IBC this week by Robert "Nighthawk" Tooms

Posted on 1/18/2010 by Robert "Nighthawk" Tooms

(Memphis, Tennessee) This week we explain the big happenings on Beale and what all the fuss is about.

What's the IBC?

It's the International Blues Challenge, a worldwide competition organized and produced by my friend Joe Whitmer of the Blues Foundation.

my friend Joe Whitmer knows how to produce a blues show

The competition goes on for three days on Beale Street in Mempis, Tennesse, the home of the Blues. 2010 marks the 26th IBC held in Memphis. It takes place between Wednesday the 20th and Saturday, January 23, when the winners will be announced.

Here's where you go to order tickets:

Who can enter?

Nobody can enter directly. First you must win a local competition held by a Blues Foundation affiliate such as the Atlanta Blues Society, Memphis Blues Society or Associazione Roots 'n' Blues. There are 175 affiliates. This group of winners travel to Memphis to compete in the IBC.

Michaela Rae will represent the Grand County Blues society in the Youth Competition

What categories are available for competition?

You can compete as a BAND, SOLO/DUO, or in the YOUTH competition. No members of a band in the YOUTH competition can be over 21 years of age.

Here's the RULES from the Blues Foundation's site:

One of the bands in this year's youth competition, my friends the Young Guns

Who are some of the former winners?

Some of the blues artists whose careers were launched at the IBC over the years include: Janeva Magness, Eden Brent, Susan Tedeschi, Michelle Wilson, Michael Burks, Tommy Castro, Albert Cummings, Larry Garner, Richard Johnston, Zac Harmon and Matthew Skoller.

My friend and drinking companion Eden Brent

Author, Larry Garner, Reba Russell at the Waterfront Music Festival, Toronto, 2009

Where can I join the Blues Foundation and support the BLUES?

Right here:

What is on this year's schedule and where do I go?

The Blues Foundation will be headquartered during the IBC as follows:

DoubleTree lobby--Wednesday 1:00-4:00pm; Thursday & Friday 9:00-4:00pm;
Handy Park Bar--Thursday & Friday 5:00pm-close at night.

Will call, walk-up ticket sales, information and event programs, etc. will be available in these two locations.

All non-musical events will be at the Doubletree Hotel, 185 Union Avenue, unless otherwise noted. Click on Doubletree logo at left for hotel map.

Wednesday, January 20

5:30-7:00 pm Beale Street "Meet and Greet." Beale Street Merchants Association welcomes IBC participants and attendees New Daisy Theater.

7:30 pm FedEx International Showcase Kick-Off Concert Big Blue. New Daisy Theater $10

Thursday, January 21

9:00 am-4:00 pm Attendee Registration and Silent Auction (Lobby)

9:00 am-2:00 pm IBC Act Registration (Outside Tennessee Ballroom, Ground Floor)

10:00-11:30 am Affiliate Roundtable hosted by 2010 KBA recipient Connecticut Blues Society(Chelsea Room, Ground Floor)

1:30 pm-3:00 pm International Roundtable (Chelsea Room, Ground Floor)

1:30pm-3:00 pm Parents Roundtable "My Kid is a Blues Musician! Help! Hosted by three mothers--Blues Foundation Board member Laurie Tucker,2010 Blues Music Award nominee Candye Kane and Trisha Perry (Homemade Jam) (Designed for parents) (DeSoto Room)

3:00 pm IBC Act Orientation Meeting (Adams/Beale Room, Ground Floor)

4:00/6:00 pm Semi-Finals Begin (Check schedule for start time in each venue). Beale Street Clubs $10 wristband

Friday, January 22

9:00 am Board of Directors Meeting (Crump Room)

9:00 am-4:00 pm Attendee Registration (Lobby)

10:00 am-2:00 pm Silent Auction (Lobby)

10:00 am-11:30 am Youth Roundtable with Fernando Jones &, Cassie Taylor. Designed for age 25 and under. Blues City on Beale

10:00 am-11:30 am Songwriters Panel hosted by Colin Linden, multiple Canadian Juno and Maple Blues Award winner. Club 152 on Beale

11:30 am-1:00 pm Luncheon with Keynote Speaker Richard Flohill, with introduction by Dick Waterman (Adams/Beale Ballroom)

1:00-4:00 pm Smokin' Bluz Youth Showcases Various clubs on Beale Street . $15 wristband (good for semi-finals too)

4:00/6:00 pm Semi-Finals Begin (Check schedule for start time in each venue). Beale Street Clubs $15 wristband

When the scores have been tabulated Friday, the finalists will be announced at various Beale Street clubs.

Saturday, January 23

9:00 am Doors Open for KBA Brunch (Tennessee Ballroom)

10:00 am-12:00 pm KBA Awards Ceremony (Tennessee Ballroom)

1:00 pm Doors Open for Solo/Duo Finals. Silent Auction resumes and closes at the beginning of the 6th act (approximately 3:40 pm) The Orpheum Theatre.

2:00-5:00 pm Solo/Duo Finals; Gibson Guitar Giveaway; Best Self Produced CD Winner Announced. The Orpheum Theatre. $27

6:30 pm Doors Open for Band Finals at The Orpheum Theatre

7:30 pm Band FinalsThe Orpheum Theatre $32

OTHER EVENTS during the IBC:

longtime friend and band mate Barbara Blue

Thursday, January 21

2:00-4:00pm Barbara Blue Silky's

Friday, January 22

2:00-4:00pm Barbara Blue Silky's

Our friend, publicist Betsie Brown, will be holding a showcase produced by her firm, Blind Raccoon, to promote her cadre of artists and to help raise funds for the The Sean Costello Memorial Fund For Bipolar Research.

Sean was a friend to me and the band and his passing was truly premature as he had so much great music to give the world. We all played many nights at the old Black Diamond on Beale Street and hung out together. He is sorely missed.

Mike Glen of the New Daisy Theater on Beale is hosting an event called Beale Street Blues Kings. The event is comprised of ten acts that were not chosen for the I.B.C. finals. These acts will compete for a $500 cash prize. The event is at 3:00 PM on January 23, 2010, and a Cigar Box Guitar Showcase will be held from Noon-2:00 PM. For More Information, Click Here For the New Daisy Website.

Jumping James Cunningham and author at Ground Zero

Headed down to Clarksdale, Mississippi? Then you might want to check out the Pre-IBC Blues Jam at the Ground Zero Blues Club on Wednesday, January 20, 2010, at 8:00 PM, hosted by Tas Cru.

Memphis Mike Forrest and Leo Goff at Ground Zero

local Clarksdale artist Razor Blade at Ground Zero

Bookmark us and come back often to American Blues News


© Robert "Nighthawk" Tooms, 2010

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American Blues News Staff

What makes American Blues News unique is our coverage across America. Here is our lineup:

Mon: Memphis Correspondent - Robert "Nighthawk" Tooms
Nighthawk is our resident globetrotter and man behind the scenes, as he tours with the Reba Russell Band.

Tues: New York Correspondent - J. Blake
Blake is the American Blues News review and interview guru. You may catch him out and about in NY playing the blues.

Wed: National Correspondent - Monica Yasher
Monica is our executive director and artist interview specialist. You can catch Monica singing the blues around Pittsburgh or working on some country music songs in Nashville.

Thurs: Washington, DC Correspondent - Virginiabluesman
Geraldo offers inteviews and reviews. You may have seen him at an Ana Popovic concert or conversed with him on her websites, as he offers administrative support with her music.

Fri: Northeast Photographer - Nelson Onofre
Nelson offers a Friday column of blues photography and pictorial support for the interviews covered by the team.

Jim Stick in Colorado
Jim will be focusing on the Blues Festivals in the beautiful state of Colorado, and the artists that live and visit there.

Maureen Elizabeth, our resident art correspondent, will be focusing on blues art as she explores the creation of CD covers, or speaking with artists who also have a love of creating pictorial art in addition to their music! She may also feature some of her good friends in the Pittsburgh area. In her love of art, you may find Maureen's photography accompanying writer's articles on our pages. Maureen is also our marketing director.

Pittsburgh correspondent and photographer, CR Bennett, will share the Pittsburgh scene with all of you. You may also see CR's pictures accompanying other writer's articles.

We head to the big state of Texas! Abby Owen, our Texas correspondent.

Another big area to cover, the West Coast with Casey Reagan, Casey will feature many artists and events on this ocean's shores.

Lastly, we have our roving blues entertainment writer,
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