Mississippi Valley Blues Society

Photo of a band playing in Davenport at the Blues Fest

Blues Education

The Mississippi Valley Blues Society has one of the most active Blues Education programs of any Blues Society in the country. Each year, the Blues Society plans and coordinates 4-9 weeks of Blues in the Schools programming. Some of the artists who have participated in our Blues in the Schools program include David "Honeyboy" Edwards, John Jackson, Billy Branch, Henry Butler, Willie King and the Alabama Blues Project, Hawkeye Herman, Rev. Robert Jones, Rich DelGrosso and Fruteland Jackson.

BlueSKool is an area designated for children’s workshops at the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival. Harmonicas are given to all attendees and at least three blues educators are chosen to conduct the programs.  BlueSKools at the Festival will benefit another 500+ participants.  The very nature of what we make available—Blues in the Schools, a world-class festival with educational components, sponsoring blues artists—requires us to hire and provide lodging for a number of professional performers and blues educators throughout the year.

The 2016 Blues in the Schools artists in residence visited at least 30 area schools with approximately 300 children each, and open-to-the public sites. This year we would like to expand the program to include 4-5 week-long artist residencies. A typical week-long residency includes 10-12 performances and workshops in schools, libraries and/or community centers in the Quad Cities and surrounding areas. In addition, each residency will include an Open-to-the-Public presentation (for all ages). All performances are free, and expose a wide segment of our community to blues-related music and the rich history and heritage of that music.

Blues Education Events

2018 BlueSKool Lineup:

2:00 Ellis Kell Winter Blues All-Stars

3:30 David Berntson
Blues Harmonica Lessons

5:00 Anthony "Big A" Sherrod
Delta Blues Session

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Photo of three musicians playing at the Quad Cities Mississippi Valley Blues Festival