North Jersey Blues Alliance Blues Muse 2016 - Keeping The Blues Alive

Friday, May 20, 2016, 7-10pm
Valley Arts Firehouse Gallery, 580 Forest St, Orange, NJ

By Gregory Burrus

About eight years ago an individual thought a free blues festival would be a great way to “Keep the Blues Alive” in North Jersey.  Together with some friends, Mike Griot, after much planning and organizing, started the South Orange Blues Festival and unfortunately, the rains came and the outdoor festival went off but did not reach its full potential.  Most folks would be discouraged, but Mike Griot considered it a planning session, a dry run to learn from.  So with renewed enthusiasm the next year was better, and now 8 years later it’s time to keep the newly named South Mountain International Blues Festival alive.  Enter the Blues Muse…

NJBA Blues Muse 2015 Overview

In 2015 the North Jersey Blues Alliance, a non-profit foundation, developed a Blues Muse Fundraiser to support the South Mountain International Blues Festival.  With the goal of keeping the blues alive in North Jersey, a very successful Blues Muse Benefit and Fundraiser was held in Orange, NJ at the Valley Arts Firehouse Gallery on July 17th, 2015.  The North Jersey Blues Alliance team came together and prepared something just a little bit different for their attendees.  The objective of the team was to give folks a Blues music experience that made them want to come back for more.

NJBA Blues Muse 2015 Step and Repeat 

Image: Gregory Burrus.  Patrick Hilaire Photography in action at Blues Muse Step and Repeat

Image: Gregory Burrus.  Patrick Hilaire Photography in action at Blues Muse Step and Repeat

The team created an environment whereby attendees were treated to a very professional Red Carpet Step and Repeat photography session.  The patrons walked the red carpet and went from acting serious to slightly wild and crazy, and it was all in good fun.  Inside, on all the gallery walls, folks were exposed to a sample of the past 6 years of the South Mountain International Blues Festival.  They saw themselves and the performers in what’s considered emotional images.

The Language of the Blues from Alcorub to Zuzu

Gregory Burrus with Debra Devi proudly supporting The Language of the Blues from Alcorub to Zuzu.

Gregory Burrus with Debra Devi proudly supporting The Language of the Blues from Alcorub to Zuzu.

In addition, we were honored to have Debra Devi, guitarist, blues rocker and Huffington Post writer in attendance.  Debra Devi, award winning author, presented The Language of the Blues from Alcorub to Zuzu.  A winner of the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for Outstanding Book on Music, Debra Devi’s book takes you on a walk through the history and meaning of the many terms used in the Blues music industry.

When it came to the tasting palate, Blues Muse patrons were treated to a sponsored-filled, lighted wine bar.  This helped the patrons tremendously, as they were treated to a gorgeous layout featuring an exciting taste of New Orleans-style Gumbo and a few decadent chocolate treats by Diana Hart Fine Catering.  There were also t-shirt offerings and more.

NJBA Blues Muse 2016 Live Music Entertainment 

Image: Gregory Burrus.  Musicians ready to rock Blues Muse 2016

Image: Gregory Burrus.  Musicians ready to rock Blues Muse 2016

Well, in few days we have a chance to make it happen all over again.  There will be a Blues Muse 2016 fundraiser with an eclectic list of performers. 

  • Back by popular demand will be the award winning author Debra Devi with her wildly successful book The Language of the Blues from Alcorub to Zuzu
     
  • We will also have some more extremely wonderful food from Diana Hart Fine Caterers. 
     
  • For a live music performance, we have Vince Ector on Drums, Michael Hill on Guitar, Nick Rolfe on Piano, Mike Griot on Bass and Tomas Doncker on Guitar.  These top notch musicians have played with the likes of the most famous Jazz, Blues and R&B folks in the world.
     
  • T-shirts will be available for membership, designed by Al Gold Designs and created by April Tracey of www.wholesaleartistgiclee.com 

Have a Drink on North Jersey Blues Alliance

Image: Patrick Hilaire Photography.  Have a drink on us.

Image: Patrick Hilaire Photography.  Have a drink on us.

This year instead of one, we have grown to four sponsored drink suppliers as support donations have come in from Purity Vodka, Beach Haus Brewery, Badger Mountain Organic Wine and last year’s sponsor Total Wine and More.

North Jersey Blues Alliance Members Invite You To Join Us

Image: Gregory Burrus.  North Jersey Blues Alliance Board Members, fun times at Blues Muse 2015

Image: Gregory Burrus.  North Jersey Blues Alliance Board Members, fun times at Blues Muse 2015

Throughout the night, guests will have candid photo opportunities from professional photographers, special membership selection and upgrade processes, and more raffle prizes.  This year’s North Jersey Blues Alliance (NJBA) members promise Blues Muse 2016 to be even better.  Next steps for you:

About the Writer

Gregory Burrus is a supporter of local businesses, community events, jazz, blues musicians and local art exhibitions.  On a regular basis Gregory promotes art, music, business, history, government and local community events through social media marketing, writing articles, blogging and photo journalism.  Gregory Burrus resides in beautiful, historic town of South Orange, New Jersey, the home of beautiful gas lamps, many historic buildings, some wonderful old trees, the South Orange Performing Arts Center, Seton Hall University, South Mountain Reservation and many gorgeous, vibrant, growing communities in the surrounding North Jersey towns and cities of Essex County.  Having fun living life while helping others. Connect with Gregory Burrus:  Facebook | Google+ |YouTube | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Vimeo

Keywords:  Blues Muse 2016, ‎North Jersey, blues festival, NJBA, South Mountain International Blues Festival, Vince Ector, Michael Hill, Nick Rolfe, Mike Griot, Tomas Doncker, Debra Devi