ABOVE (L to R): Big George Brock, Shemekia Copeland, Bobby Rush
St. Louis, MO, USA (February 23, 2016): On the eve of the grand opening, the National Blues Museum is hosting a “Rock ‘N Blues” fundraiser concert at Lumière Live on Friday, April 1, 2016.
“We are so excited to celebrate this great accomplishment,” says Executive Director Dion Brown. “This celebration is going to be a great evening to observe the unique talents of each artist, as well as having a great time with our supporters and friends who have made this all possible.”
Blues artists Big George Brock, Shemekia Copeland, and the legendary Bobby Rush will each perform at the concert, which starts at 7:30 p.m. The evening will be emceed by Big Llou Johnson, the host of Sirius XM’s Bluesville channel.
“It is so thrilling to see the many years of planning and preparation for the museum come to fruition with such a great opening event,” says Robert Endicott, the National Blues Museum’s Chairman of the Board. “We are all looking forward to celebrating the entire weekend with our friends and supporters, without whom the museum could never have been a reality.”
Born in Grenada, Mississippi, Big George Brock began playing harmonica at 8 years old, and has been singing since the age of twelve. He has shared the stage with many blues musicians over the course of his career, including Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, and Little Milton. Brock performs regularly at concerts and festivals with his band The New House Rockers, and has been featured in the documentariesAmerica’s Blues, We Juke Up In Here! M For Mississippi, and Hard Times, which is focused on the story of his life.
Grammy-nominated vocalist Shemekia Copeland began her formal training in the blues as a child, when at the age of eight her father, blues legend Johnny Clyde Copeland, brought her onstage to sing at New York City’s Cotton Club. She has honed her sound by blending blues with rock, soul, and Americana, and has released eight albums to date. In 2012, she performed at the White House for President and Mrs. Obama as part of the PBS special In Performance at the White House: Red, White and Blues. Her most recent album, Outskirts of Love, peaked at number 5 on the Billboard Top Blues Albums chart.
After more than sixty years of recording and touring and over 100 albums on his resume, blues icon Bobby Rush still performs over 200 shows a year worldwide, and headlines major festivals and concerts for upwards of 20,000 people a night. In 1971, his songs “Chicken Heads” cracked the R&B Top 40, and was later certified as a Gold record. His mainstream success surged over the next four decades, which included a relocation to Mississippi and Rush’s assembly of a twelve-piece touring band. He landed two more Gold records, with “Sue” in 1981 and a decade later with “I Ain’t Studdin’ You.” Among his many accolades, he has won multiple Blues Music Awards and received three Grammy nominations, most recently in 2014 for his album Down in Louisiana and in 2015 for his album Decisions.
The doors will open to the general public at 7 p.m., and the concert will start at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $125, and can be purchased by calling Sales & Events Manager Casey Jolley at 314-925-0016 x439. Lumière Live is located inside Lumière Place Casino and Hotels at 999 North Second Street. Proceeds from the event will support the Museum’s efforts to serve the community with inspiring exhibits, engaging educational programs and entertaining special events.
On Saturday, April 2, at 10:00 a.m., the doors to the Museum will officially open to the public. For immediate updates, please visit the museum’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/nationalbluesmuseum.