What we play is life.

- Louis Armstrong


Bruce KatzThe Mississippi Valley Blues Society is presenting the Bruce Katz Band at The Muddy Waters, 1708 State Street, Bettendorf, IA on Monday, October 27 starting at 7:00 p.m. The cost to see this brilliant performer and his band will be $5 if you are a Mississippi Valley Blues Society member, or $8 if you are have not joined the blues society (application will be available at The Muddy Waters door).

Bruce Katz was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and from 1996 - 2010 he was on the faculty at the Berklee College of Music in Boston as an associate professor. Playing music, both Blues and Jazz, has been his thing for many years and it shows in each of his performances.

In the early '80s Bruce's first major supporting gig was Big Mama Thornton; he then worked and toured with Barrence Whitfield & the Savages, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, Jimmy Witherspoon, Johnny Adams, and Tiger Okoshi. Burned out from life on the road, he enrolled at New England Conservatory, earning a master's degree in Jazz. Five months after graduation, Bruce met Ronnie Earl, who hired him as one of the Broadcasters. Bruce is also known as the dexterous pianist for the Gregg Allman Band.

Bruce has released 6 CDs with a seventh, Homecoming, due for release just after his stop in Bettendorf. He has also appeared on nearly 70 others CDs with the likes of Ronnie Earl, Delbert McClinton, John Hammond, Duke Robillard, Little Milton, Jimmy Witherspoon and many, many others.

His list of national recognized awards go on and on, but naming a few – Bruce is a three-time Blues Music Award nominee for "Piano Player of the Year," and a member of the New York State Blues Hall Of Fame. Although Homecoming will not be available to the general public, the CD will be offered to those attending the show on October 27.

This event is being presented by The Mississippi Valley Blues Society. The objective of the Society is to educate the general public about the native art form of blues-related music through performance, interpretation and preservation, thus enhancing appreciation and understanding.


Keeping the Blues AliveJust in time for its 30th anniversary in 2014, the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival has been honored with a Keeping the Blues Alive Award from The Blues Foundation of Memphis, TN, the world-renown organization dedicated to preserving our blues music history, celebrating recording and performance excellence, supporting blues education and ensuring the future of this uniquely American art form. The coveted award, in the U.S. Festival category, is the equivalent of lifetime achievement recognition.

The Blues Foundation notes that the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival has become "one of the longest running, most prestigious blues festivals in the world. Held on the shores of the Mississippi River in Davenport, Iowa, this event features music on two outdoor stages and educational presentations. Four different times, the festival has moved due to river flooding, but each time, festival organizers have been up to the task.

Beginning in 1995 with Honeyboy Edwards, the festival inaugurated its RiverRoad Award to honor the true legends of the blues. Thus far, 36 men and women have been so honored." The Festival is also the only major blues festival in the nation to be produced by a non-profit, all-volunteer organization — the Mississippi Valley Blues Society.

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. Unlike the Blues Music Awards, which recognize 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. Affiliated organizations, past KBA recipients and members of The Blues Foundation's Board of Directors are eligible to submit nominations.

The Mississippi Valley Blues Festival was nominated for the KBA award by musician Michael "Hawkeye" Herman, himself a KBA recipient for Education in 1998 and a former member of the board of directors of the Blues Foundation. In his nomination, Hawkeye noted that "The 2014 KBA Award would be a most auspicious way of honoring this event's 30 years of hard work and dedication to 'Keeping the Blues Alive' in both spirit and action."


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