Natchez Bluff Blues Fest keeps alive rich musical style Friday through Sunday, April 26-28
NATCHEZ, MISS — The city of Natchez and surrounding area will be feeling the Blues during its annual Natchez Bluff Blues Fest to be held Friday through Sunday, April 26-28.
In its 18th year, the festival draws people to listen to Blues music most typically found in small clubs and venues across the rural South. The event also gives the performers an opportunity keep alive a rich musical style that has been around for nearly a century.
The event supports the Natchez Blues Heritage Association, which was established to educate people about the Blues heritage in the city and across Mississippi.
You may have not heard about many of the acts performing at the Natchez Bluff Blues Fest, but the music will have you will be dancing all weekend on Broadway and Main Streets in downtown Natchez on Friday evening and all day Saturday in front of the Natchez Grand Hotel. The party moves across the Mississippi River onto the Louisiana side on Sunday.
Admission to the Natchez Bluff Blues Fest musical events all weekend is free and accessible to all ages, and parking near the festival is also free.
Beyond the music, eat, drink and shop from local vendors at the Spring Market on the Mississippi, just steps away from the stage. Also, stop in for a visit and tour of antebellum homes across town or visit shops and restaurants just close by.
For the adults on Friday and Saturday evening, the Blues music goes from the festival and gets further into high gear at various local clubs in the city.
BROADWAY BLUES BASH - Friday and Saturday
The first day of the festival begins on Friday, April 26, at 4:00 p.m. Blue Diamonds and Monster will perform on the United Mississippi Bank (UMB) Stage. Afterward, take in music at select venues around downtown Natchez, such as the Natchez Manor, Corner Bar, Biscuits & Blues, Under the Hill Saloon, and the Eola Hotel Bar & Grill.
On Saturday, April 27, nine acts will perform on the UMB Stage starting at 10:00 a.m. Blues acts "YZ" Ealey, Hezekiah Earley, Little Poochie, Harvey Knox, Matt Willis Band, Alvin Shelby & The Fellowship Mass Choir, Blue Haired Mafia, Changed, Digital Church, Bluff City Blues Band and Word of Faith Praise Band will keep the music going until the downtown venues take over the festivities.
SPRING MARKET ON THE MISSISSIPPI
As part of the Natchez Bluff Blues Fest, the Spring Market on the Mississippi, in its seventh year, will surround the entertainment on Friday and Saturday. Over 50 vendor booths with everything from food, art and crafts, merchandise, games and more will be available for purchase. Many of the items sold are original creations.
RED BEANS & BLUES JAM - Sunday
On Sunday, April 28, the City of Vidalia, on the Louisiana side, shares in the fun and ends the weekend entertainment. For a small donation, enjoy a bowl of delicious red beans and rice while enjoying music in the Blues Jam traditional style from various acts which performed throughout the weekend. Here, the music is felt through the soul and is typically unrehearsed prior to performance, allowing the musicians a complete free form of expression.
As part of the event, the Natchez Museum of African American Heritage has a permanent art exhibit dedicated to the festival, and it will be open all weekend for visitors.
The 18th Natchez Bluff Blues Fest is sponsored by WNTZ-TV FOX 48, along with United Mississippi Bank, the City of Vidalia, Entergy Corporation, Natchez Grand Hotel, among others.