Die amerikanische Blues Foundation – die wichtigste Organisation im Blues Bereich – bestätigte definitiv den Stellenwert des Lucerne Blues Festivals als einer der weltweit besten und wichtigsten Blues Events. Der „Keeping The Blues Alive“ Award wurde zum ersten Mal in seiner Geschichte an eine Organisation ausserhalb der Vereinigten Staaten vergeben.
Die Verleihung fand am Samstag, 3. Februar 2007 um 13:00 Uhr Ortszeit in Memphis statt. Eine Delegation von über 20 Personen des Organisationskomitees nahm persönlich an der Preisverleihung im Hotel Doubletree in Memphis teil.
Die amerikanische Blues Foundation veröffentlichte am 29.11.2006 folgende Medienmitteilung zur Vergabe der "Keeping The Blues Alive" Awards:
Memphis, TN –Twenty-one individuals and organizations will be honored with The Blues Foundation's 2007 Keeping The Blues Alive (KBA) Award during a recognition brunch Saturday, February 3, 2007, in Memphis Tennessee. The KBA ceremony will be part of the International Blues Challenge (IBC) weekend of events that will feature the semifinals and finals of the 23rd IBC competition, as well as seminars, presentations and receptions for blues societies, fans and professionals.
The Keeping The Blues Alive Awards recognize the significant contributions to Blues music made by the people behind the scenes. Each is selected on the basis of merit by a select panel of Blues professionals. KBA Chairman Art Tipaldi notes with respect to this year’s recipients, “Once again, the committee was faced with the difficult task of selecting honorees from among the many outstanding men, women and organizations, many of whom could have been selected for the honor in the past due to their record of service to the Blues genre.
Each year, we think we cannot match the quality of the previous year’s recipients and, and each year we are wrong. It is a great privilege to be involved in the process that gives these folks their well-deserved recognition.” The KBA Committee has this year added an “International” category to specifically recognize the global reach and popularity of Blues music, even though past KBA Awards have presented to Canadians and Europeans.
If you are a fan of American music, make sure you make a pilgrimage to the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. “Jazz Fest” as the regulars call it, features 12 stages of virtually every style of music including Jazz, Gospel, Cajun, Zydeco, Blues, R&B, Rock, Funk, African, Latin, Caribbean and Funk as well as a huge crafts fair, hundreds of unique specialty foods, vibrant second-line parades and so much more. Jazz Fest is the celebration of the distinct culture and heritage of New Orleans and Louisiana. Each year, Jazz Fest expertly blends the homegrown talents of artists such as Irma Thomas, Dr. John, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and Allen Toussaint along with musical icons like Bob Dylan, John Fogerty, Santana, and Paul Simon. Founded in 1970, the 38th edition of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is scheduled for April 27 – May 6, 2007 at the Fair Grounds Race Course.
Since its beginning in 1995, the aim of the Lucerne Blues Festival has been to promote and support the Blues culture in Europe. It has certainly met its objective inasmuch as it is now recognized as one of the premier Blues festivals in the world. Its supporting program is spread out over a week and includes concerts in outlying rural areas and Blues in the Schools performances.
But there are two things that make this non-profit, all volunteer, festival so deserving of international acclaim: the first is the quality of the programming, whether it be the biggest names in the Blues, its most authentic purveyors from the jukes of Mississippi or the small clubs of Chicago or the almost-unheard-of presence of bands accompanied by full horn sections; the second is the hospitality, both the fun of hanging with the hands-on festival committee members or the thankfulness that comes with five-star accommodations and fully-catered meals.
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