December 2019

Greetings from Barbara 

Hello Blues Friends, 
I realize that the International Blues Challenge is now just a month away.  There's lots coming to fill all your blues needs, so watch for updates on our website and social media event pages as well as future emails to stay on top of the IBC news as it happens. 

But for now, I want to share with you big news about the Blues Music Awards. We'll be announcing our nominees in 25 categories at 8 a.m. CST on Tuesday, January 7th via a Ditty TV broadcast and I encourage you to watch with your blues friends around the world as we unveil this year's nominee list. In conjunction, the Blues Music Awards ballot will become available to members, our BMA hotel block of rooms will open up for your reservations, and tickets to both the Blues Music Awards and Blues Hall of Fame Inductions will go on sale.  

I hope you will consider making the trip to Memphis for the biggest blues event of the year, the night when we celebrate the very best in blues recording and performance from the past year. If you have never been to a BMA show before, you are in for a real treat. This year, we'll be changing things up a bit in response to the current construction that is going on at the newly renamed Memphis Renasant Convention Center where we have hosted the show for the past decade. Due to major upgrades currently happening within the facility, we will not have access to the Grand Ballroom, and as such, we are having to redesign the evening to accommodate the growing number of people who want to attend each year.  

Rather than offer a seated dinner with performances while you dine, this year, we'll be moving into the Cannon Center Theater for a seated show and then offering an After-Party with dinner and live music to continue the celebrations. The show will begin at 6:30pm sharp and tickets will include the option to attend the After-Party. This change puts us in a space where we can better control sound and where the acoustics are designed for music, and we'll have all the tools we need technologically to give you the best live music experience possible.  

Of course, we'll bring back all the bells and whistles you love, including the blue carpet, plenty of food and drink, our annual silent auction, and some new surprises. We're already hard at work preparing a wonderful experience for our nominees and attendees.  

So while you are considering what to pack to bring with you to Memphis for the IBC, go ahead and lock May 6th and May 7th on your schedule and plan to return to Memphis in the spring when the weather is warm and the music remains hot.  

Wishing each of you a wonderful holiday season and a joyous new year. 

Best regards, Barbara 

Barbara B. Newman 

President & CEO 

The Blues Foundation 

421 South Main Street: Memphis, TN 38103 

(901) 527-2583 Ext. 12