This is a blues festival, so we get the best blues-inspired artists.
Fantastic Negrito, 2017 Grammy winner of Best Contemporary Blues Album, will headline the event at 9 p.m., capping a lineup of exciting live blues and blues-inspired music on the UICCU stage in Centennial Park. Entry to the festival, including live music, remains free.
Also playing at this year’s festival are The Diplomats of Solid Sound, International Blues Challenge winner Kevin “B.F.” Burt and the Corridor, a collection of Iowa Rock & Roll and Iowa Blues Hall of Famers, The Avey/Grouws Band and The Tanya English Band.
Listen to a playlist of our lineup here.
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Fantastic Negrito, 2017 Grammy winner of Best Contemporary Blues Album, headlines the UICCU stage at 9 p.m., capping a lineup of exciting live blues and blues-inspired music. Born Xavier Dphrepaulezz and raised in an orthodox Muslim household, Negrito writes songs that are real stories about a musician from Oakland who experienced the highs of a million-dollar record deal, the lows of a near-fatal car accident that left him in a coma and is now in the phase of rebirth —…Find out more »
The Diplomats of Solid Sound are a funk and soul group from Iowa City that performs with a modern garage band twist. Since the release of their first 7-inch single, "Bullfrog Boogaloo," in 2001, The Diplomats have been mining America's vast deposits of soul music to create a sound all their own: a spare-but-spicy groove sired equally by progenitors such as Booker T., James Brown and The Funk Brothers. The Diplomats have four full-length albums: "Instrumental Action Soul" (2001), "Let´s…Find out more »
Kevin Burt and some of the best musicians of the Corridor – including many Iowa Rock & Roll and Iowa Blues Hall of Famers – will take the stage from 5 - 6:30 p.m. For more than 25 years Kevin Burt has been electrifying audiences throughout the Midwest dispelling the myth that true blues has no roots in Iowa. His soul-inspired presentation is unique which consistently get him compared to a range of artists such as Bill Withers and Aaron…Find out more »
The Avey/Grouws Band hits hard with a soul for blues, rock and roots/Americana. Forming in January 2017, the Avey/Grouws Band has already started a buzz with memorable performances at The Prairie Dog Blues Fest, The Mississippi Valley Blues Fest and by winning the 2017 Iowa Blues Challenge and making it to the Semi Finals at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. Jeni Grouws met Chris Avey and Bryan West at a blues jam in the Quad Cities in 2015, and…Find out more »
The Tanya English Band will kickoff a day of live music in Centennial Park! The Tanya English Band started out of the George's Buffet Monday Night All Stars gigs. After several years of showing up to sing a few tunes, they decided to create a real band with Ed on bass, of course, and Tanya on vocals. With Unka Led English, a crucial member of the live music scene in the area for the past 20 years, Sam Price on…Find out more »