What we play is life.
- Louis Armstrong

Save the Date! Keep the Blues Alive Benefit for the MVBS at Fat Fish Pub, December 20

Keep the Blues AliveBlues Educator and harmonica player David Berntson and his Pine Street Persuader musical friends will be presenting a special Keep the Blues Alive show to benefit the Mississippi Valley Blues Society on Sunday, December 20 from 4-8 p.m. at the Fat Fish Pub, 158 N. Broad Street, in Galesburg, IL.  Stay tuned for more details.

MVBS Presents Rev. Robert Jones Blues in the Schools Residency, Feb. 8-12

Rev. Robert JonesFor over 25 years Robert Jones has been a champion of American Roots music, with a special emphasis on traditional African American music. He is also a storyteller, a preacher, an artist, and a teacher. The Mississippi Valley Blues Society presents Robert Jones as its February Blues in the Schools artist-in-residency February 8-12 for workshops at  area schools and open-to-the-public performances:

  • Wednesday, Feb. 10, 6-8 p.m., Cool Beanz, 1325 30th St., Rock Island, IL
  • Thursday, Feb. 11, 6:00 p.m., River Music Experience, Davenport, IA

Robert Jones says, "Stories, spirituals, blues, work songs, field hollers, country music, folk songs, gospel and original songs are all a part of fabric of America's culture. This is the music that gave the world blues, jazz, R&B, bluegrass, rock and even Hip Hop. They give insight into the way that we have lived and the ways that we continue to live together. I feel it is the responsibility of the artist to pass along and to build upon that which has been learned from earlier generations."

Robert Jones plays guitar, fiddle, harmonica, quills, banjo and mandolin. He's played with John Hammond, the Holmes Brothers, Hubert Sumlin, Cephas & Wiggins, Keb Mo', Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady, Howard Armstrong, Nappy Brown, Roy BookBinder, David Bromberg, Chris Smither, Guy Davis, Pinetop Perkins, Saffire, and Willie Dixon. This faculty member at Wayne State University, Port Townsend Blues Week. and Fur Peace Ranch is the recipient of the international Blues Foundation's 2007 Keeping the Blues Alive award for Education and was the 2010 Teller-in-Residence—National Storytelling Center, Jonesborough TN.

Robert Jones was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1956. His father was from West Pointe, Mississippi and his mother hailed from Conecuh County, Alabama. Consequently, Robert grew up in Detroit in a very Southern household. Early on Robert Jones fell under the influence of his maternal grandmother's record collection. He grew up listening to and loving a wide variety of music, especially the blues.