Blues Workshops:  Friday July 8 and Saturday July 9


Dave Hunt

The Kalamazoo Valley Blues Association is proud, once again, to present our popular

series of Blues Workshops at the 23rd annual Kalamazoo Blues Festival. These lessons are free to everyone and last between 45 minutes and an hour. Your instructors are local working blues musicians who are happy to share their knowledge. Each seminar is a self-contained lesson and it is not necessary to attend any additional lessons. We’ve designed these seminars so that one can enjoy and learn cumulatively from all of them. Even if you don’t play an instrument and never intend to, these seminars will enhance your listening enjoyment of blues music.

Friday 6:00-8:00 pm:  Special Presentation: Womenfolk & Blues, featuring Patricia

Pettinga and Bill Willging

In Womenfolk & Blues, musicians Patricia Pettinga and Bill Willging focus on select, early

Patricia Pettinga and Bill Willging

Patricia Pettinga and Bill Willging

female blues artists–from Mother of the Blues “Ma Rainey” to Ethel Waters–combining PowerPoint illustrated life stories with live performance. The workshop informs, entertains and inspires, as it honors these women and their contributions to American culture and the blues tradition.
Patricia Pettinga began her professional music career in the late ’70’s with the acoustic blues trio McDuff. Since then, she has performed solo and with groups, honing her songwriting craft and recording three CDs. Her music honors the folk and blues tradition and carries it forward. She accompanies herself on guitar, with her husband Bill Willging adding guitar rhythms and leads.

Saturday 4:00 pm: DIDDLE IT! DIY Instruments for Jamming on a Budget with Tim

Dave Allemang

Dave Allemang

Brouhard of Out of Favor Boys and Tom Fuller.
Join the DIY (do it yourself) revolution! Learn how to build and play some of the instruments which have inspired blues legends. Come and experience Cigar Box guitars, Canjos, Diddly-bos, Boomboards, Wash Tub Basses and more. And get a DIY instrument to take home with you!

Saturday 5:00 pm: BLUES HARMONICA with Dave Hunt of Seventh Son
You’ll be playing songs within the first 10 minutes! Topics include; chords, playing a single note, bending notes, scales,

Bryan Blowers

Bryan Blowers

octaves, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd positions, and how to do that train thing. Also, examine Dave’s unique collection of unusual harmonicas. More experienced harmonica players are invited for further discussion and play at the conclusion of the seminar.

Saturday 6:00 pm: BLUES GUITAR with Dave Allemang of Crossroads 

(Bring your own guitar!) You will learn the blues fundamentals for beginning and intermediate level guitarists. Topics include 12-bar blues structure, alternate chordings, and rhythmic grooves.

Saturday 7:00 pm: SLIDE GUITAR/DOBRO with Al Bates and Bryan Blowers, graduate of WMU School of Music and former member of WMU Jazz Band
The sound of a slide guitar is one of the most distinctive in the blues. Learn the classic licks, riffs, and various tunings in this workshop.

Children’s Tent: Activities and Projects, Saturday noon-5pm

T-shirt dying at the Children's Tent

T-shirt dying at the Children’s Tent

A variety of fun things for kids (and adults) to do, from face-painting to t-shirt dying to a variety of art projects and activities, all just waiting for you under the KVBA Children’s Tent.  Located on the east side of the Festival site next to the food vendors, the Children’s Tent offers fun for all!


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