As Springing the Blues Festival prepares for its 26th year, fans will see a few changes, starting with the name and logo. The festival’s moniker is now Belk Presents Springing the Blues Festival, reflecting Belk’s $100,000 title sponsorship. For fans, the new sponsorship will bring an enhanced festival experience with improved visual presentation, greater talent reach, addition of the Belk Lounge and soon to be announced improvements to the premium seating area.
“We are thrilled that Belk is sponsoring Springing the Blues this year. Belk represents the best in Modern. Southern. Style. They know the pulse of the south and so do we!” said Sam Veal, executive producer of Jax Beach Festivals.
“Festivals play an important role in the south, which is why Belk is excited to have partnerships with local festivals like Springing in the Blues,” said Jon Pollack, executive vice president of marketing, sales promotion and eCommerce at Belk. “We enjoy being a part of our communities and think this is a great way to serve our customers in the Jacksonville area.”
Packed with top talent, the 2016 lineup for the April event features 22 artists on two stages, among them are six Blues Music Award winners and nominees:
- Samantha Fish – 2016 Blues Music Award nominee for Contemporary Blues Female Artist
- Toronzo Cannon – 2014 Blues Music Award nominee for Contemporary Blues Album (John the Conquer Root). Cannon also plans a new CD release this year under the Alligator Records label.
- Mr. Sipp – 2016 Blues Music Award nominee for Best New Artist Album (The Mississippi Blues Child)
- Jarekus Singleton – 2016 Blues Music Award nominee for Contemporary Blues Male Artist of the Year, the second consecutive year he’s been nominated for this category
- Victor Wainwright – 2016 Blues Music Award nominee for Pinetop Perkins Piano Player.
- Selwyn Birchwood– Winner of the 2015 Blue Music Award for Best New Artist Album (Don’t Call No Ambulance)
Fans will be treated to a range of blues sounds from a bevy of rising hot artists including:
- Diedra the Blues Diva and the Ruff Pro Band – 2014 International Blues Challenge finalist. Diedra’s voice has been compared to “the silky smoothness of Anita Baker, the emotional heft of Patti LaBelle and the gospel depth of Aretha Franklin.”
- Sean Chambers – Dubbed “one of the top 50 blues guitarists of the last century” by Britain’s Guitarist magazine; and
- The Red Dirt Revelators, 2014 International Blues Challenge semi-finalist with a sound described as “down-and-dirty contemporary blues with the grumble and growl of a muscle car’s engine.”
- Colin Lake – Nominated for Offbeat Magazine’s “Best of the Best” Awards in four categories: Best Blues Album, Best Male Vocalist, Best Guitarist and Best Music Video.
Florida artists are well represented, including several from Northeast Florida: The Lee Boys, The Corbitt Clampitt Experience; Conrad Oberg; Parker Urban; Kim Reteguiz and the Black Cat Bones; Toots Lorraine & the Traffic; Cat McWilliams Band and Smokestack.
Two yet to be named artists from the Belk Southern Music Showcase round out the last slots in the lineup. A component of Belk’s The Road South campaign that celebrates southern talent and artistry in music and design, the Belk Southern Music Showcase is a contest for musical talent throughout the South or with an affiliation to the South. In its third year, thousands of solo artists and bands in pop, pop country, Americana, R&B, bluegrass and blues genres entered the competition. Finalists will be selected in March. Information about The Road South is available at www.belk.com/roadsouth.
About Belk Presents Springing the Blues Festival
The free, three-day festival is slated for April 1-3 at the Seawalk Pavilion in Jacksonville Beach. Named one of the top 50 music festivals in the world by Downbeat Magazine, Springing the Blues attracts about 200,000 people over the course of three days, with an estimated economic impact of $5.5 million. Although admission is free, tickets for premium seating are available athttps://www.showclix.com/event/Springingtheblues2016.