Don’t you know our Festival?
We will tell you about it, hoping to let you experience it and see with our own eyes, the eyes of some young dreamers who have decided to invest in their land, in young people and in the personal and cultural growth of each of us.
Enjoy the reading.
ALL STARTED LIKE THIS!
90s, a large group of friends, musicians and fans of #blues, #funky, #soul and surroundings, a stage van and sponsors who simply provided electricity, beers and hospitality. It is the #BluesMachine, the historic Policorese formation from which dozens of bands were born and in which many professional musicians were trained. In that period of healthy and easy-going aggregation, the first two “embryonic” editions of Blues in Town also came to life, in 1995 and 1996, again in Policoro, again in Piazza Segni.
The same big band, on the stage of Blues in Town 2017, celebrated its 25th birthday.
After a journey of projects and planning, Antonio and Cristian (founded a few months earlier La Mela Di Odessa with Massimo, Egidio, Luigi and another handful of reckless dreamers), come to #Rome to find inspiration and support from the number one of the #blues Italian, RoAberto Ciotti. It was a cold day in February 2004 and time, in that house / museum in Trastevere, seemed to have stopped between stories, photographs of myths, improvised guitar pieces and precious advice.
At the end of the visit, after agreeing to participate in the first official edition of the festival, cordial and severe as a spiritual father, Roberto gave the last advice to the two kidnapped visitors: “Listen to me, have a salsa festival, with the blues in Italy can’t be saved! “
Council which, as you can see, was not heeded.
3 – 5 august 2004
Finally it begins, the Antonio Segni Amphitheater fills with excitement after years of total inactivity and, blessed by a constant rain that “refreshed” the three days of August, the small stage is lit up with special guests.
Many bands of friends to open the evenings (a format that has become a constant for all editions of the festival) and then they, the first three big names of our event: the Roman guitarist Francesca De Fazi, the first unforgettable international guest Sharrie Williams Official and the godfather of our festival, Roberto Ciotti.
In spite of the adverse weather conditions, as if Policoro had always been waiting for that music, in front of that stage there was the audience of great occasions. Good first!
1 – 5 august 2005
The enthusiasm grows, the evenings and the international guests increase, four out of four, all from the United States: Ptha Brown, Brenda White, Thornetta Davis and the unforgettable show of drummer and singer Tony Coleman, for years alongside the King of blues BB King as musician and director of the historic New York club BBKing’s. Four new pearls in our collection.
11 – 14 august 2006
While three is the perfect number, Blues in Town takes this rule literally; 2006 is the year of confirmation and awareness, the event has already found its place among the important events of our district and the thousands of people who filled the Segni Amphitheater for all four evenings are the proof.
The choice of the cast of the third edition played its part in the success of the Kermesse: Harlem harmonica player James Whiting “Sugar Blue”, saxophonist Waldo Weathers from Kentucky and the stainless Enzo Avitabile accompanied, for the first time in the summer in 2006, by the powerful brigade of the Bottari di Portico, for the first time in Basilicata at Blues i Town.
The icing on the cake of the third edition is the presence of the Lucanian actor Rocco Papaleo, known to the general public, until then, only as a film and theater actor. Casually discovering his passion for music, Papaleo was invited to the festival and, immediately, he proved happy but very skeptical about the “theatrical cut” of his musical performances, not suitable, according to him, for a stage like that of Blues in Town.
Arriving in the square on the afternoon of his performance, he congratulated us on the organization, underlining his amazement with the phrase “wow what have you armed!”, obviously pronounced in the strict Lauriota dialect. Until a moment before going on stage he remarked the skepticism of performing in front of those thousands of people who attentively followed the concert of the band that preceded him then, having gained the scene, here is the histrion we all know … jokes, very sweet and funny songs, and the Lucanian hymn Ba Ba Basilicata, have literally entranced the Polycorese public. Also a precious cameo during Papaleo’s evening, the intervention of another of our famous countrymen, the Montalbanese actor Antonio Petrocelli.
10 – 14 august 2007
The success of 2006 convinces and “the bar is raised”, the evenings of the festival become five, the enthusiasm is skyrocketing and the acclaim too. Collaborations grow and the typical Lucanian products join the show; a pavilion of 500 square meters contains the best of craftsmanship, art and agro-food of our region. The caliber of the artists of the fourth edition makes the brand that was establishing itself grow further, it begins to “contaminate” the artistic offer, making it suitable for the thousands of visitors:t he Jamaican singer SCHEOL DILU MILLER, the American guitarist Lamar Chase, the engaging performance of “our” Tarantolati from Tricarico, the British James Taylor quartet, fathers of today’s acid jazz and an excellent closure, another of the Italian Masters, James Sienese accompanied by the historic band of Napoli Centrale.
10 – 14 august 2008
Another 5 days of unforgettable international music that mark the path of the event. The opening is entrusted to the exceptional pianist and singer from Pesaro Mattew Lee (for the first time in Basilicata and now used to our region); in the second evening the “tough” Californian rocker Gail Muldrow is the protagonist; in the central evening of the festival, a true blues guitar giant arrives from New Orleans, Eugene Hideway Bridges; on 13 August one of the greatest Italian representatives of the blues, the Veronese guitarist Rudy Rotta, takes the stage of the Blues in Town; the closing of this edition bears a classy signature, from the Mississippi delta comes to enchant the amphitheater Segni Keith B Brown, the great artist from Memphis, also known for his starring role in the film “The Soul of a Man” , directed by Martin Scorsese.
16 – 19 july 2009
In 2009 the festival completely changes its appearance, dates and location; from 16 to 19 July Blues in Town moves to the heart of the city experiencing a start of evenings with simultaneous concerts on three stages (piazza V. Ripoli, piazza Y. Rabin and Borgo Casalini), the main stage in piazza Eraclea, the Villa Municipal intended for musical seminars and a series of “minor” activities along the streets that connect these places. Twelve bands filled Policoro with blues for four days, “ferrying” the audience to our most important square where the big names of the sixth edition performed: the splendid voice of the Californian E. C. Scott, from Indianapolis the unforgettable performance of Arthur Miles, the very elegant American Larry Ray and great closure with the boogie-woogie and the rockabilly of the Londoner Mike Sanchez. Another experiment in 2009 was the union of three historic Lucanian blues bands (ResPubblica Policoro, Dipinto di Blues Matera and Blue Cat Blues Potenza), which accompanied the performance of Arthur Miles; the Basilicata Blues Connection, a High Power formation made in Blues in Town, later brought to other squares in our Region.
11 – 15 august 2010
11 – 15 august 2011
6 – 10 august 2012
7 – 11 august 2013
4 – 9 august 2014
5 – 9 august 2015
3 – 7 august 2016
4 – 9 august 2017
BLUES IN TOWN
The Blues in Town is popular poetry, the manifestation of a feeling, the story of a people that transforms itself into the history of all times, wearing the clothes of a universal language, that of emotions in music notes.
So “La Mela di Odessa” wants to pay homage to this refined, soft and velvety music, born from the intimate relationship between man and life!
Via Medaglia d'oro Sinisi, 43
Policoro, Matera, Basilicata