Events

 

BLUES IN THE PARK

July 24, 2024

Heritage Park

free event 

Calgary Bluesfest partners once again with Heritage Park and CJSW Radio to present the Blues Witness, with host Cindy McLeod, in a live broadcast.  The evening features the John Rutherford Trio in concert. Bring your dancing shoes! 

This family friendly, free event is a popular way to spend an evening at Calgary’s beautiful historic park, listening to some brilliant local blues and to have your voices heard on air!

 

CANADA DAY

July 1, 2024

Olympic Plaza

free event 

Calgary Bluesfest at Olympic Plaza on July 1st!   See local blues man Mike Watson on Mainstage from 3-4pm as part of this day of music and celebration the City Of Calgary Canada Day activities. 

Lester Quitzau

May 25, 2024

King Eddy (438 9 Ave SE)

CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS

Lester Quitzau is a mellow guy who throws down a heavy groove. His unique style and fluidity on slide, acoustic and electric guitars, coupled with his well crafted songs and warm vocals, are the fruits of this musical journey.

What began with a solid blues apprenticeship in the funky working-class bars of Alberta’s capital city has grown into an eclectic and constantly evolving musical journey for the guitarist, singer, songwriter, composer and producer.

Lester has toured across Canada and throughout Europe, capturing hearts at every stop along the way. With a half a dozen solo albums and a multiple of guest appearances, Lester won a JUNO for his contribution to Saturday Night Blues, a compilation album on Stony Plain Records. He received a JUNO nomination for his solo album A Big Love, garnering extensive airplay and rave reviews.  He’s planning a return to the studio this spring to bring some of his extensive library of songs to a new solo album.

It’s a great joy to see Lester return to Alberta for a tour, where he’ll be appearing in a trio format with JUNO Award winning drummer, Sandro Dominelli.

 

SON OF DAVE

May 16, 2024

King Eddy (438 9 Ave SE)

CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS

Internationally renowned musician Benjamin Darvill, aka Son Of Dave, is maverick bluesman. Pouring traditional blues harmonica into a blender and grinding it up with beatbox grooves, foot stomping and percussion, the result is delectable, one of a kind sound.

Benjamin’s songwriting is passionate and infectious, audiences jump to their feet to move with the groove. He’s received significant airplay in Europe with ten solo albums under his belt, and that unique sound can be heard on acclaimed television series including Breaking Bad, True Blood, Gossip Girl and Preacher.

Having spent 24 years in London, UK, where he played cabaret gigs – and more than 1,400 concerts around the world, including appearances at Glastonbury and the Montreux Jazz Festival, Ben has now returned to his native home of Canada, where he’s spreading that rich flavour of Son Of Dave from coast to coast.

 

CALGARY BLUESFEST AT JAZZ WALK

April 28, 2024
Jam’s Diner (1209 9th Ave SE)

STARRING:  DARREN JOHNSON

1-3pm Free Event

For the last ten years, Darren has been a fixture on the Canadian blues and roots scene – working with the likes of Amos Garrett, Tim Williams, Jim Byrnes,John Lee Sanders, and The Blind Boys of Alabama to name a few. His music has been described as “somewhere in between Tom Waits and Leon Redbone, Howlin’ Wolf and Willie Nelson”. His songwriting is simple, yet deals with everyday situations for everyday people. His sound is a throwback to yesteryear, one may find themselves deceived by the contrast between what they are hearing verses what they are seeing…

Hailing from Okotoks Alberta, Darren spends most of his time touring the western provinces of Canada as either a solo or duo act. Eastern Canada has received only a limited taste of Darren’s music – tours in 2004, 2006 and 2008 garnered favorable responses. European audiences were introduced via a “mini” tour in 2003. Four albums later, Darren’s music has reached throughout the U.S., Europe, Japan, China, and Australia through CD sales

 

 

“BACK TO BACK GUITAR ATTACK”

March 22, 2024

King Eddy (438 9 Ave SE)

CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS

Two Canadian guitar giants come together to burn up the famed King Eddy stage March 22nd, when blues veterans Tony D and David Gogo will share the stage for a double header of epic proportions!

 

 

 

TONY D

With a career that spans over 40 years, Ottawa master guitarist Tony D is fluent in many styles, from blues to rock and jazz. By the time he was 17 years old he was making a living as a musician, and at the age of nineteen, played for a brief time with blues icon Buddy Guy. Years later he opened for the late great Stevie Ray Vaughan at Ottawa’s National Arts Centre.

The Tony D Band has released seven albums, and is currently in the studio recording his new album, due for release in spring of 2024. An in-demand studio musician, Tony can be heard on numerous projects including those with Canadian blues legend Dutch Mason, neo-flamenco guitarist James Cohen, and roots & blues singer-songwriter and guitarist Suzie Vinnick.

Tony D is a founding member and guitarist for the iconic Canadian blues band, MonkeyJunk, who’ve released five albums on the Stony Plain Records label, toured extensively in Canada, the USA & Europe. The group has received three Juno nominations and two wins for Blues Album of the Year (2012 & 2018), 25 Maple Blues Awards (collectively) including Guitarist of the Year (2010) and a Blues Music Award.

DAVID GOGO

As one of Canada’s hardest working and most prolific blues guitar virtuosos, David Gogo has amassed a worldwide fan base and an impressive list of accomplishments.

Gogo has earned six JUNO nominations, won a Western Canadian Music Award for Blues Recording of the Year, the CBC Saturday Night Blues’ Great Canadian Blues Award for a lifetime contribution to the blues in Canada, and has been named Maple Blues Guitarist of the Year three times. He has played on stage with Johnny Winter, B.B. King, Otis Rush, Albert Collins and Bo Diddley and has opened for George Thorogood, ZZ Top, The Tragicially Hip, Buddy Guy, Little Feat and Jimmy Vaughan, among dozens of others.

Whether he’s showcasing his blistering guitar licks and soulful vocals during an electric performance or drawing the crowd in with his humour and down-to-earth personality during an acoustic show, audiences everywhere can attest to Gogo’s outstanding talent.

 

 

 BLUES AT NOON

 Feb 21, 2024
Cathedral Church of the Redeemer

12-1pm
free event

Bring your lunch and fill your lunch hour with some of the finest blues on the planet when veteran blues artist Tim Williams takes the stage. Tim is a busy musician who can be found touring western Canada, in the clubs, and in the studio as both sessionist and producer – in fact he’s producer/performer on four JUNO-nominated projects (Triple Threat, Little Miss Higgins, Ray Bonneville, and Williams, Wayne & Isaak) along with perhaps fourty others. Tim’s also released over a dozen solo and side group CDs

 

 

 CHINOOK BLAST

Feb 2-19, 2024

Various Venues

free event

Calgary Bluesfest is proud to present Tim Williams on the Olympic Plaza Mainstage, Feb 16 at 5pm as part of the 2024 Chinook Blast festival.  Bring your friends and family down to Olympic Plaza for music, dancing, food and more, as winter melts in all the fun!

Chinook Blast is Calgary’s winter festival celebration that brings together partners from the arts, nonprofit, neighbourhood, tourism, and sports communities to create an event that showcases the best of our city.

 

2023 EVENTS

SUE FOLEY
SOLD OUT

AUGUST 15, 2023
CSPACE STUDIO THEATRE (1721 29th Avenue SW)
DOORS 6:00, SHOW 8:00 Bar opens at 6:00

 

PINKY’S BLUES, is named after Sue Foley’s pink paisley Fender Telecaster electric guitar that has been such a major part of Foley’s life for all these years. Part of that is the total devotion Sue Foley has to the guitar, and in particular to the one she calls Pinky that has been with her for decades and

continues to play on this album. Foley feels it’s almost a living extension of who she is and helps guide her through the rambunctiously deep renditions of everything she performs.

The open-flow feel of the great empty spaces of Texas that blows through many of the songs, no matter whether they’re previous classics like Lavelle White’s “Stop These Teardrops,” Frankie Lee Sims’ “Boogie Real Low” or Jimmy Donley’s “Think It Over” or newer songs like Angela Strehli’s “Two Bit Texas Town” and Foley’s own “Dallas Man.” Sue Foley had an overall idea for how she wanted the music to be. “We just wanted to make something representative of the Texas blues that we had been schooled on in Austin. So, we picked great songs and I wrote a few of my own to round things out. Everything on it is a labor of love.”

On PINKY’S BLUES, Sue Foley’s well-loved guitar is stepping up and stepping out, playing the music of the spheres and sharing a love for something so deep and so pure there are no words to truly describe it. Though Foley tries: “I’ve been on the road for over 30 years. You could call that paying

my dues. I’ve made over a dozen albums of my own. I’ve raised a child. I’ve bought and sold homes. I’ve had great successes and great failures. And all of this just makes my life richer and more colorful. It’s funny I keep coming back to the same 30 or 40 albums as my place of inspiration. I keep studying the same artists, over and over again. Freddie King, Muddy Waters, Memphis Minnie, T-Bone Walker, Howlin’ Wolf, etc…etc.,… You never really get there. You’re just always going. But it’s a great trip and I never get tired of playing a slow blues. That’s the ultimate.” Today, in 2021, Sue Foley is surely one of the ultimate. With Pinky right by her side.


 

NEW ORLEANS’JOHNNY SANSONE
with TONY D OF MONKEYJUNK
AUGUST 31, 2023 7:30PM
KING EDDY (438 9 Ave SE)

Two giants in blues come together for one dynamic show when Johnny Sansone and Tony D take the legendary King Eddy stage for a night of cross border lightning on August 31.

 

About Johny Sansone

Playing with Anders Osborne, John Lee Hooker, Jimmy Rodgers and Robert Lockwood Jr, Johny Sansone is a true Louisiana blues artist. He started out playing saxophone at age 8 and by age 10 had picked up the guitar and harmonica. He had a life changing experience at 12 when he saw a Howlin’ Wolf show in Florida – that was the moment the young Sansone knew he was destined to play the blues as his lifetime vocation. Living in New Orleans brought a swamp rock tinge to his gruff vocals and emotional playing style, and after attending a wake for Zydeco pioneer Clifton Chenier, Sansone started playing accordion as well. By 1996 Sansone had developed into a full-fledged Louisiana artist, combining blues, boogie and the frontporch Cajun and Zydeco sounds of the Louisiana bayou country.

About Tony D

Multi-JUNO, Maple Blues, and Blues Music Award-winning guitarist, Tony D (Diteodoro), guitarist for Juno award winning band MonkeyJunk, has been laying it down for over thirty years. MonkeyJunk has amassed twenty Maple Blues awards and a Blues Music Award, (formerly known as The Handy Awards). Tony’s musical journey has seen him master blues, rock, jazz and flamenco styles from absorbing the sounds of the masters and devoting himself to his instrument and the music. At nineteen, Tony played briefly behind blues legend Buddy Guy. Years later he secured a record deal out of Holland, and became one of the first Canadian blues musicians to tour Europe. In 2019 (during the pandemic) Tony released his latest project, SPEAK NO EVIL, a compilation of instrumentals that span his impressive career

 

 

STEVE PINEO
JULY 26, 2023  6-8PM
HERITAGE PARK

FREE EVENT

Calgary Bluesfest, Heritage Park and CJSW Radio parter to present the Steve Pineo Band in concert for a special live broadcast of the Blues Witness, with host Cindy McLeod. Family Friendly

 

 

 

The Steve Pineo Band is an exciting and versatile four piece band from Calgary Alberta. Fronting the band, playing guitar, slide guitar and harmonica and writing tunes and arrangements is Steve Pineo. Steve is a 30 year musical veteran, a nationally recognized song writer who’s written songs recorded by Paul Brandt (Canadian Man) and Prairie Oyster (Too Bad For Me), and a tireless musical creator. His annual Christmas show plays for five sold out nights every year at Calgary’s premiere music venue, Ironwood. Steve is also celebrated for his loving nine piece tribute to Elvis Presley. Also not to be missed are Steve’s six piece New Orleans Rhythm and Blues revue -Trickbag and his salute to early jazz-Prohibition Hall.

CALGARY BLUESFEST AT JAZZWALK

April 30, 2023
Jam’s Diner (1209 9 Ave SE)

free event

STARRING:  AARON YOUNG

Aaron Young is a guitarist, composer, & producer from Calgary. Imagine Jim Croce & Mark Knopfler were sipping vodka at Joni Mitchell’s California beach house while they spun Chet Atkins on the record player. A conglomerate of style and skill, Aaron Young is one incredible musician.

DAVID VEST
Saturday, April 22, 2023
King Eddy (438 9 Ave SE)

They don’t make them as real as David Vest anymore. The son of an Alabama sharecropper, the longtime Victoria BC resident is still going strong 50 years after he first stepped on stage with the likes of Big Joe Turner. Long revered as one of the great boogie-woogie piano players, Vest is a six-time winner of Canada’s national Maple Blues Award for Piano Player of the Year.

He is also a prolific songwriter. He wrote the first songs ever recorded by Tammy Wynette, and his tunes have been covered by artists ranging from Paul deLay to the legendary Downchild Blues Band, whose cover of Vest’s “Worried About The World” gave Downchild their first number one song (Roots Music Report blues song chart).

Although he now lives in Canada, David Vest is an authentic, Southern-bred boogie-woogie piano player, blues shouter and world-class entertainer.

Born in Huntsville, Alabama in 1943, David grew up in Birmingham near Tuxedo Junction. He played his first paying gig in 1957, and by the time he opened for Roy Orbison on New Year’s Day 1962, he was a seasoned veteran of Gulf Coast roadhouses and honky-tonks. At the age of 17, David went on tour with Jerry Woodard and the Esquires, some of whom later became key members of the Muscle Shoals Swampers. He jammed with Ace Cannon, Bill Black’s Combo and the Jimmy Dorsey Band in clubs along the Florida Panhandle, where fellow Alabaman James Harman would soon make his mark.

He had seen Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash by 1958. He saw Bo Diddley, Jimmy Reed, and John Lee Hooker in the prime of their careers. About the time he turned 21 he found himself onstage with Big Joe Turner, who said that David Vest’s playing made him feel like he was back in Kansas City. His first recording featured the last song written by Alton Delmore. David himself wrote the first songs recorded by Tammy Wynette, as detailed in her recent bio. He also dated a sister of the Louvin Brothers, toured with Faron Young (who threatened to kill him), backed Red Foley in a show where all the stars got robbed, worked in a theatre with Fannie Flagg and became the first American artist to record in Romania. David received the “direct laying on of hands” from Texas piano legends like Big Walter The Thunderbird, Katie Webster and Floyd Dixon. He toured with Jimmy T99 Nelson and Miss Lavelle White, when he wasn’t jamming with Arnett Cobb, Milt Larkin, Jimmy Ford and Straight No Chaser in Houston.

From 2002 through 2006, he was co-leader of the Paul deLay Band, reaching the Top Ten on Billboard’s national blues chart with The Last of the Best. David’s many festival appearances under his own banner or with other artists include VanIsle Music Fest, Bumbershoot, King Biscuit, Waterfront (Portland), Winthrop, Edmonton, Calgary, Tremblant, Trois-Rivières, Harvest Jazz and Blues, Baltimore Blues Fest, Houston Juneteenth, Ritzville and New Orleans Jazzfest.

His first Canadian recording, East Meets Vest , was named one of the best blues albums of 2012 by Holger Petersen of CBC’s Saturday Night Blues and earned a Maple nomination for Recording of the Year.

In 2014, newly signed to Cordova Bay Records, he released Roadhouse Revelation , which went to Number One on the Roots Music Report chart for Canada and won a four-star rating from Downbeat.

2016’s Devestatin’ Rhythm brought another Record of the Year nomination, and in 2018 Cordova Bay Records released David Vest , which led to a Songwriter of the Year nomination and David’s fifth Maple Blues Award.

2021 saw the release of not one but two new albums, Live in Calgary, recorded at the Calgary International Blues Festival, and Live At Hermann’s, recorded at David’s home base, Hermann’s Jazz Club in Victoria, BC. Both live albums quickly landed in the top ten (Roots Music Report, Canada).

Vest was also a featured guest performer in the acclaimed play, Life, Death & the Blues , starring Raoul Bhaneja and Divine Brown, joining the production in Toronto, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Calgary and Edmonton.

Time has done little to diminish David’s energy, skill and creative drive. He has said that he intends to continue performing “as long as the flavour lasts.” Whether working solo or with his band, or appearing in spectacular “pianorama” shows, he continues to bring audiences to their feet and to demonstrate why he has been called “one of the greatest living boogie-woogie piano players.”

 

MONKEYJUNK

15th Anniversary Tour
Saturday, April 1st, 2023
Bowness Community Hall (7403 – 43 Ave NW)

Doors at 7:30, Show at 8:30

Since 2008, the name MonkeyJunk has been synonymous with the emergence of a new kind of blues on the Canadian and international scenes. Continually pushing boundaries and blurring genre lines, the Ottawa-based trio has added an edge to their music by incorporating swampy blues & rock with thoughtful and intelligent lyrics. MonkeyJunk is Tony D on lead guitar, Steve Marriner on lead vocals/baritone guitar/harmonica and Matt Sobb on drums. The band has released 5 full-length albums and are poised to release new music in 2023 – just in time to celebrate 15 years as a band! As one of the hardest working bands on the scene today, these Canadian ambassadors of blues/rock are constantly working to up their game in terms of songwriting and musicianship, on record and especially live! 23 Maple Blues Awards, 2 Indy Awards, 1 USA Blues Music Award, 2 JUNO AWARDS!

Tix at Heritage Posters.  Online sales are finished.  $35 at the door.

IMPORTANT MESSAGE:  WE DO NOT MAIL OUT TICKETS. PLEASE PRINT YOUR PAYPAL RECEIPT AND BRING TO THE DOOR, ALONG WITH YOUR ID.Since 2008, the name MonkeyJunk has been synonymous with the emergence of a new kind of blues on the Canadian and international scenes. Continually pushing boundaries and blurring genre lines, the Ottawa-based trio has added an edge to their music by incorporating swampy blues & rock with thoughtful and intelligent lyrics. MonkeyJunk is Tony D on lead guitar, Steve Marriner on lead vocals/baritone guitar/harmonica and Matt Sobb on drums. The band has released 5 full-length albums and are poised to release new music in 2023 – just in time to celebrate 15 years as a band! As one of the hardest working bands on the scene today, these Canadian ambassadors of blues/rock are constantly working to up their game in terms of songwriting and musicianship, on record and especially live! 23 Maple Blues Awards, 2 Indy Awards, 1 USA Blues Music Award, 2 JUNO AWARDS!

Tix at Heritage Posters.  Online sales are finished.  $35 at the door.

IMPORTANT MESSAGE:  WE DO NOT MAIL OUT TICKETS. PLEASE PRINT YOUR PAYPAL RECEIPT AND BRING TO THE DOOR, ALONG WITH YOUR ID.

2022 EVENTS

RUSSELL JACKSON

Friday, Sepember 30, 2022

King Eddy (438 9 Ave SE)

Russell Jackson has more than five decades under his belt as a master of both acoustic and electric bass. He’s fluent in many styles and was the first to employ the slap bass in a blues context, over time earning the moniker, “the Groove Guru”.  A disciple of the legendary Willie Dixon, Russell continues to champion the tradition of the stand-up bass.

Memphis born, as a young man Russell Jackson moved to Chicago to hone his craft.  He was soon hired by one of the blues city’s greats, vocalist Otis Clay. During this time, he was spotted by none other than Mr. B.B. King, who invited him to join the B.B. King Orchestra. He spent the next seven years travelling the world with the legendary ‘Ambassador of the Blues’.With dual citizenship, Russell works regularly on both sides of the border.

Russel’s Austin roots go back to the 80’s, when he established himself as an in-demand session player and busy band member for Katie Webster, Lucky Peterson, Kenny Neal, Matt Guitar Murphy and Luther Tucker.

It was then the original Silent Partners were formed, with Russell on bass, guitarist Mel Brown (Bobby Blue Bland Band), and drummer Tony Coleman (B.B. King Band). The trio recorded an album If It’s All Night, It’s All Right (1989), on the famed Antone’s record label. Andrew Jr. Boy Jones later joined them.

In Canada, Russell has been a fixture on the scene since the early 90’s, where his Russell Jackson Band tours regularly. He can also be found touring globally with Canadian based blues & boogie giant, Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne.

Russell’s solo releases include The Alley Man (1994), Becoming Blue (1999) and Have Mercy (2007). He’s also heard on numerous notable artist’s albums, including Otis Clay, B.B. King, Albert Collins, Kenny Neal, Luther Tucker, Long John Baldry, Frankie Lee, and Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne, among them.

In 2021, the Silent Partners reunited to create a sound that would be a foundation for many artists’ recordings and tours, and releasing their new CD, Changing Times, to great acclaim.


BEN RICE
Friday, August 12, 2022
Ironwood Stage & Grill (1229 9 Ave SE)

Ben Rice’s music is deeply rooted in traditional blues, yet at the same time fiercely original. His guitar playing earns labels like “fearless,” “inventive” and “powerful,” and he routinely brings audiences to their feet with his stunning and emotionally honest vocal delivery. Ben is as much at home fronting his electric band as he is captivating a crowd solo with nothing but his voice and his acoustic resonator guitar. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Du-Rite Aces

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

6:00-8:00PM
Heritage Park – Music In the Plaza
free event

 
This special event will be broadcast live on CJSW Radio’s The Blues Witness, with host Cindy McLeod. 

The Du-Rite Aces play a roots roundup of blues, jump, rockabilly, western swing, and surf all mixed up into one big stew.  This Calgary-based band features guitarist and bandleader Greg “Junior” Demchuk, a founding member of The Twisters and past member of The Rockin’ Highliners. In a career spanning over two decades, this retro-drenched guitarist has helped put the shake on dance floors from coast to coast and beyond across the pond.  Joining Greg is an all-star cast of dynamite players, with Mike Clark on sax, Rob Oxoby on upright bass, and Kelly Kruse on drums. If you like live music played honest with no gimmicks, check ‘em out, good times are guaranteed

 

 

 

 

 

Friday, May 27, 2022

7:30 doors, show at 8:00

The Gateway (1301 16 Ave NW)

Starring: Ghost Town Blues Band

Shine debuts at #1 on Billboard Blues Chart

“With a shoot-from-the-hip Memphis attitude, and a STAX-busting explosion of modern blues vision, GTBB represents a welcome changing of the guard.”  -Living Blues Magazine 

 

GTBB’s new album Shine debuted at #1 on the Billboard Blues Chart. Recently headlining the blues stage at The Montreal Jazz Festival, Beale Street’s latest success story, 5-time Blues Blast Music Award Nominee and International Blues Challenge Runner-up is Ghost Town Blues Band. Not your grandpa’s blues band, their live show has been captivating audiences in the U.S., Canada and Europe with their “second-line horn entrance,” cigar box guitars and electric push brooms to Allman Brothers style jams and even a hip-hop trombone player. The band’s stage show and energy is unparalleled and has been called the best new live blues show in the world. 

Horns, harmonies and homegrown instruments combined with an energetic and roots rich festival set makes Ghost Town Blues Band one of the “must see live bands on the festival scene today.” Both Andrew McNeill behind the drums and Matt Karner on the bass guitar are a punishing rhythm section behind multi-instrumentalist/frontman Matt Isbell with raunchy cigar box guitar licks and raspy “Dr. John-like, whiskey and gravel-soaked vocals.” With the addition of Trombonist Suavo Jones, Cedric Taylor on B3 and Taylor Orr on lead guitar, the grooves go from fresh to funky as the band gains more notoriety in the blues festival and jam circuit. Ghost Town Blues Band has performed all across US and Canada at over 100+ festivals and will perform more than a half-dozen international tours in Canada and Europe in 2019. 

“GTBB shows what can happen when the past is distilled through young sensibilities, voices, and instruments. This is 21st century blues at its best.”   -Living Blues Magazine

  • 2019 B.B. King International Entertainer of the Year Nominee – Maple Blues Awards (Canada)
  • 2018- #4 Billboard Blues Chart 
  • 2018 Tennessee Music Award Winner “Best Blues Band”
  • 2018 3-Time Blues Blast Music Award Nominee 

 

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