmas stocking and he soon found that he could not quit playing it.  He spent the next few years traveling the Southwest and Northwest, working an assortment of jobs (lumberyard worker, fruit picker, plumber’s assistant), all the time getting deeper into music.

After his western travels and another lengthy sojourn in Latin America (Colombia, Ecuador, Peru) he found that the college town of Iowa City had turned into quite the music scene.  Folk, blues, and rock were spilling into the streets as music hangouts began to pop up all over the city. Around this time, he began to experiment with guitar and decided that he wanted to learn the instrument.  He headed back to Mexico—this time to a town that has since become a home-away-from-home, San Cristobal de las Casas.  With only a little plywood-topped Harmony 6-string, he holed up with a box of blues tapes and took occasional lessons from a Chiapas guitarist with a passion for American ragtime.

In 1980 Dave returned to Iowa City and teamed up with local songwriter Greg Brown, who was just beginning to develop a national reputation.  For the next few years Dave backed up Brown on recording projects, extensive tours and several appearances on A Prairie Home Companion on NPR. It was at this time that Dave stumbled onto his other great musical passion, the accordion.  Awestruck by an accordion album featuring Fred Zimmerle’s Trio San Antonio, he traveled to Texas where he sought out the great masters of Conjunto music: Zimmerle, Johnny Degallado, and Santiago Jimenez, Sr. (the legendary father of Flaco and Santiago, Jr.).  All three men would give him lessons and encouragement on the 3-row button box.

In 1984 at a little folk festival, Dave won a contest whose prize was free recording time in a studio.  He took the opportunity to record Jukejoints and Cantinas, an album that pulled together all of the American roots influences that had been stewing in him for years.  He passed its 14 sizzling blues and Conjunto tracks on to Bob Feldman of Red House Records. Its release led to a National Endowment for the Arts grant that underwrote three intensive months in Texas studying with accordion master Fred Zimmerle.  Occasionally sitting in with Fred’s band in the dance halls, Dave found himself completely immersed in a major American regional music tradition.   Fred quickly became one of Dave’s closest friends and until his death, the closest thing he had to a mentor.

In 1986 Garrison Keillor invited Dave to perform on A Prairie Home Companion, and after frequent appearances he became the show’s bandleader on tours to Alaska and Hawaii.  A year or two earlier he had quietly started writing his own songs, and in 1990 he released Over My Shoulder, an 11-song collection.

Moore was in preproduction of his third disc in 1994 when his wife lost a daughter in infancy.  He stopped playing for a while, and when he did return, preferred to stay closer to home and family.  Five years went by, songs accumulated and, in time, a desire to return to recording and touring.  He had written an enormous number of chilling-to-the-bone songs based on his own experiences.

In mid-1998, he announced that he was ready to record again.  Seeking a co-producer for the project, he looked to Iowa City roots-rocker Bo Ramsey, who had produced several discs for Greg Brown and had just finished touring in Lucinda Williams’ band.  Dave had long admired Bo’s work and instinctively felt he was the best man to guide the recording session.  The result was Breaking Down to 3, an album that is considered his best ever.  Recorded with an all-Iowa band, the songs are as breathtaking as they are stunning with vivid imagery drawn from the depth of his life experiences painting a picture of the quintessential American journey. 

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MISSISSIPPI VALLEY BLUES SOCIETY FUNDRAISER

After weathering 3 floods and multiple rain days in the past 7 years over the 4th of July weekend, the Mississippi Valley Blues Society has voted to move the date of the 2015 Blues Festival to the Labor Day weekend – Saturday and Sunday September 5 and 6. But while we are planning the Blues Fest, we still need YOU to help us defray some of the pre-fest expenses!

The Mississippi Valley Blues Society will be having a fundraiser on Sunday, May 3, at the River Music Experience, 129 N. Main Street, Davenport, IA. Doors open from 1:30pm – 10:00pm. Ticket are $15/person, with the following lined-up to play:

Ellis Kell-2:15pm

“Detroit” Larry Davison and Charlie Hayes-3:00pm

Joe & Vicki Price-4:00pm

“Detroit” Larry and Blues Rockit-5:00pm

Mercury Brothers-6:00pm

Hal Reed and Mississippi Journey-7:00pm

The Candymakers-8:00pm

Bring your $$$ – we will be having a silent auction, and 50/50 drawings. Plus great silent auction items including autographed posters, MVBS merchandise, hotel accomodations, gifts baskets and more. Food will also be available. weathering 3 floods and multiple rain days in the past 7 years over the 4th of July weekend, the Mississippi Valley Blues Society has voted to move the date of the 2015 Blues Festival to the Labor Day weekend – Saturday and Sunday September 5 and 6. But while we are planning the Blues Fest, we still need YOU to help us defray some of the pre-fest expenses!

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