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First Annual Great Lakes Blues Society Summit


AMRF Director John Penney attended the first Great Lakes Blues Society Summit in Windsor Ontario over Memorial Day weekend. While we are not precisely a blues society, our mission certainly includes the maxim of "keeping the blues alive," and we have collaborated with the Detroit Blues Society since the beginning - they are always at our Festivals.

John made a lot of new friends, a lot of new contacts, and had a lot of fun. We will shortly receive and post links to all the blues societies that participated so that you can keep up to date with blues news you can use. In the meantime, here is the press release from Big City Blues Magazine:

Great Lakes Blues Society Summit, May 26-28, 2006

Eight states, two countries and twenty blues societies and organizations met May 26, 27 and 28, 2006 in Detroit, MI and Windsor, Canada to form a partnership and establish regional live blues music tours and beyond.  Plus by working together blues societies and organizations that reach thousands of blues enthusiasts will attract more sponsorship and support for blues music.

After “too much fun” from Friday night’s Motor City Pub Crawl, May 26th with unforgettable highlights of Pricilla Price and Artie “Blues Boy” White’s performing together at Detroit’s #1 juke joint—The Mississippi Connection and next at Detroit’s downtown river front club--Currents where Luther “Badman” Keith and Lady Sunshine sang together for the first time ever, the Great Lakes Blues Society Summit began their business meeting the following morning on Saturday, May 27th in Windsor.

Discussion topics included issues that such as increasing membership, fundraising and blues education. The primary goal for the 2006 Great Lakes Blues Society Summit was accomplished and eight blues societies made a commitment to work together for a fall acoustic tour with Bobby Rush “unplugged.” A spring electric tour will follow.
Future partnership projects for the Great Lakes Blues Societies were discussed and may include a compilation blues CD, blues calendar, working with Koko Taylor’s Celebrity Aid Foundation, Gimme 5! fundraising for New Orleans musicians and a possible project with Habitat for Humanity’s Musicians Village in New Orleans.

 The Great Lakes Blues Society Summit received a very positive response. Thanks to everyone who attended and especially to Robert Jr. Whitall and Ted Boomer for organizing this groundbreaking event.
Mark your calendars for 2007 Great Lakes Blues Society Summit – May 25-27, 2007.

Great Lakes Blues Society Steering Committee: Ted Boomer, Robert Jr. Whitall, Shirley Mae Owens, Danny Graham, And Rolly Hough

Great Lakes Blues Societies/Organizations Summit 2006 Roll Call:
American Music Research Foundation
Ann Arbor Blues & Jazz Festival
Black Swamp Blues Society
Big City Rhythm & Blues Magazine
Bluesfest International
Blues Foundation
Canada South Blues Society
-Windsor Chapter
-Bruce County Chapter (Incardinate)
-London Chapter
-Kitchener Chapter
Charleston West Virginia Blues Society
Detroit Blues Society
Hot Blues & Barbeque
Kitchener Blues Brews & Barbeques
Koko Taylor’s Celebrity Aid Foundation
Mid-North Michigan Blues Society
Saginaw Bay Blues Society
West Michigan Blues Society
Western New York Blues Society

Other Great Lakes Blues Societies & Organizations that are interested but were unable to attend: Alpena Blues Society, Capital Area Blues Society, Chicagoland Blues Society, Cinci Blues Society, Marquette Blues Society, Monroe Library Series, Tawas Bay Blues Society

For more information about the Great Lakes Blues Society Summit/Organization contact: Ted Boomer – - 519-977-9631 or
Robert Jr. Whitall – or 248-582-1544

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