The 2016 Bradenton Blues Festival
Text and photos by Richard Ludmerer
The Bradenton Blues Festival is an annual festival now in its fifth year. It is brought to us by Realize Bradenton. Realize Bradenton is a nonprofit organization that brings people together to create a vibrant and prosperous downtown area for residents, visitors, and businesses. As a community-benefit organization, they work to continually strengthen the social, cultural, and physical assets in the Bradenton area.
Food, drink, and an array of vendors complement the live music to create what has become one of the premier blues festivals in the country. Amazingly this has been done in only five years. Produced by Paul Benjamin for Realize Bradenton it was a wonderful day of music and good friends.
It couldn’t have been done however without the sponsors and this year there were fifty-nine of them. For the first time the festival was sold out before the doors opened.
The following photo array highlights the wonderful blues acts we saw on December 3rd, 2016.
Slam Allen has been entertaining with his unique blend of soul and blues for over twenty years.
Sugar Ray and The Bluetones. Sugar Ray’s robust tone makes his voice one of the most distinctive and recognizable in modern blues.
Larry McCray’s savage blues-rock guitar and warm soulful vocals have drawn attention worldwide.
Jason Ricci won the 2010 Blues Music Award for Best Instrumentalist – Harmonica.
Victor Wainwright and The Wildroots won the 2016 Blues Music Awards for both “Band of The Year” and “Entertainer of The Year”.
Mark Hummel’s Golden State/Lone Star Review is an all-star ensemble.
Ronnie Baker Brooks is one of Chicago’s favorite sons with his soulful blues- rock.
And in between the sets:
Ilana Katz Katz is a rising star with her own blend of blues and old-time Appalachian fiddling.
A good time was had by all. I hope to see everyone again next year. Don’t loose out purchase your tickets early.