B.B. King, Buddy Guy, and Mavis Staples are among the artists who will gather Feb. 7 at New York's Radio City Music Hall for a "Salute to the Blues." Produced by the Experience Music Project (EMP) and
B.B. King, Buddy Guy, and Mavis Staples are among the artists who will gather Feb. 7 at New York's Radio City Music Hall for a "Salute to the Blues." Produced by the Experience Music Project (EMP) and its founder Paul Allen's company, Vulcan, the historic concert will be filmed by director Antoine Fuqua ("Training Day") for a theatrical release that will be executive produced by Martin Scorsese.
Others slated to perform are Robert Cray, Bonnie Raitt, Keb' Mo, Dr. John, David Johansen, Vernon Reid (Living Colour), Gregg Allman, and Chuck D (Public Enemy). More participants will be announced in the weeks leading up to the event, which will serve as the kickoff event for what Congress has declared the Year of the Blues.
Tickets for the concert -- ranging from $50 to $1,250 -- go on sale Friday (Jan. 10) at 10 a.m. ET via Ticketmaster, and the following day at the Radio City Music Hall box office. Net proceeds will benefit the Blues Music Foundation, a non-profit international organization dedicated to the preservation of blues history, the support of music education, and the provision of financial assistance to needy and worthy individuals who have made contributions to the genre.
As previously reported, Scorsese will produce a seven-part series titled "The Blues" to air this fall on PBS. The seven segments will be directed by Scorsese, Charles Burnett, Clint Eastwood, Mike Figgis, Marc Levin, Richard Pearce, and Wim Wenders. Sony Music and Universal Music Enterprises will collaborate to produce a CD box set, a DVD set, a "best of" CD, and seven individual soundtrack CDs with each segment director selecting their own track list. HarperCollins will publish a companion book to the series.
For more information on the history of the genre and events set to celebrate it, visit the EMP's Year of the Blues Web site.