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Crossroads Blues Society receives Keeping the Blues Alive Award

November 20, 2013

Staff Report

Rockford’s Crossroads Blues Society (CBS) has been notified that they were selected for the 2014 Keeping the Blues Alive Award for Blues Foundation affiliates.

President Steve Jones added: “To be seriously considered for such an award is an honor, and our selection for this award is truly humbling. I am elated that we have been selected and thank the many people who have made this possible since Crossroads began their efforts in 1994!”

Summarized from the Blues Foundation’s website: “Each year, The Blues Foundation presents the Keeping the Blues Alive (KBA) Awards to individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to the Blues world. The Blues Foundation will present the 2014 KBA Awards during a recognition lunch Friday, Jan. 24, 2014, at the Doubletree Hotel in downtown Memphis, Tenn. The KBA ceremony will be part of the International Blues Challenge (IBC) weekend of events.

Unlike the Blues Music Awards, the award recognizing the past year’s best in recordings and performance voted on by thousands of The Blues Foundation’s members, the KBAs are awarded to non-performers strictly on the basis of merit by a select panel of blues professionals.

Noted educator, author, journalist and KBA Chairman Art Tipaldi noted: “The KBA may be awarded for the recipient’s work in the past year, but most often reflects a lifetime of work; we don’t view the recipient as the winner of a ‘Best of the Year’ category. Consistent with this philosophy, the committee generally refrains from awarding the KBA to an individual or organization more than once. Rather, we select a new deserving winner each year, except in rare cases when a significant period of time has elapsed since the first award.”

Crossroads has been working at this since 1994; for 20 years the blues have had great stewards here in the northern Illinois area. The group was incorporated in 1994 and held a festival in Lanark in 1995. They hosted many shows and benefits in Freeport and published a newsletter that continues today. In 2000, the group became centered in Rockford, and in 2002, they began their focus on Blues in the Schools. Crossroads is proud to be recognized for the body of work they have accomplished to help keep the blues alive, and they thank the Blues Foundation for this honor.

Following is a list of some of their accomplishments that contributed to their selection:

20 years of publishing a blues newsletter with great articles and music reviews. It has been in full color since 2007, and is distributed to more than 500 people and organizations.

They hold two annual major blues festivals in both Byron and at Aviators Stadium with fantastic lineups of talent.

They have conducted 122 Blues in the Schools programs for 38,000 students since May 2002.

Crossroads has produced a multitude of live blues shows in clubs and public venues that were open to the public and have brought talented artists to our area that might not have ever performed here without Crossroads’ involvement.

They also maintain a dedicated online presence with a Music Review blog with more than 750 reviews since 2007; a news blog with all club activities; a strong Facebook presence; a website with BITS info and links to other sites; and two festival sites/blogs.

Crossroads will be honored at a luncheon in Memphis, Tenn., Friday, Jan. 24, 2014, along with other Keeping the Blues Alive award winners in other categories. This will be held as part of the week of festivities during the annual International Blues Challenge held by the Blues Foundation each year.

From the Nov. 20-26, 2013, issue

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