Purchase Tickets At The 23rd Annual Kalamazoo Blues Festival, July 7-9, 2016!
Imagine, if you will, the incredible array of blues talent that has passed through Kalamazoo since the beginning of the Kalamazoo Blues Festival in 1994. From legendary musicians like Alberta Adams and Gatemouth Brown to this year’s headliners Royal Southern Brotherhood, the list represents 23 years of the best of the blues, from classic performers like Robert Ward to newer talents like Karen Lovely and Laura Rain.
Now: imagine that, for an entire year, all the blues artists appearing in Kalamazoo—at the Festival, the State Theater, clubs past and present, like the 411 Club and Shakespeare’s, and other venues—put their signatures to a guitar that one person will take home at the end of the Kalamazoo Blues Festival. That’s the KVBA Raffle Guitar!
Approximately 20 years ago someone got a great idea: let’s get a guitar, that iconic
instrument of blues music, ask performers to sign it for a whole year, sell raffle tickets for the guitar, and put the money raised towards the next year’s festival. That’s the KVBA Raffle Guitar—a living piece of blues history. This year’s guitar, which will be awarded to a lucky winner on the final night of the Festival, features an array of signatures from performers including Danielle Nicole, Albert Cummings, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Eddie Money, Joe Louis Walker, Bobby Rush, Wayne Baker Brooks, Larry McCray, Tommy Castro, Eddie “Chief” Clearwater, Shawn Holt, Harper, and — don’t forget— all the headliners from the 23rd Annual Kalamazoo Blues Festival!
Raffle tickets are sold throughout the year at KVBA events, often in multiples to folks who want to maximize their chances of winning the guitar. As an added bonus, the lucky winner also takes home a portfolio of photographs of each of the performers signing the guitar, a wonderful addition provided by KVBA photographer Dennis Tuttle—who, fittingly, won the guitar himself in 2011.
Last year’s winner, Rod “Whitey” Smith, of Warren, Michigan, was surprised and thrilled to get the call late Saturday evening, after attending all 3 days of the festival. Who’ll be the lucky winner this year? Maybe it’ll be you! See you at the Festival!