Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1101

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Heritage Blues Orchestra Celebrate 50 Years of Blues In Croydon

Heritage Blues Orchestra pic
Heritage Blues Orchestra pic

Grammy Nominated Heritage Blues Orchestra help Croydon’s Fairfield Halls celebrate 50 years of Blues in a very special all day event on Sunday 6th July

Grammy nominated American grandees Heritage Blues Orchestra help mark a celebration of 50 years of blues at the Fairfield Halls on 6th July, headlining a day long celebration of music.

Fairfield Halls has been tied to the blues since they first opened their doors fifty years ago - playing host to the American Folk and Blues festivals of '63 and '64 which featured the iconic line ups of Willie Dixon, Sonny Boy Williamson, Muddy Waters, Lightnin' Hopkins, Howlin Wolf et al.

This was a time when the British R&B scene was exploding, with fans and musicians alike desperate to soak up that whole American influence. Great blues acts have continued to play at the venue ever since.

The day begins with a free celebration in the foyer from 3pm, with music from other celebrated Blues artists such as Big Boy Bloater and Kingsize Slim.

Award-winning blues harmonica player Paul Lamb and Chad Strentz will provide support to the main event, featuring the only UK appearance this year of the nine-piece version of the famed Heritage Blues Orchestra.

The Grammy niminated Heritage Blues serve up a compelling and powerful take on America's Blues Heritage.The grit of low-down country and urban blues with the bold brass of New Orleans, the hand-clapping fervor of gospel punctuated with fiery post-modern, jazz-infused horn arrangements. The haunting cries of work songs and pulsating drums that reach back to the real roots of it all. You’ll journey across the Middle Passage, be driven down Highway 49 from Clarksdale to New Orleans, go from chain gangs and juke joints to orchestra pits, church pews and even back porches.

With a line up that boasts three lead vocals, two guitars, drums/percussion, harmonica and a fiery horn section (tuba, two trumpets, trombone, saxophone), this is a band that majors in creating very special musical moments. Heritage Blues Orchestra's music is an inspiring testament to the enduring power, possibilities and boundless beauty of African-American music.

The band also perform four UK shows as a quintet in Norwich, Milton Keynes, Deal in Kent and Cardiff, before the Croydon full nine-piece orchestra show.

The quintet format concerts are: Weds 2nd July @ Norwich Arts Centre; Thurs 3rd July @ The Stables, Wavendon, Milton Keynes; Friday 4th July @ Deal Festival, Kent and Sat 5th July @ The Moon Club, Cardiff.

Here is just some of the global media praise heaped on the band:
"Creating something that is at once new and timeless" - Wall Street Journal. "Never less than infectious” - The Independent, UK
“…a crack band that manages to seamlessly blend old-style blues with modern jazz leanings, to create blues that are rooted in tradition but are still uniquely relevant to today" - Blues in Britain
"Superb"- Paul Jones, BBC Radio 2
Tickets for the main show are £20. Call 0208 6889291.

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