The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

May 3, 2013

Plans for Simply Jazz and Blues Festival in the works

Board members of Beckley’s 110 Marshall have announced the first-ever Simply Jazz and Blues Festival that will take place this summer, Aug. 23-25 at The Drift at Sandstone.

Headlining the event is James Cotton and Roomful of Blues. Cotton is an internationally known harmonica player who has performed and recorded with many of his contemporaries, including Muddy Waters, B.B. King and Taj Mahal.

Doris “Lady D” Fields said she hopes this festival will continue to increase the popularity of jazz and blues music in the area.

Fields first became a major voice for the musical genres on her Groovy 94 radio show. As her show increased in popularity, she began hosting live Simply Jazz and Blues shows at Tamarack.

“It has been a personal mission to build up jazz and blues in this area, and over the years the following has gotten bigger. After opening 110 Marshall with great response, we decided it was time to start doing a festival,” she said.

“To me, West Virginia needs more diversity. I think music is the answer to everything. It is a vehicle I have to do what I would like to see done,” she explained.

The 110 Marshall committee was on board with the idea. Acts from across West Virginia, the region and the nation are lined up, but the festival still needs sponsors.

Fields explained that sponsoring a festival of this kind will not only promote the genre, it will benefit West Virginia Musicians Relief and the Blues in Schools Program.

“Unlike other festivals in the area, we are going to have more West Virginia artists. We wanted to give our artists a spotlight.” she said.

Among the festival performers will be The Bob Thompson Unit, Charleston; Holy Cow, Charleston; Kevin Frieson, Morgantown; Melissa McKinney, Princeton; The Boatmen, Beckley; Blackwater Mojo, Elkins; and Lady D & MI$$ION, of Beckley.

The lineup will also include at least nine other bands and artists from across the nation.

The festival will be held at the Sandstone Drift Recreation Area, Exit 139 off Interstate 64.

For more information or to become a sponsor, contact Doris Fields through the Simply Jazz and Blues Festival website, www.simplyjazzandbluesfestival.com, or by e-mail, ladyd@simplyjazzandbluesfestival.com.

Board members of 110 Marshall are Doris Fields, Rebecca Beckett, Ken Bays, Ed Richmond, Ted Godsey and Antonia Ritchie.

— E-mail: splummer@ register-herald.com

 

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