Regina is a soulful blues rocker born and raised in New York City. This singer/songwriter and keyboardist is a powerhouse vocalist and performer. She began playing piano at the tender age of five and started her professional career by the time she turned seventeen. She has shared the stage with the Temptations, Martha Reeves and Odetta, to name but a few.
Writing and recording her own music has always been a part of Regina's musical expression. Her newest endeavor is an album of all original blues music. The previews are already garnering worldwide radio airplay!
Check her out, here!
It’s not just her honey and molasses-soaked voice, who About.com’s Reverend Keith A. Gordon described as “the best mix of Koko Taylor’s heart and Etta James’ soul” or her keen, nuanced songwriting that blend experience with a hint of mysticism (Long Tall Deb’s Texas/Mexico border roots are never far away from her songs). What Long Tall Deb brings to the studio and the stage is nothing short of one-of-a-kind.She goes beyond the “my-man-done-me-wrong” songs to tell stories that are deep, full-bodied and a reflection of who she is. The fact that she assembled a virtual who’s who of BMA and Grammy-worthy talent to showcase her songs on her VizzTone debut “Raise Your Hands” is just the icing on the cake. The result is generating serious buzz, worthy of an artist on the rise.
2013 tour highlights included opening for B.B. King at the Midland Theater in Newark, Ohio, a headlining date at Buddy Guy’s Legends, a guest appearance with the Colin John Band at a party for the Allman Brothers at Rosa’s Lounge in Chicago, and a tour of India and Nepal with Colin John culminating in a performance at the Himalayan Blues Festival in November.
Check her out, here!
or visit her personal site: GO
The neo-gypsy jazz band led by French-born guitarist Stephane Wrembel was heralded by its inclusion in New York’s GlobalFest as one of the most innovative international groups performing today. Stéphane Wrembel is best known as a composer and performer of Gypsy Jazz, but is also heavily influenced by world music.
Wrembel studied classical piano from age four in Fontainebleau, France, winning prizes in the Lucien Wurmser competition and at the National Conservatory of Aubervillier, before taking up the guitar at age sixteen in order "to learn Pink Floyd songs, Led Zeppelin, old Genesis, and all that stuff."
While attending the American School of Modern Music in Paris, Wrembel went to the Django Reinhardt Festival in Samois, France where he was inspired to study composition arranging, jazz and contemporary classical music. Upon graduation, Wrembel was awarded a scholarship to the Berklee College of Music, graduating summa cum laude in music performance.
Wrembel has issued several albums, under his own name and as The Stephane Wrembel Trio, and his song "Big Brother" was featured on the soundtrack for Woody Allen's Vicky Cristina Barcelona. In 2011 he again collaborated with Allen, composing the theme track for Allen's film Midnight In Paris, "Bistro Fada."
Check him out, here!
or visit his personal site: GO
The tongue in cheek name is synonymous with the winning humor and unique style that instantly connects their music with their audiences. This five piece blues based band formed in 1999 through their musicianship and great love for the Blues, R&B and Funk. Lil Bastad combines formal ‘old school’ style and their own contemporary feel to form a winning musical balance.
Ever since Lil' Bastad's beginnings (‘Hoot'n & Holler'n’) they've held true to their funky rhythm & blues roots; recently, they've expanded to embrace full-horn section and Chicago blues material. Without a doubt the driving creativity of Mark Bowers (Lead Guitar & Vox), as a live performer and studio innovator, is reflected throughout the band ... The other members include: Nick Rolfe (Keys), Rueben Austin (Bass), Luke Michura (Rhythm Guitar & Vox), Abe Fogle (Drums), who lock in syncopated blues compositions that orchestrate a fresh and innovative perspective of listening to Blues, Funk, Soul and R & B.
If you're ever in the mood for an amazing live show, see Lil' Bastad, and experience the rapport the band has with its audience; that's what makes you come back for more ... from Freddy & B.B. King to Jimi Hendrix ... to Robert Cray, Stevie Ray, and George Benson ... their musical influences are "uniquely styled" and this band has ‘Sumpthin' to Say’ !!
Check them out, here!
or visit their personal site: GO
With the release of their first Alligator album ‘Bloodlines’ in 1994, Michael Hill's Blues Mob immediately established themselves as a cutting-edge, premier contemporary blues band with original music of uncommon power and conviction. ‘Hill and company return the voice of prophecy, as well as the outraged heart of contemporary urban African-American experience, to the modern blues tradition,’ exclaimed ‘Living Blues.’
‘Bloodlines’ went on to earn the Living Blues Critic's award for Debut Blues Album of the Year, as well a slew of other rave reviews. The next four years saw the band release two more highly acclaimed albums on Alligator Records, with ‘Have Mercy!’ (1996) and ‘New York State of Blues’ (1998) collecting their own choruses of excellent reviews.
The cheering continued on the road. Michael Hill's Blues Mob has always been a dynamic, crowd-pleasing live act, receiving much love from audiences and lighting up the stage at the Chicago Blues Festival, Memphis In May, and other festivals and clubs. They've been welcomed to stages all around the rest of the world as well, playing festivals and clubs in England, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, France, Norway and the rest of Europe and Scandinavia as well as tours in Turkey, Russia and five trips each to Brazil and Australia. In November 2002, Hill performed in Beirut, where Lebanese audiences enthusiastically soaked up that Blues Mob New York energy.
The New Millennium saw Michael Hill's Blues Mob release their fourth album in 2001 on Singular Records in the U.S. and Dixiefrog in Europe. ‘Suite: Larger Than Life’ earned the Mob’s usual stellar reviews. Blues Revue said, "Suite, his first album since 1998's excellent ‘New York State of Blues,’ shows Hill expanding on his previous work…if one is looking for an album with uncompromising musical and lyrical integrity, ‘Suite: Larger Than Life’ is," declared ‘Goldmine.’ While the band has always drawn acclaim for Hill's songwriting and guitar playing, it's the state-of -the-art musicians in the Blues Mob who have brought the music to soul-stirring reality. The band's tradition of great musicianship continues with their current lineup: Bill McClellan who has held down drums/vocals since 1999, Mike Griot (who toured Europe with the band for a month in 1998) and joined as a regular playing bass guitar, electric upright bass, and singing, and harmonica master, the talented Dave Barnes.
The Mob has recorded a new album on JSP Records (London) in 2012 called ‘Goddesses & Gold Redux’ in which Living Colour’s Vernon Reid joins in a few tracks. Michael Hill's Blues Mob and their unique New York-style blues will continue to be in the vanguard of keeping the blues alive and thriving in the 21st century with originality, real-life conviction, and full-throttle fun.
Check them out, here!
or visit their personal site: GO
From New Orleans to the world Johnny is known for his blistering electric harmonica tone, Award winning song writing, Swamp, Roots, Americana Accordion and Larger then Life stage presence. Johnny's music career has brought him from his early professional years backing up Chicago blues legends, Jimmy Rodgers, Robert Jr Lockwood, John Lee Hooker. To fronting Ronnie Earl's Broadcasters in the 1980's .In the 1990's he was in the front seat to help pioneer the new brand of roots music that was brewing up in New Orleans with bands like the Iguana's, Anders Osborne and the Subdudes. Now after a Grammy nomination. Nine Blues Music award nomination (winning song of the year 2012) .A Juno Award Fifteen Best of the Beat awards, Seven Big easy awards, Johnny continues to forge forward on world wide tours with his band , As a solo artist and as a member of New Orleans super group The Voice of The Wetlands All Stars featuring the leading legends of New Orleans music , including Dr John, Cyril Neville, Tab Benoit. From playing with The Edge of U2, To Recording Changui music in Santiago Cuba with soprano sax great Jane Bunnett, To backing up Americas greatest song writer Randy Newman, Film scores for Rodger Coreman, HBO's Treme and countess other sessions, Johnny continues to show no limit to his life's work and love of music.
Johnny Sansone was born in Orange, New Jersey. His father was a schoolteacher, and played saxophone"I was about eight years old when I started taking saxophone lessons and understanding music," he says. "I also know that an alto saxophone was almost as big as I was, and I had to carry it to school every day, and I thought, hmmm, I don't know about this." What persuaded the younger Sansone to follow his father's example is a version of a scene straight out of Audrey Hepburn's classic film Sabrina. "He ran a swim club, and they used to have these parties, and they'd bring in bands. The guy up the street was a sax player, and they had a band called the Wakinians. I never got to go with him to any clubs or anything, but these pool parties, they'd have all the tiki lights and scotch bottles on all the tables, and all these people going nuts over a Louis Jordan or Louis Prima tune. I'd climb up a tree and watch this and be amazed that at how my father would just walk out there, and he could dance and he could play, and it was pretty cool."
Sansone stuck with the saxophone, but was also drawn to the harmonica and guitar. "I had Jimmy Reed eight-track tapes," he remembers, "and I wanted to play guitar like I heard on these old records." It was Sansone's introduction to the blues, along with records like "One O' Clock Jump" he found in his father's 78 r.p.m. collection. In one of the early examples of his mechanical inclinations, the young Sansone also discovered a way he could "sit in" on a Muddy Waters song. His father ran a jukebox-rental program on the side, and a jukebox that was beaten up and broken beyond repair found a home in the Sansone basement. "At that time I didn't have an amp, but I was listening to Little Walter and all these guys with really cool tone, and I didn't know anything about amps. So I took this jukebox and cut the wires off from where the needle comes from, and I got this little microphone from a tape deck, and I wired 'em in. I used to put the records on, and I'd punch A-2, put a quarter in the jukebox, and I used to have the coolest tone I think I ever had in my life," he laughs.
Although Sansone released several records on King Snake Records it wasn’t until he released "Crescent City Moon" on Rounder/Bullseye Blues when he began winning numerous Awards in the Crescent City, including Offbeat magazine's annual "Best of the Beat Awards" where he won four Awards after for Crescent City Moon in 1997. Sansone won Song of the Year, Best Harmonica Player, Best Blues Band, and Best Blues Album of the Year and the record received raves reviews through-out the country.
Check him out, here!
or visit his personal site: GO
South Orange Parking Authority is getting in the “swing of things”.
They have organized a free “Park & Ride” for the 5th Annual South Mountain International Blues Festival.
This event is scheduled for Sunday, September 7th in the South Mountain Reservation.
The Parking Authority will provide 30 minute round trip runs throughout the day.
Park your car for free in the New Jersey Transit lot near the Church Street entrance/exit (behind SOPAC).
The buses will take you from there right to the Festival.
Bus runs begin at 10:30am and end at 9pm.
Photographer Patrick Hilaire’s Powerful “
in Blues” on Exhibit at the
ValleyArts Firehouse Gallery, September 12 – October 5, 2014
Curated by Raleigh Caesar, Portraits Chronicle Mike Griot’s South Orange International Blues Festivals of 2010-2013
ORANGE, NJ (August 26, 2014) – Powerful portraits of noted blues performers and their audiences by concert photographer Patrick Hilaire will be exhibited at the ValleyArts Firehouse Gallery in Orange, September 12 through October 5. The exhibit, “Portraits in Blues: Images from Mike Griot’s South Orange International Blues Festival 2010-2013,” curated by Raleigh Caesar, features stunning images captured by Hilaire during the first three years of the festival (now known as Mike Griot’s Essex County/South Mountain International Blues Festival), which producer Griot inaugurated in 2010 and which has since offered large audiences some of the world’s finest performers in the blues genre.
The exhibition’s opening reception will be held on Friday, September 12, from 6 to 9 p.m., with the photographer present to meet gallery-goers. Audiences are also invited to meet Hilaire, Caesar and Griot in person at a special reception on Saturday, September 27 at 3 p.m. Admission to these events – and to the exhibit during gallery hours – is free and open to the public. The exhibition is presented by Mike Griot and Richard T. Bryant, in association with ValleyArts. All works on exhibit are for sale.
Haitian-born Patrick Hilaire is a self-taught photographer whose ability to capture compelling musical moments by great artists has brought him widespread acclaim. “Musical events are the intersection where the rhythm of the performer and photographer get to meet, capturing images everyone can respond to,” he says. As staff photographer from the inception of the South Orange International Blues Festival in 2010, Hilaire was constantly on the scene, visually chronicling the opening years of the festival, including the musicians, fans and moments that contributed to its success. He claims as his inspirations the great French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson (“One of my mantras is Bresson’s dictum: ‘Your first 10,000 photos are your worst’,” Hilaire says with a smile) and professional acquaintances such as photographers Jim LaSala, Richard Conde and Chris Drukker. In addition to the South Orange International Blues Festival, Hilaire has photographed South Orange Performing Arts Center’s “Blues and Jazz in the Loft” Series and the Dizzy Gillespie All Star Band at the Blue Note NYC, among others. His love of jazz and blues continues as he frequently attends live performances, getting to know the musicians as he watches them work.
Raleigh Caesar, curator of the Hilaire exhibit, has been active in the contemporary art movement as an artist, art installer and curator since the late 1980s, beginning at The Sculpture Center with Kiki Smith and Tom Friedman, followed by work at The Whitney Museum. During his time at the Whitney, he installed such notables as Bill Viola, Charles Ray and Andrew Wyeth. Later he traveled worldwide and oversaw installations for Louise Bourgeois, while honing his skills in large-scale sculpture installation. He has taken his eye for local talent and curated 20 exhibitions over a five-year period at the Goat Café and Gallery, and has worked with Judy Wukitch at the Pierro Gallery, raising the bar for the emerging art scene happening in South Orange. He has also worked with favorite artists Chakia Booker, Antony Gormley, Anish Kapoor and Julie Ross.
Orange native Mike Griot continues to burnish and build his reputation as “New Jersey’s Music Man.” He crisscrossed the world for several decades as a sought-after bass player in a variety of musical genres, including blues, funk, jazz, gospel and rock. Currently, Griot is in as much demand as an arts leader and producer as he is a performer. In 2010, he took time out from international touring and set out to create the South Orange International Blues Festival (now known as the Essex County/South Mountain International Blues Festival). When asked why a blues festival, he responded, “Created through the African-American experience, the blues is integral to who and what we are as a nation. It’s America’s classical music.” Griot also plays a central role in the ValleyArts Hat City Streets Festival, serving as its mainstage producer as well as providing production and engineering services for the entire festival. His producing work is also seen weekly in the Village of South Orange Wednesday Night Summer Concert Series and at various venues around the region, including South Orange Performing Arts Center’s “Jazz and Blues in the Loft” Series.
“Portraits in Blues” can be viewed through October 5 during regular gallery hours for the main gallery exhibition, “Transformed: Looking at the Age of Edison Through the Witness Trees of Glenmont.” Firehouse Gallery hours are Thursdays 5-7:30 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sundays 1-4 p.m., and by appointment. Admission is free. The ValleyArts Firehouse Gallery is located at 580 Forest Street, Orange, NJ. For more information: www.valleyartsnj.com
THE VALLEYARTS FIREHOUSE GALLERY AND VALLEYARTS INC. Founded in December 2012 by ValleyArts Executive Director Richard T. Bryant, the Firehouse Gallery is the contemporary visual-arts anchor of the Valley Arts District, which has quickly emerged as one of New Jersey’s top creative places. The 15-square-block district, located around the NJ Transit’s Highland Avenue Station, is to Luna Stage Theatre Company, Arts Unbound, ORNG Ink, Hat City Kitchen, Garden State Urban Farms, Ironworks Community Artist Center, and a growing number of individual artists and creative entrepreneurs. ValleyArts is closely allied with HANDS, Inc., the nonprofit organization that combines strategic real estate investment and community organizing to revitalize communities.
Three years in the making, veteran musician/producer Mike Griot of PWI Entertainment (long time South Orange Village resident), envisioned an on-going project to expose the excitement and diversity of blues to a growing number of fans. He took a pause from his international touring schedule to create a world-class Blues festival – the South Orange International Blues Festival (SMIBF). When asked why a blues festival, the internationally-acclaimed bassist responded, “the blues genre is an underappreciated, yet seminal, American tradition. I’ve found that people who aren’t familiar with the style was will instantly like the blues at first listen, and recognize that much of their favorite musichas its roots in the blues.” Thus, the concept of the SMIBF was born -- poised to bring a robust blues experience to the culturally-rich melting pot of northern New Jersey.
We now are proud to introduce the new festival brand -- the Essex County/South Mountain International Blues Festival! In its' 5th year, we have delivered a world-class festival experience to over 10,000 blues and music fans throughout the region. As the festival continues to grow, we hope you will join us in our journey through THE BLUES -- America's Classical Music!
"I’ve found that people who aren’t familiar with the style will instantly like the blues at first listen, and recognize that much of their favorite music has its roots in the blues" - Mike Griot
As a SMIBF vendor exhibitor, you will have access to hundreds of customers who are anxious to learn about new products, and various other goods and services. SMIBF does not charge a duty (percentage) only a flat fee, and positions vendors in areas with the most foot traffic and visibility. All you have to do to take advantage of this highly profitable opportunity is harness your entrepreneurial spirit and be willing to work hard. A good idea can go a long way at SMIBF. Vendors must provide their own tent, tables, chairs, water, and generators. Electricity is available, but heavy-duty extension cords and power strips are required.
All vendors must download and complete the vendor agreement (create link to updated vendor agreement PDF, see below), and mail a check payable to PWI d/b/a SMIBF, 4 South Orange Ave. #224, South Orange, NJ 07079.
There are a number of great opportunities to align your business or company with this year’s show. It’s never too late to take part in the SMIBF experience. Your company can have a vendor presence, hang a banner, place product, create a contest, or place an ad in our festival guide. There will be a number of on-line and on-site opportunities available. Contact us to get your company involved!!
If you would like to view the Sponsorship package click
Partnering with the SMIBF is an affordable, effective and immediate way to reach thousands of blues fans. Instantly, you can have
access to approximately 2000 attendees in West Orange, NJ a unique diverse northern New Jersey community which features the