By Mike Kinney
The North and Greater Richmond Blues Foundation (NGRBF) is inviting the community to a night of dinner, live music and comedy that will raise funds for the preservation and promotion of local Blues music and artists.
The “Blues From the Heart Valentine’s Eve Gala” will run from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. this Sunday, Feb. 13, at the Moose Lodge, 4660 Appian Way in El Sobrante. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $50 per person, or $75 per couple. Tickets can be purchased here.
Artists are volunteering their performances to support the NGRBF, which aims to preserve and promote Blues music, support working musicians and artists in their musical pursuits and inspire youth to take up the Blues genre, said Executive Director Deborah ‘DeJeana’ Burkes.
Attendees will enjoy performances by various groups, including one consisting of artists Margie Turner, Earnestine Barze, Baby Bee, and Burkes. In addition, Fresno’s Jock Shock will perform, along with legendary San Francisco bluesman Fillmore Slim. Rounding out the Blues set is the Blues on the Side backing band that features Michael Skinner, Bobby Young, Skip Hudson, Kenny Winters, Art Hafen and Neil Williford.
Quick-witted comedian Tony Sculfield of KBLX will also perform. The event’s master of ceremonies, MacArthur, “will tie the whole event up in a neat package, as a Valentine gift that attendees will fondly remember,” Burkes said.
In addition to “Blues on the side,” get ready for some “soul on a plate,” she added.
“Our Chef for the evening, Evelyn Dunn, has prepared a menu to compliment the event with food favorites of the blues culture,” Burkes said.
In addition to this Valentine’s gala, the NGRBF also holds “Blues Out Norf” monthly jam sessions, and a Richmond Music Legends recognition that honors artists past and present. The Foundation also hosts the annual North Richmond Music Festival, which is returning this year after the COVID hiatus, and is also promoting the Jimmy McCracklin Street Renaming Project in North Richmond to honor the late artist’s rich music legacy, among other efforts.
“I feel that music is the universal vibe, a connecting point for all,” Burkes said. “I also respect the healing aspects of the Blues, because we’ve all been there in our lives at some point, and the music helps us to open up and share those stories so we can let go, and heal. I say come get your healing! “
For more information, call (510) 908-3088. Visit the Foundation’s website here.