European Blues Union


Viernes 8 y Sábado 9 Abril.
Indoor Sport Stadium, Piazza Giovanni Falcone, Torrita di Siena (Italia).

Incluímos una pequeña presentación de los musicos o grupos que participarán representando a sus respectivos paises en el próximo European Blues Challenge que se celebrará en el Indoor Sport Stadium situado en la Piazza Giovanni Falcone de Torrita di Siena durante los días 8 y 9 de abril de 2016. Un acontecimiento único que permite conocer a bandas de blues de toda Europa compitiendo y mostrando lo mejor del blues europeo.

Austria (AT): Ulrich Ellison & Tribe

Born in Austria and now residing in Austin TX, guitarist Ulrich Ellison has quite a story to tell. A high-caliber guitarist, Ellison can easily switch from lightning fast modal runs to swamp-soaked blues and singing leads that make his guitar talk. His avid song writing ranges from southern-rock inspired songs, modern blues, Led Zeppelin type arena rock to enchanting instrumentals. His soul mate and wife Sabine Ellison on bass adds a huge, fat foundation that perfectly locks in with Texas groove veteran Joel Duhon on drums. Named #1 "Blues/Soul/Funk Act" at the 2015 Austin Music Awards, Ulrich Ellison and his Tribe have been playing nearly every major Austin venue as well as clubs and festivals in the US and EU.
Ulrich Ellison – guitar, vocals
Sabine Ellison - bass, vocals
Joel Duhon - drums, vocals


Belgium (BE): Tiny Legs Tim 

In 2008, Tiny Legs Tim (TLT) hit the scene with his granddad’s acoustic guitar and original songs based on his personal voyage. This year, he won Belgium’s nomination for the 2016 EBC as a four-piece band with a tight electric set taken from his entirely self-written third album.
Initially inspired by the black acoustic masters such as Son House, TLT quickly developed his own, most melodic song-writing as is proved by all his releases so far. Surely, it’s those idiosyncratic lyrics that definitely set him apart. They are inspired as by a six years’ fight for his life and its aftermath, as in ‘Cortisone Blues’ or ‘Please Dr., Please’. 
Finally, his distinctive voice adds rising and falling intonations to the lyrics, as well as irony and relativity. For all his suffering as a young man, TLT is an energetic messenger of joy and hope.
Whether produced as a one-man band or the electric band plugged in outfit, his energy is alternated by a continuous base-line and melody, both in the slide and the finger-setting.
Tiny Legs Tim, guitar & vocals
Steven Troch: harmonica
René Stock, double bass
Frederik Van den Berghe, drums

Bulgaria (BG): Bluestream

Bluestream is a blues band formed in Bulgaria during early 2014. The band is located in Sofia and has already performed successfully at the local club venues, including some local festivals. The band performs mostly own songs, author of both music and lyrics is the guitar player and vocalist Miroslav (Miro) Naydenov. The musicians of Bluestream have experience in local bands and bands abroad and came together to play their own music in blues, jazz-blues, funky-blues, modern blues style. The vocalist and guitar player Miro has rich experience at the blues-jazz stages in Hungary, playing festivals there (including Gastroblues), Romania and Bulgaria with his former Hungarian band, “Breaking Blues”. The drummer Nikolay Bakalov has played In Bulgarian blues & jazz formations and has been a part of some Dutch projects. All members are Bulgarian citizens and currently reside in Bulgaria.
Miroslav Naydenov -guitars, vocals
Ventsi Pavlov -bass guitars
Nikolay Bakalov -drums

Croatia (CR): Zamba

The band Zamba was founded 2010. Throughout the years their repertoire has moved from blues to rock and then back to blues. After a few years of playing covers, the band now has material of its own, written entirely by Boris Dugi-Novacki Zamba. The album "Home" with 13 original songs (Spona, 2015) earned the finest reviews and is an important turning point for the band. The first place at the 5th Croatian Blues Challenge was a reward for years of dedication to blues. In 2014 Zamba performed at the 30th International Blues Challenge in Memphis. Their love for the blues music is the primary motivation that keeps the musical quality and energy of the band at the highest level. They enjoy performing and try to transfer that enjoyment to their audience.
Boris Dugi-Novacki Zamba – vocal & guitar
Tomislav Biscan – guitar, back vocal
Dragan Kokanovic - bass guitar
Mario Klaric - drums
Aleksandar Baic – keyboards, back vocal


Denmark (DK): Christian Bundgaard Trio

Blues, jazz. boogie woogie… all with an inspirational touch of the New Orleans music culture. This is the music that the young piano player from Denmark, Christian Bundgaard likes to play and perform. Christian was born in 1994 but he grew up on music from Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Dr. John, Otis Spann, BB King… etc. Later on, the music was studied and heard countless times.
Although Denmark is far from the land where the blues was born, the blues environment in Denmark is fantastic and open to all. Today, Christian tries to build a larger music career while also trying to make the blues more visible to young people of his own age.
Christian Bundgaard (piano, vocal, guitar, harp)
Nicals Nielsen (drums)
Paul Jr (bass)

Estonia (EE): Tanel Padar Blues Band

Singer, guitar player and songwriter Tanel Padar is the most notorious figure in the Estonian music scene. He has won every possible award and has participated in almost every noteworthy Estonian popular musical event over the last 15 years.  In 2001 Tanel Padar won the Eurovision Song Contest together with Dave Benton.
Tanel Padar Blues Band was born in 2012 as one-time-old-friends-project, but soon enough evolved into a stable band. The band’s keyboard player Ülo Krigul is one of the most acclaimed young classical composers of Estonia, the guitar player Raul Ukareda is the most acclaimed blues guitarist of the country and organizer of the Augustibluus festival, the bass player Argo Toomel is one of Estonia’s most sought-after roots bass players, and drummer Petteri Hasa is an acclaimed Finnish jazz multi-instrumentalist and big band leader. 
The band is a frequent headliner of local festivals and plays constantly in clubs in Estonia as well as in Finland. 
Tanel Padar – vocals
Raul Ukareda – guitar
Ülo Krigul – keyboards
Argo Toomel – bass
Petteri Hasa – drums

Finland (FI):
Lena & The Slide Brothers

Lena & The Slide Brothers was formed in 2009 in Helsinki, Finland. The band has played at several Finnish blues and roots music festivals as well as in clubs all over the country. They have published two CDs: ”Turn It On” (2010) and ”Shine Your Light” (2013), and their third album will be out on 8th April 2016.
Lena Lindroos, vocals, bass
Matti Kettunen, guitars, backing vocals
Ykä Putkinen, guitars, backing vocals
Juha Litmanen, drums

France (FR): Gas Blues Band

Since created by Gaspard "GAS" Ossikian, guitar and vocals, Since created by Gaspard "GAS" Ossikian (guitar and vocals), the Gas Blues Band has performed on many national and international stages during the past five years. This is not just one more Blues Band, it is also the "backing band" of many African-American artists from Chicago, Canada, Texas... artists such as Donald Ray Johnson, Toronzo Cannon, Lawrence Gladney Shy, Maurice John Vaughn, Linsey Alexander... Having a solid stage presence, whether under their own name or as accompanying unit, the Gas Blues Band is always on fire. They had a CD called "Troubled Watters" with 10 tracks released in June 2013. One can feel their implications for the Blues and its derivatives like "Funk", "Jazz", and with a hint of "Texas sound"! Their musical style is like "Jimi Hendrix" met "Muddy Waters" and "ZZ Top" met the "Funky Music"! A true musical identity in the world of Blues, a pure desire to play and to share their good mood, here is the Gas Blues Band: Let the Good Times Roll!!
Gaspard "GAS" Ossikian, guitar, vocals
Pierre "Little Peter" Cayla, guitar
Philippe "Pompon" Scemama, bass

Germany (DE): WellBad

WellBad plays Blues for people who didn't even know that they like Blues music! The young German Blues band convinces their audience with their authentic, impulsive sound! It's stomping and sentimental at the same time! The 26 year old singer and songwriter Daniel Welbat fascinates with his whisky-drenched, "stonewashed" voice and his half acoustic/half electrified powerful band of five.
Daniel Welbat - Vocals / Acoustic Guitar
Lennard Eggers - Lead Guitar
Simon Andresen - Keyboards/Organ
Stefan Reich - Doublebass/ E-Bass
Sebastian Meyer - Drums/Percussion

Hungary (HU): Mojo Workings

After about a year of playing together informally, Mojo Workings finally solidified and established in 2011. With members coming from three different musical backgrounds and taste the result is a unique blend of traditional blues, country, pop and beat. By utilizing harmony vocals and uncommon instruments such as the didley-bow, stompbox, harmonetta, bass harmonica in many of their arrangements, the musicians push the limits of the regular trio, making their sound ever more multi-hued and vibrant. They take full advantage of the dynamic possibilities offered by a live musical performance to make each and every gig a unique experience with new original songs or interesting interpretations of covers. Following up their debut album “Back In The Day”, they have completed their second disc “Long Step” in March 2015.
Tamás Szabó: vocal, harmonicas, harmonetta, bass harmonica
Imre Olivér Honfi: vocal, electric guitar, diddley-bow
János Horváth: vocal, acoustic guitar
Csaba Pengő: upright bass
István Mezőfi: drums

Italy (IT): Paul Venturi & The Junkers

Paul Venturi has been considered for years as one of the main exponents of the Blues in Italy. He has participated in most of the major national and international festivals along his career, such as the "New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival", sharing the stages with such great musicians like Carey Bell, Billy Branch and Ana Popovic. In 2014 he founded "The Junkers", with the fantastic Roberto Villa on double bass and Alberto Bazzoli on piano. Despite their youth, the trio has already got the favour both of the audiences and the media acclaim and will, consequently, represent Italy at the European Blues Challenge 2016.
Paul Venturi, guitar, vocals
Roberto Villa, double bass
Alberto Bazzoli, piano

Latvia (LV): Johnny B. Beast

“Johnny B Beast” is the stage name of Janis Zvērs (born1986), a TV journalist and Latvian acoustic blues guitarist. His solo career started in 2012. Since high school he played guitar in several locally famous metal and hardcore bands, toured Europe and even Mexico, but slide-blues has always been his passion since childhood. The idea of a solo blues act was strongly considered for many years. Artists like Blind Willie Johnson, Bob Brozman, Brother Dedge, Daniel Bachman and Seasick Steve influenced his musical choice.
Johnny B Beast plays fingerstyle in open tuning guitar, using guitar also as a percussion instrument, playing strings with slide, sometimes also with hip flask or shot glass. Groovy rhyme, melodic, sometimes naive licks and "southern blues" vibe characterizes his music. Johnny has placed some nice videos on youtube, and video for song "Zhiga" became viral, gaining more than 20 000 views in a month!
Since 2013 Johnny B. Beast has played hundreds of gigs, including almost all local outdoor festivals and music clubs in Latvia as well as internationally acknowledged festivals like Suwalki Blues (Poland), Sigulda Castle Blues, Origo Blues and Baltic Blues Brotherhood (Latvia), Emajoe Blues (Estonia). He shared the stage with top local blues acts, as well as Cedric Burnside, Raphael Wressnig to name a few. He is always looking forward for new adventures, gigs and voyages, to transform his experience in new songs. Recently he released his first album “Wildboars & Trains”, including a song dedicated to the wild boars pride attempting to settle in the subway of Riga, the Capital of Latvia.


Netherlands (NL): Phil Bee’s Freedom

They were winners of the Dutch Blues Challenge 2015. The jury was unanimous, saying, "Outstanding skills, repertoire and stage presence". This eight piece sensational band excites the crowds with original blues tunes, mixing jazz and soul grooves, played by the finest musicians around. Imagine a 1960-70’s Hammond and Rhodes, tight groovy rhythm section, two amazing lead guitarists, sultry background singers, topped by Phil Bee’s blue eyed soul vocals. Show stopping quality that will hit you like a freight train.
Phil Bee, vocals
Berland Rours, guitar
Guy Smeets, guitar
Pascal Lanslots, keyboard and hammond
Marcus Weymaere, drums
Carlo van Belleghem, bass
Esther van Cleef, backing vocals
Marlou Wijnen-Obers, backing vocals

Norway (NO): Eric “Slim” Zahl & The South West Swingers

The band's ambition is to continue the fine traditions and perform music influenced by the sounds from the 50's - in their own and more rockin' style. Dressed up with a tie, suspenders and shiny shoes, Eric Slim Zahl & The Southwest Swingers perform their music with humor, musical skill and impact. Since the band started in 2006 they have logged an impressive amount of club gigs and festival appearances in Norway and England and they are well known to be a fun live band.
Eric Slim Zahl & the South West Swingers write their own music and released their debut album "Daddy'O" in 2011. The album was nominated for a Norwegian Grammy in the Best Blues Album Category. In 2013 the sequel, "Chances Are Slim" was released. Also this album received very good reviews in the press.
Eric Slim Zahl – vocals/guitar
Oystein Undem – keyboards (piano and Hammond)
Roald Brekke – vocals/guitar
Atle Helland Strom – drums

Poland: (PO): Blues Junkers

The band Blues Junkers (the name refers to Champion Jack Dupree’s song called “Junker Blues”) was established in Warsaw in December 2014 by a married couple, Natalia and Dominik Abłamowicz. The band’s name aims to express strong addiction of its members to the old American music, namely blues, rhythm ’n’ blues, boogie-woogie and soul. The band is a small combo without a bass player. What’s more, instead of a full drum kit, the band has just a snare drum. Blues Junker’s goal is to obtain a unique sound based on the old archaic barrelhouse piano combined with more modern but still classic blues guitar in the style of masters like B.B. and Freddie King. The band’s main idea is to obtain a fresh sound combining the sound of the 40’s and the 60’s. Of course, the most important member of the band is the singer, Natalia, whose voice and phrasing is in the style of the best blues singers such as Katie Webster, Etta James and Ruth Brown.
Natalia Abłamowicz – vocal,  kazoo,
Dominik Abłamowicz - piano, harp
Maciek Sych - guitar
Grzegorz Zawiliński – drums.

Portugal: Budda Power Blues

Budda Power Blues are a Portuguese Power Trio that plays the Blues from the gut. They deliver a punchy powerful, soulful, electric blues that makes you want to jump and shout. But they don’t do it on their own! The audience is always their 4th member, making every show a celebration of blues and life itself. A rambling bass, power drums, overdriven guitar and soulful vocals makes Budda Power Blues one of a kind. But don’t be mistaken: they can also be gentle and the dynamics may vary from a soaring thunder to gentle whisper! Some of their most Iconic moments are: They met and played with Shirley King, BB King’s daughter, in Lisbon and they fell in love with each other. Budda Power Blues were immediately invited to be the back up band of all Shirley’s European shows. Other highlights are the participation on Cotai Jazz and Blues in Macau (Asia) where they were selected from a pool of more than 200 bands worldwide. They have also done several shows in the "Blues Garage" in Germany and were two times headliners of "Blues Express" in Luxembourg. The band has also played in all of Portugal best Blues Fests like BB Blues Fest, Santa Maria Blues, Gaia Blues, Seia Jazz and Blues and Lisbon Blues Fest. With five records already during a 10-year life spans, Budda Power Blues are preparing two more records for 2016 with the participation of some very special guests.
Budda Guedes, vocals, guitar.
Pedro Ferreira, bass
Nico Guedes, drums

Slovakia (SK): Juraj Schweigert & The Groove Time

The band started as a west coast and jump blues band in 2011. Since the very start, it has been incorporating jazzy elements and Juraj’s unorthodox harmonica playing set the band’s musical direction. In 2014, they were voted as the most popular blues band in Slovakia and awarded a prize for mature concept and individual performance by the Slovak Jazz Company at the New Faces of Slovak Jazz competition. The first album released in October 2015 features mostly original compositions and explores areas outside blues while still strongly maintaining its very essence as the cornerstone of the band’s music. Extraordinary harp playing, colourful guitar and a steady rhythm section of double bass and drums easily catch the listener’s ear.
Juraj Schweigert – harmonica, vocals
Zsolt Szitási – guitar
Martin Kapusník – double bass
Juraj Raši - drums

Spain (ES): Wax & Boogie Rhythm Combo

Wax & Boogie Rhythm Combo get their inspiration from 30′s boogie woogie, 40′s swing and 50′s rhythm ‘n’ blues. The amazing singer of the band, Ster Wax, has a powerful voice inspired by some wonderful female artists such as Lavern Baker, Ruth Brown and Big Maybelle. On the piano, David ‘Boogie’ Giorcelli, is one of Europe’s most celebrated boogie woogie & blues pianist that has participated in many festivals in France, Switzerland and Poland. Reginald Vilardell is a very popular drummer in the Spanish blues scene. Oriol Fontanals on the upright bass is a young musician that has recently joined the band. And Toni Solà on the tenor sax adds his experience and swing to this rhythm and shakin' combo.  These five musicians on scene create a high voltage show by evoking the great masters of the blues & boogie as well as offering their own songs on their repertoire. To date they have recorded two albums:  ‘Lost in a Dream - Milano Blues Club Nights’ (2013), and ‘Everynight’ (2014).
Ster Wax: vocals
David Giorcelli: piano
Toni Solà: tenor sax
Oriol Fontanals: double bass
Reginald Vilardell: drums

Sweden (SE): Ida Bang & The Blue Tears

Ida Bang & The Blue Tears is a young blues band from Stockholm, and they are called “the future in blues”. The band was formed in 2013, and in the last three years they have accomplished a lot; played shows at the biggest blues festivals around Sweden, released two acclaimed albums with own songs, and received great reviews. “A tight sound with charismatic musicians that pick the best out of the genre’s legacy, but also pave the way for a future development of the blues.” – They are winners of the 1st Swedish Blues Challenge 2015.
Ida Bang - vocals
Leo Henriksson - guitar
John Bernström - guitar
Patrik Engström - bass
Leo Sund – drums


Switzerland (CH):
Johnny Fontane & The Rivals

The band was formed in 2011 as “Blues Express” as the house band of the famous “Kulturfabrik Kopfmehl”. In 2014 they changed the name to “Johnny Fontane & The Rivals”. The line-up remained the same. They call their style ‘Mafia Blues Rock’ hence the name of the band, going back to the character with the same name in “The Godfather”. The style is a mixture of blues rock and Chicago blues with funky elements.
Tom Marcozzi, vocals, guitar
Phulipp Lüdi, piano, organ
Christian Spanhi, bass
Lukas Zürcher, drums


United Kingdom (UK): Red Butler

Performing a hand crafted mix of originals and intriguing covers, the band harnesses a raw, dynamic energy delivered with passion, feeling and creativity. The debut album “Freedom Bound”, which includes tracks reflecting life from a youthful perspective as well as historic influences, has attracted critical acclaim from the media and the public. Formed early 2012, this young award-winning band is at the forefront of the new United Kingdom blues scene. They have been building a good following and exciting audiences with their stunning ability and exhilarating stage act.
Alex Butler, lead guitar and backing vocals
Jane Pearce, lead vocals
Mike Topp, bass guitar and backing
Charlie Simpson, drums


The winner of the Blues Challenge will receive exposure in specialized blues media and get the opportunity to play at some of the major European blues festivals in 2016. At the moment we have the following confirmations:

·         Blues in Hell. Norway
Hondarribia Blues Festival, Spain
Frederikshavn Blues Festival, Denmark
 Lucerne Blues Festival, Switzerland
Notodden Blues Festival, Norway
Sierre Blues Festival, Switzerland
Skanevik Blues Festival, Norway
Swing Wespelaar, Belgium

This list is probably not a final one as we are still expecting some confirmations


The EBC 2016 playing order has been determined in the last board meeting by raffle. It has resulted in the following order:

Friday (8/4/2016)

1.       Poland
2.       Bulgaria
3.       U.K.
4.       Estonia
5.       France
6.       Slovakia
7.       Denmark
8.       Hungary
9.       Switzerland
10.     Sweden
11.     Latvia

Saturday (9/4/2016)

1.       Belgium
2.       Finland
3.       Austria
4.       Italy
5.       Norway
6.       Spain
7.       Portugal
8.       Germany
9.       Netherlands
10.     Croatia



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Save the dates 7 - 9 April 2016!


Once again we are rotating the location of this magnificent annual cultural Blues event to a new, exiting environment. Torrita di Siena in the heart of Tuscany in Italy will offer you the added pleasure to admire ancient architecture, beautiful and relaxing scenery, delicious food and wines, a friendly atmosphere and, of course, lots of Blues.

Torrita di Siena is truly honored of having been chosen by the European Blues Union to host the 6th annual European Blues Challenge. The festivities will start already on Thursday 7th April with an informal dinner and music performed by some famous Italian blues musicians. The EBC competition which is organized jointly by Torrita Blues Festival in cooperation with Torrita township local authorities will take place during the evenings of Friday the 8th and Saturday the 9th at the local indoor Sports Stadium, which has been refurbished to host this special event.

You can find general information about Torrita di Siena at: and


The main/closest airport will be Umbria International Airport “San Francesco d’Assisi” in Perugia about 70 km from Torrita di Siena – There will be a specific EBC welcome point at the airport and organized bus transportation to Torrita di Siena. Other airports that may be used are Florence and Rome from where special bus transportation will be organized on request. For all transportation issues please consult:

Letric Travel Tour Operator

(Torrita di Siena, Viale Mazzini, 23)


Mobile +39 3483 153 935

Phone +39 0577 684 095

Fax +39 0577 684 122

with famous national Italian blues musicians and dinner will be held in the evening of Thursday 7th April.

Indoor Sports Stadium

Address: Piazza Giovanni Falcone Square. Torrita di Siena (Italy)



with a total of 21 European blues bands will be held on Friday 8th and Saturday 9th April. Both of these events will take place at the Indoor Sport Stadium, Piazza Giovanni Falcone, Torrita di Siena.




EBC showcase - Please be there on time!

20:00: Poland: Blues Junkers
20:25: Bulgaria: Bluestream
20:50: United Kingdom: Red Butler
21:15: Estonia: Tanel Padar Blues Band
21:40: France: Gas Blues Band
22:05: Slovakia: Juraj Schweigert & The Groove Time
22:30: Denmark: Christian Bundgaard Trio
22:55: Hungary: Mojo Workings
23:20: Switzerland: Johnny Fontane & The Rivals
23:45: Sweden: Ida Bang & The Blue Tears
00:10: Latvia: Johnny B. Beast

Saturday 9th April

14:30 - 17:00: Blues Market exhibition and get-together. Location: Next door to the indoor Sports Stadium.

EBC showcase - Please be there on time!

20:00: Belgium: Tiny Legs Tim
20:25: Finland: Lena & The Slide Brothers
20:50: Austria: Ulrich Ellison & Tribe
21:15: Italy: Paul Venturi & The Junkers
21:40: Norway: Eric “Slim” Zahl & The South West Swingers
22:05: Spain: Wax & Boogie Rhythm Combo
22:30: Portugal: Budda Power Blues
22:55: Germany: WellBad*
23:20: Netherlands: Phil Bee’s Freedom
23:45: Croatia: Zamba
00:15: Announcement of the Blues Behind The Scenes Award winners
00:30: Announcement of the EBC winners
00:30 - 01:00: The winners on stage + jam


The prizes for the winning acts include performing at the following confirmed festivals:

·         Blues in Hell. Norway

·         Hondarribia Blues Festival, Spain

·         Frederikshavn Blues Festival, Denmark

·         Lucerne Blues Festival, Switzerland

·         Notodden Blues Festival, Norway

·         Sierre Blues Festival, Switzerland

·        Swing Wespelaar. Belgium

In addition, a half-day (4-hour) recording session at the Juke Joint Studio in Notodden, including the technician's fee and free use of studio backline and the legendary Audiotronix 501 mixing console (previously at Stax Studios in Memphis), a selection of unique microphones and analog processors – plus the sound wizardry of technician Njål Frode Lie. Here is a video from the Rival Sons Juke Joint Sessions.

The local organizer will organize, on request, the transfers from your accommodation to the EBC venue, the Blues Market and the General Assembly.
For any request please use this e-mail:


will be held on Saturday 9th April between 14:30 - 17:00 right next to the Indoor Sport Stadium, Piazza Giovanni Falcone.

Exhibitors list (to be updated):

Mike Sponza
Swedish Blues Association
Il Blues
AZ Blues
Blues Made In Italy
Pordenone Blues Festival
France Blues
Francois Dujardin
Finnish Blues Society
Blues News
Hokahey Productions
Dutch Blues Foundation
Italian Blues Union
La Hora Del Blues
Digital Blues
UK Blues Federation
Twoj Blues
La Clique production
Musictrain booking agency
Blues in Hell
Suwałki Blues Festival
Baltic Blues
Rauma Blues
Campania Blues
Notodden Blues Festival
Crossroads Blues Association
Latvian Blues Appreciation Society


The 5th European Blues Expo will be held during the three days, Thursday thru Saturday. The exhibition will highlight various events organized by the EBU like the European Blues Challenge, the Blues Market, and other cultural activities associated with today’s lively European Blues scene. There will be a photo exhibition by European photographers Pertti Nurmi (Finland), Alain Hiot (France), Sylvie Bosc (France), Roser Blues (Spain), SKAttomaTTO (Italy), Charlie Hussey (Ireland), Aigars Lapsa (Latvia), Morten Gjerde (Norway), Carme Barrera (Spain), Fred Delforge (France), Christophe Losberger (Switzerland), Jean-Michel Rock’n’Blues (France), Roald Jungård (Norway), Monika Mansell (UK), John Bull (UK), Claudia Murgese (Italy), Yann Charles (France) and Álex Rodríquez Cruz (Spain).


Last year the EBU initiated a new award scheme, the Blues Behind The Scenes Awards, to recognize European individuals or organizations that have worked actively and devoted their life, making significant contributions to advance and support the blues in Europe. People whose name is not that well-known to the general public but who have always been there “behind the scenes” working seriously and with commitment and enthusiasm to promote the blues in various aspects are potential candidates to receive this award.

Three BBSA categories have been established:

- Media (magazines, on-line media, photographers, radio, researchers, writers...)

- Promoter (clubs, events, festivals, venues...)

- Production (agents, labels, managers, producers, publishers…)

EBU Active Members have first had the opportunity to propose candidates for the Awards and the Board has thereafter selected the final recipients by internal vote. The Awards will be presented during a short ceremony at the end of the second night of the Blues Challenge, just before communicating the EBC winners.




There are many hotels, B&B and agriturismo country houses close by Torrita di Siena, where you can relax in-between the blues festivities. We will organize, on request, transfers from your accommodation to the EBC, Blues Market and General Assembly venues. For different accommodation options you are kindly requested to visit the web page of our local organizer:, e-mail: You can book your accommodation through them at prices starting from 20 euros/night.


Please remember that only by booking through LETRIC you will get:
Special blues fares - The best prices in the area.
Blues shuttle - Dedicated transportation between accommodation location and different venues.
Assistance - A dedicated English speaking person to help in all your needs.
EBC tickets.

Please consult LETRIC e-mail for any requests or queries:



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(Torrita di Siena, Italia. 8 y 9 Abril 2016)

Los músicos españoles participantes en la sexta edición del European Blues Challenge EBC y que han sido elegidos por votación de los miembros del Consejo de Asesores son WAX & BOOGIE RHYTHM COMBO.

Mucha suerte para los WAX & BOOGIE RHYTHM COMBO que serán los reprsentantes españoles en la próxima edición del European Blues Challenge en Torita di Siena (Italia) los días 8 y 9 de abril de 2016 en el recinto del Indoor Sport Stadium en la Piazza Giovanni Falcone de Torrita di Siena

Wax & Boogie Rhythm Combo se inspiran en el boogie woogie de los años 30, el swing de los 40 y el rhythm & blues de los 50. Su increíble cantante Ster Wax está dotada de una voz poderosa inspirada en algunas de las grandes cantantes como Lavern Baker, Ruth Brown, o Big Maybelle, mientras que David Giorcelli al piano está reconocido como uno de los mas relevantes pianistas de blues y boogie a nivel europeo habiendo participado en innumerables festivales en Francia, Suiza o Polonia. Reginald Vilardell es un batería muy popular en los circuitos del blues españól y el contrabajista Oriol Fontanals es un joven musico que se ha unido recientemente a la banda. Toni Solà al saxo tenor añade la experiencia y el swing a este combo.
En escena estos cinco musicos crean un show de alto voltaje evocando a los grandes maestros del blues y el boogie así como en interesantes temas propios. Hasta la fecha han grabado dos álbums y están trabajando en el tercero.
Ster Wax: voz
David Giorcelli: piano
Toni Solà: tenor sax
Oriol Fontanals: contrabajo
Reginald Vilardell: drums 

(Torrita di Siena, Italy. 8 , 9 April 2016)

The Spanish band which will participate at the 6th European Blues Challenge and have been elected by the votes of the Adviser Council are WAX & BOOGIE RHYTHM COMBO-

Good luck to WAX & BOOGIE RHYTHM COMBO which will represent Spain at the European Blues Challenge that will take place in Torrita di Siena at the Indoor Sport Stadium en la Piazza Giovanni Falcone de Torrita di Siena 

Wax & Boogie Rhythm Combo, get their inspiration in 30′s boogie woogie, 40′s swing and 50′s rhythm ‘n’ blues. The amazing singer of the band, Ster Wax, has a powerful voice inspired by some wonderful female artists such as Lavern Baker, Ruth Brown and Big Maybelle, while on the piano, David ‘Boogie’ Giorcelli, is one of Europe’s most celebrated boogie woogie & blues pianist that has participated in many festivals in France, Switzerland and Poland. Reginald Vilardell is a very popular drummer in the Spanish blues scene and Oriol Fontanals on the upright bass is a young musician that has recently joined the band. And Toni Solà on the tenor sax adds his experience and swing to this rhythm and shakin' combo.
Those five musicians on scene create a high voltage show by evoking the great masters of the blues & boogie as well as offering their own songs on their repertoire. To date they have recorded two albums: ‘Lost in a Dream - Milano Blues Club Nights’ (2013), and ‘Everynight’ (2014).
Ster Wax: vocals
David Giorcelli: piano
Toni Solà: tenor sax
Oriol Fontanals: double bass
Reginald Vilardell: drums

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¡¡Con enorme satisfacción anunciamos que los vascos TRAVELLIN' BROTHERS han ganado el V European Blues Challenge celebrado en Bruselas el 13 y el 14 de marzo!!

Una actuación impecable, llena de garra y enorme feeling, un dominio total del escenario y una enorme profesionalidad que desde las primeras notas se metieron al público que abarrotaba la Sala Ancienne Brusseles en el bolsillo. Un premio merecido por su constancia, su progresión como artistas, sus ganas de agradar, su sencillez y sobre todo por ser unos grandes músicos y unas excelentes personas. ¡¡FELICIDADES!!

Es el segundo año consecutivo que España se alza como ganadora (el pasado año fueron los barceloneses A CONTRA BLUES los que se llevaron el gato al agua, lo que confirma el gran nivel del blues nacional. Desde aqui felicitar a los TRAVELLIN' BROTHERS, a los A CONTRA BLUES, pero también a todos cuantos cada año participan en la selección del grupo que anualmente representa a nuestro pais y también a todos los músicos que diariamente se esfuerzan y trabajan duro por mantener vivo el blues en España. Muchas gracias, compañeros!!



With great pleasure we announce Basque band TRAVELLIN' BROTHERS have won the V European Blues Challenge held in Brussels on 13 and 14 March!!

A faultless performance, full of a strong feeling, a total control on stage and a great professionalism caught the audience which crowded the Ancienne Belgique. A well-deserved award for their constant work, their progression as artists, their willing to please, their humility and, over all, for being great musicians and excellent people. ¡¡CONGRATULATIONS!!

It is the second consecutive year Spain stands as a winner (last year Barcelona band A CONTRA BLUES hit the nail, which confirms the high level of the national blues. From these lines we give our congratulations to TRAVELLIN' BROTHERS and A CONTRA BLUES, but also to all Spanish musicians and bands which every year participate in the selection process to represents our country and also to all musicians who daily work hard to keep the blues in Spain. Thank you, fellows!





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EUROPEAN BLUES CHALLENGE. Bruselas 12/14 Marzo 2015

Durante los días 12, 13 y 14 de marzo, Bruselas se ha convertido en la capital europea del blues, con la excelente organización por parte de la Sociedad de Blues de Bruselas y la European Blues Union de la quinta edición del European Blues Challenge y otros actos paralelos, de los que encontrareis información en esta misma página, como la European Blues Expo, el Belgian Blues Brunch, el Blues Market o la entrega de los Blues Behind The Scenes Awards.

Bruselas es la capital y ciudad más grande de Bélgica y la principal sede administrativa de la Unión Europea. Quizás es por ello que posee un ambiente muy internacional, con un sinfín de pequeños cafés, bares y restaurantes y unas tiendas con mucho encanto, además de una animada vida nocturna en el centro de la ciudad.

Para todos los aficionados al blues venidos de toda Europa y que ya, a partir del jueves, empezaron a llenar las calles más céntricas de la ciudad, la organización había ya preparado para esa noche una exhibición de grupos belgas de blues. Nada más entrar en la sala-teatro Ancienne Belgique, sede del European Blues Challenge, nos impresionó la comodidad y la belleza de la sala y pudimos ya disfrutar de un excelente aperitivo bluesero con grupos de gran calidad como Hideaway, Howlin’ Bill  (ganadores del primer EBC celebrado en Berlin) o Fred & The Healers, además de poder conocer a otras bandas de blues locales en algunos otros pequeños clubs de la ciudad.

El European Blues Challenge reunió este año a 19 participantes repartidos en 10 países la primera noche y 9 la segunda con una actuación de aproximadamente 20 minutos cada representante. Para mi se me hace cada vez más difícil poder seguir atentamente cada una de las actuaciones debido a otros compromisos organizativos, por lo que intentaré dar una visión global de cada noche del evento.

Es innegable el alto nivel de todos los participantes, con una calidad que año tras año va creciendo muchos enteros. Cada uno tenemos nuestros gustos personales, pero en conjunto hay que destacar la enorme profesionalidad y buen hacer de todos y cada uno de los artistas seleccionados para representar a cada país.

De la jornada del viernes destacaría la enorme técnica y feeling del rumano MARIUS DOBRA en una actuación llena de garra e intensidad.
También la ortodoxia en la interpretación del blues tejano y el poderoso slide de los croatas DELTA BLUES GANG con una buena puesta en escena a cargo de su vocalista Elizabeta Petric.
Muy destacable el gran dominio de la guitarra y la voz del jovencísimo artista británico LAURENCE JONES, que tiene un gran futuro por delante en el rock y el power blues.
Los alemanes JESSY MARTENS BAND nos sorprendieron muy gratamente ya que sonaron poderosos y muy empastados con un buen trabajo al órgano y una excelente aportación de su vocalista y lider de la banda Jessy Martens  
Sin duda una de las sorpresas de la noche fueron el dúo suizo THE TWO, con una actuación muy intimista pero llena de autenticidad y unas voces y unas guitarras perfectamente ensambladas junto a un repertorio variado y muy original.
Personalmente disfruté mucho de la actuación de los suecos LISA LYSTAM FAMILY BAND. Me gustó su repertorio ya que sin apartarse del clasicismo dieron a su música un toque muy actual, la voz y actitud de Lisa Lystam y en general toda la banda estuvieron a la altura de las circunstancias. Una buena banda para finalizar la primera noche del European Blues Challenge.

Delta Blues Gang (Croacia)                                                        The Leif de Leuuw Band (Holanda)

Laurence Jones (UK)

The Two (Suiza)                                                                                                                                          Lisa Lystam Family Band (Suecia)

No quisiera dejar de mencionar otro de los actos celebrados durante este fin de semana, el BLUES MARKET, una muestra del blues que se cuece en Europa. Radios, compañías de discos, festivales, promotores, revistas, asociaciones de blues, bandas y músicos de blues… muestran sus productos e intercambian información y contactos durante más de tres horas. El market está abierto a profesionales y público en general.

Si la jornada del viernes ya demostró el alto nivel cualitativo de los participantes, en la noche del sábado la calidad de todos los intérpretes brilló a gran altura. Tomados a vuelapluma y sin ánimo de realizar una extensa y exhaustiva crónica, destacaré únicamente los detalles que más me llamaron la atención de los participantes en esta segunda jornada.

Me gustó la autenticidad y las ganas de agradar de los luxemburgueses REMO CAVALLINI BAND.
Los artistas italianos siempre constituyen una agradable sorpresa y esta vez DAVE MORETTI BLUES REVUE tampoco nos defraudaron. Una excelente banda con un buen repertorio y un buen trabajo del guitarrista con un estilo muy tejano aunque, eso si, la voz de Dave tiene ese “tic” ronco y roto de tantos y tantos cantantes italianos y que ya se ha convertido en un sello distintivo de todos ellos.
De un gran nivel bluesero fue la intimista actuación de los austriacos HERMAN POSCH DUO. Por unos instantes nos pudimos sumergir en las raíces del auténtico blues rural muy bien interpretado por ambos músicos.
De los finlandeses MICKE BJORKLOF & BLUE STRIP me quedo con su fuerza, especialmente el buen trabajo vocal y la intensidad de su guitarrista que realizó un muy buen trabajo, especialmente al dobro, durante todo su set. Curioso también el trabajo de su batería que alternó con percusiones diversas que dieron originalidad a su música.
No puedo ser objetiva con los TRAVELLIN’ BROTHERS. Supieron meterse al público en el bolsillo, ya que desde las primeras notas de su actuación realizaron un show contagioso que sorprendió a todo el público. Quizás no sean los mejores músicos pero saben en todo momento conectar con la gente gracias a la entrega y simpatía que derrochan y a una puesta en escena estudiada hasta los últimos detalles. En mi opinión uno de los mejores grupos fueron los belgas DOGHOUSE SAM & HIS MAGNATONES. Clasicismo junto a un sonido actual, buen dominio del escenario y buena comunicación con el público, en una actuación llena de feeling que me atrapó totalmente. Debido a tener que estar en el backstage preparando la entrega de los premios Blues Behind The Scenes, no me fue posible visionar la actuación de los noruegos JT LAURITSEN & THE BUCKSHOT HUNTERS, aunque me cuentan que rayaron a gran altura.

Dave Moretti Blues Revue (Italia)                                                                                               Herman Posch Duo (Austria)

Travellin' Brothers (España)                                                         Jergus Oravek Trio (Polonia)

Doghouse Sam & His Magnatones (Bélgica)

Después de la entrega de los premios Blues Behind de Scenes y de unos minutos de suspense que IAN SIEGAL, presentador del evento se encargó de amenizar únicamente con su voz rota y su guitarra, se anunciaron los ganadores del V EUROPEAN BLUES CHALLENGE:


Tercer Premio:

Segundo Premio:

Primer Premio y Ganadores del EBC:

Felicidades a los ganadores, pero también a todos los participantes por su entrega, su profesionalidad y su alto nivel musical.  Nuevamente los españoles salimos ganadores y muy contentos, aunque esto suponga un auténtico reto para la próxima edición en Torrita (Italia).


Texto y Fotos: Roser Blues

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Durante el pasado European Blues Challenge celebrado en Bruselas los días 13 y 14 de marzo de 2015, La European Blues Union, entregó por primer vez los premios Blues Behind The Scenes, galardones que quieren rendir homenaje a las personas o organizaciones que han trabajado activamente, dedicado su vida y contribuido significativamente en la promoción del blues en Europa, cuyo nombre no es demasiado conocido por el gran público pero que han estado siempre entre bambalinas, “detrás de los escenarios”, realizando una labor seria, constante y entusiasta para promocionar el blues en todos sus aspectos. Para ello se han establecido tres categorías: MEDIA (revistas, medios on-line, fotógrafos, video, radio, escritores, estudiosos del blues...), PRODUCTION (agentes, sellos discográficos, managers, productores, publicistas…) y PROMOTERS (clubs, eventos, festivales, conciertos...)

El primer Blues Behind The Scenes otorgado en la categoría MEDIA recayó en JOAN VENTOSA de la Asociación Bad Music Blues, por la labor altruista en el blues realizada por dicha asociación sin ánimo de lucro en apoyo a la cultura, la publicación de libros, revistas o biografías sobre blues (Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson), la realización de un cd compilatorio en homenaje a Robert Johnson con artistas españoles, la grabación de vídeos y audios de forma gratuita como trabajo de documentación del blues en España, además de la realización durante unos años de un programa de radio Bad Music Blues y la elaboración de un DVD sobre blues en Barcelona, Barna Blues, impulsando el Fondo de Blues en la Biblioteca Tecla Sala de Hospitalet de Llobregat, además de la grabación desde su inicio y de forma desinteresada de todas las ediciones del European Blues Challenge.

El premio fue entregado a Joan Ventosa por Jean Guillermo, vice-presidente de la European Blues Union.




En la categoría PRODUCTION el premio recayó en ALFIE FALCKENBACH de Blues Avenue, Blues Boulevard por su incansable y eficaz labor en Music Avenue, empresa fundada hace más de 16 años y actualmente en Blues Boulevard, con un exhaustivo trabajo de marketing, distribución física y una red de ventas implantada en tres continentes y más de veinticinco países, además de su presencia a través de iTunes y otros importantes medios de distribución digital, junto a la realización de una activa promoción de envío por correo de un número considerable de copias físicas a contactos de medios de comunicación en todo el mundo, revistas y nuevos medios de comunicación.

El premio fue entregado a Alfie Falckenbach por Silvio Caldelari, miembro de la Junta Directiva de la European Blues Union.





En la categoría PROMOTORES el galardón fue para ROBERT MAURIES director del Festival de Blues de Cahors, por su intensa labor de transmitir su pasión por el blues a través de uno de los mejores festivales de blues en Francia (al que se unió cuando sólo tenía 8 años como voluntario), con la misión de hacer llegar el blues a las más grandes audiencias junto a la valiosa contribución de todos cuantos trabajan de forma voluntara en el festival, siguiendo los pasos del fundador y primer presidente del festival Geratd Tertre, además de dar también la oportunidad a que algunas personas puedan viajar al delta del Mississippi para conocer y estudiar la situación de los viejos bluesmen y música de blues en los Estados Unidos. Por haber recibido un Mississippi Blues Trail que señala los lugares importantes en la historia del blues otorgado por las autoridades gubernamentales de Misssissippi.

El premio fue entregado por Davide Grandi, miembro de la Junta Directiva de la European Blues Union.



Este año y de forma excepcional se entregó un Blues Behind the Scenes Outstanding Award para premiar una contribución destacada en el mundo del blues. El presidente de la European Blues Union, Thomas Ruf, hizo entrega de este galardón especial a JAY SIELEMAN, presidente de la Blues Foundation de Memphis (USA) que este año se retira del cargo, por su muy especial e incansable contribución en dar a conocer el blues en todos los rincones del mundo y especialmente por haber aconsejado y animado a los creadores de la European Blues Union a crear esta asociación.







Como coordinadora de estos premios, mi sincera felicitación a los ganadores que, cada uno en su categoría, realmente merecen. Para mi ha sido todo un honor poder implementar estos galardones.

Roser Blues



During the last European Blues Challenge that took place in Brussels on March 13th and 14th 20145, The European Blues Union (EBU) gave for the first time the Blues Behind The Scenes Awards.

The European Blues Union has has created the Blues Behind The Scenes Awards to recognize European individuals or organizations that have worked actively and devoted their life, making significant contributions to advance and support the blues in Europe. Individual people, organizations, record labels, media, promoters, managers, writers, blues researchers… Everyone whose name is not usually well known to the general public but have always been there “behind the scenes” working seriously and with commitment and enthusiasm to promote the blues in various aspects.

Three BBSA categories have been established: Media (magazines, on-line media, photographers, radio, researchers, writers...). Production (agents, labels, managers, producers, publishers), Promoters (clubs, events, festivals, venues...). And this first year they have also given an special Outstandig Contribution Award.

The first BBS Award in MEDIA category was given to JOAN VENTOSA of Bad Music blues for his altruistic work for blues creating the non lucrative association Bad Music Blues to support blues as culture, publishing books about blues, biographic magazines (Muddy Waters and Robert Johnson), a compilatory CD with Spanish artists to tribute Robert Johnson, etc, and also for recording videos and audios with his team to document the blues in Catalonia and Spain for free. For conducting a radio show Bad Music Blues for some years and producing a DVD about blues in Barcelona, Barna Blues with Bad Music Blues team which also impulses and publishes a Blues Annuary in Spain and for being one of the initiators of the Blues Founds of Tecla Sala Library at Hospitalet de Llobregat. For recording for free all editions of the European Blues Challenge.

Jean Guillermo, vice-president of the EBU deliveredthe trophy to Joan Ventosa





In PRODUCTION Category the BBS Award was given to ALFIE FALCKENBACH of Music Avenue / Blues Boulevard, for his tireless and efficient production work in Music Avenue founded 16 years ago and Blues Boulevard, with a marketing, distribution and physical sales network covering three continents, and more than twenty-five countries around globe, as well as being present on iTunes and other major digital distribution sites. For the active promotion by mailing physical copies to a substantial number of media contacts around the world and advertises in relevant magazines and new media.

Board member Silvio Caldelari delivered the trophy to Alfie Falckenbach.

In PROMOTION Category the BBS Award was given to ROBERT MAURIES of Cahors Blues Festival, for his strong work to transmit his passion through the eldest Blues Festival in France (he joined it since 8 years as volunteer) to a maximum of people following the traces of founder and president Geratd Tertre together with the priceless contribution of all volunteers, also giving the opportunity to some people to travel to Mississippi delta to study the situation of bluesmen and blues music in the USA and receiving a Mississippi blues trail Marker from Mississippi Government authority.

Board member Davide Grandi delivered the trophy to Robert Mauries





This year and as an exceptional thing there was also delivered a Blues Behind The Scenes Outstanding Award to reward an outstanding contribution in the blues world. The president of the European Union Blues, Thomas Ruf, delivered this special award to Jay Sieleman, president of the Blues Foundation in Memphis (USA) who this year retires from his post, for his very special and tireless contribution to keep the blues alive all over the world and especially for the encouragement and advice the people who one day decided to create the European Union Blues association.

As coordinator of these awards, I want to give my sincere congratulations to the winners. Each one really deserves them. For me it has been an honour to be in charge of these first awards.

Roser Blues

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La 3ª edición de la Exposición de Blues Europeo se ha inaugurado en Les Halles Saint Géry, Bruselas (Bélgica), desde el 4 marzo hasta el 27 de abril de 2015. La exposición muestra las diversas actividades organizadas por la European Blues Union, como el European Blues Challenge y otros eventos culturales relacionados con la cada vez más activa escena del blues europeo. La exposición cuenta con una variada muestra de fotografías de fotógrafos internacionales como Pertti Nurmi (Finlandia), Alain Hiot (Francia), Sylvie Bosc (Francia), Roser Blues (España), SKAttomaTTO (Italia), Charlie Hussey (Irlanda), Aigars Lapsa (Letonia), Morten Gjerde (Noruega), Carme Barrera (España), Fred Delforge (Francia), Christophe Losberger (Suiza), Jean-Michel Rock'n'Blues (Francia) y Roald Jungård (Noruega). También incluye las grabaciones realizadas en las pasadas ediciones del European Blues Challenge (Berlín, Toulouse y Riga, 2011-14) por Bad Music Blues de Barcelona (España).  La exposición ha contado con el soporte de la European Blues Union y la Sociedad de Blues de Bruselas.

Además los visitantes de la Expo, han podido también disfrutar de otra fantástica exposición fotográfica de Pertti Nurmi, miembro de la Junta Directiva de la EBU. En la década de los 80 Pertti Nurmi fue el editor de la legendaria revista Finnish Blues. Tras más de 40 años como fotógrafo de blues, Pertti posee un increíble archivo fotográfico reconocido internacionalmente. Cientos de sus fotografías han sido publicadas en la revista Finnish Blues News, así como en otras revistas, y su fotografías han sido expuestas en ciudades como Nueva York o Hollywood. En 2015 Pertti Nurmi recibió el prestigioso premio Keeping The Blues Alive otorgado por la Blues Foundation de Memphis en la categoría "arte y fotografía".

La European Blues Union Expo realizada en Les Halles Saint Géry en Bruselas ha contado también con una muestra de fotografías de blues cedidas por el fotógrafo Aigars Lapsa y la Baltic Blues Society (Eutin, Alemania). En 2010 decidieron crear una exposición con fotografías autografiadas por los propios artistas. En el transcurso de los años Aigars Lapsa ha capturado los más bellos e intensos momentos de artistas tocando en directo. Algars posee una impresionante colección de retratos artistas de blues de todo el mundo y actualmente es un reconocido fotógrafo letón, siendo el primer fotógrafo europeo que recibió en 2012 el premio Keeping The Blues Award de la Blues Foundation de Memphis.

4 MARCH – 27 APRIL, 2015
Place Saint-Géry 1
(Entrada libre)


The 3rd edition of the European Blues Expo has been held in Les Halles St.-Géry, Brussels (Belgium), from March 4th until April 27th 2015. The exhibition showcases the various activities organized by the European Blues Union like the European Blues Challenge (EBC), the Blues Market, and other cultural events associated with today’s lively European Blues scene. There has been a photo exhibition by international photographers, Pertti Nurmi (Finland), Alain Hiot (France), Sylvie Bosc (France), Roser Blues (Spain), SKAttomaTTO (Italy), Charlie Hussey (Ireland), Aigars Lapsa (Latvia), Morten Gjerde (Norway), Carme Barrera (Spain), Fred Delforge (France), Christophe Losberger (Switzerland), Jean-Michel Rock’n’Blues (France) and Roald Jungård (Norway). Film footage recorded during the four past editions of the European Blues Challenge (Berlin, Toulouse and Riga, 2011-14) has been provided by Bad Music Blues from Barcelona (Spain). The event is supported by the European Blues Union and Brussels Blues Society.

All Expo visitors have also enjoyed another fantastic photo exhibition by Pertti Nurmi, Board member of the EBU. Pertti was the editor-in-chief of the legendary Finnish Blues News magazine for almost a decade in the 1980’s. After 40+ years of blues photography, Pertti’s photo archives are unique even internationally. Hundreds of Pertti’s shots have been published in the Finnish Blues News and other magazines, and his photography artwork has been on display e.g. in New York City and in Hollywood. Pertti is this year’s recipient of the prestigious Keeping the Blues Alive (KBA) Award in category “Art and Photography”

A sample of blues photographs provided by Aigars Lapsa and Baltic Blues Society (Eutin, Germany) has also been exhibited at Les Halles St.-Géry. In 2010 they decided to create an outstanding exhibition with originally signed photos. Over the years Aigars Lapsa captured the most beautiful and intense moments by live performers that were not specially posing. He has and impressive collection of portraits of Blues artists from all over the world. Aigars Lapsa is an international awarded Latvian photographer and was the first European photographer to receive the Keeping the Blues Award by the Blues Foundation for “Photography” in 2012.

4 MARCH – 27 APRIL, 2015
Place Saint-Géry 1
(Free Entrance)



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Firstly, on 11 to 12 April, 2014, Riga will become a place for "European Blues Challenge” competition which is rather an important event on European scale. Secondly, on 31 July, the president of European Blues Union Thomas Ruf arrived to Riga for one day, he also organizes the competition. Ruf is also the manager of one of the biggest European blues music record labels "Ruf Records”. Clearly, our conversation went on about (and around) the good new-old blues!

Tom Ruf- Foto by Kaspar Garda

"European Blues Challenge” will be held in Riga, in 2014. How did you reached the idea of organizing the event in Latvia?

2014 is a great year for Riga, many cultural events will take place in there focused towards Europe. We have found good promotion partners in Riga, they will help "European Blues Challenge” to happen the best possible way.

You are the president of European Blues Union. What is your daily work routine?

I call myself the main European Blues Union mule who pulls all the weight himself. It's a voluntary work, bringing the good work to community.

So, you're the best candidate who could tell more about "European Blues Challenge”!

We started three years ago with the idea to support European blues artists and new talents. Currently, American artists dominate in this genre, so we try to promote Europeans. For instance, Latvian blues band might find it hard to organize a gig in France, Norway or France, but for Americans it's pretty easy. We try to take down the borders in people's minds in order to make the music market broader.

The strongest argument must be that the origin of blues is in America.

Tom Ruf- Foto by Kaspar Garda

It is the strongest argument - only American blues can be considered authentic. At the same time we want to tell people that European blues is a new form of blues, no less important. We don't have to hide as it was some second class.

How deep is the stereotype that black blues musicians are better than the white ones? We are not speaking about racism, but the attitude itself towards blues genre.

(Hiding under his shirt.) It had to end a long ago! In 1970ies, Muddy Waters turned his head when he was asked about the same issue. White musicians also played in his band. Muddy Waters supported "The Rolling Stones”. This stereotype should be striked out from people's minds.

Tom Ruf- Foto by Kaspar Garda

No doubt, it will happen some day. In the end, blues music is when a good man feels sadness.

Yes, that is blues. Everyone may experience hard times. It's emotions.

Let's continue about "European Blues Challenge”.

So, it will be the fourth event in Riga. First two were held in Berlin, Germany, the third one in France, now it's time for Latvia. We have 20 member countries, every member organizes the national competition, and the winner goes to "European Blues Challenge”. Those are great 20 bands from 20 countries.

The concept looks similar to „Eurovision” song contest. Maybe you should call it "Bluesovision”?

"Bluesovision”! What a name!!

Normunds Kalniņš, the chairman of the board of Latvian Blues Society Support (also a member of EBU) and organizer of Sigulda Blues Fest, joins the conversation. Besides, the affinity might be that "European Blues Challenge” will be webcasted online. And in this case, we are talking about show business, not only musical skills.

T.R. We have four criterions when judging the bands: vocal talent, instrumental talent, ability to represent themselves on a stage and originality. The latter mostly is related to musical material if the band performs only covers or has their own pieces. So, we decide if those songs are good, if every piece is composed by one pattern, if musicians are able to vary within their style.

Normunds Kalnins & Tom Ruf- Foto by Kaspar Garda

What are the musical borders that are defined at the competition? Do musicians cover blues rock, blues folk, blues-something?

Blues rock, blues jazz, pretty much everything they like. But music has to be based on blues roots.

What about blues dubstep?

Blues dubstep! Everyone is invited to create something new, that would be original.

Actually, I have heard blues dubstep, it was classic piano blues with a rumbling, roaring electronica basics. Such kind of experiments are allowed at "European Blues Challenge”, or you prefer so called "live” bands?

We had one French band, they played together with DJ mixing hiphop and blues. The band is called "Scarecrow”. They performed with guitars, drums, vocals, vinyl player or turntable... Everything is possible.

It's a nice message to new talents, blues is not only for old people!

Yes, exactly. Blues is not only for old people or slow dance. It's a whole genre with lots of vitality, energy and experiments.
I think blues is very popular in various generations and social groups because emotions dominate. It's not about the fact that you play your guitar fast enough or can perform a complicated song. It's emotions on the stage that matters.

How did you came down to blues and decided to start "Ruf Records”?

I don't think I chose blues. It chose me. It happens that way. As a teenager, I worked some social work, we organized gigs with a youth club. One of the first musicians I met was a bluesman from Chicago, Luther Allison. I left my hometown and went on a tour with them. I learned a lot, and that's how I got into music business.

Can you consider blues record lable a real business? Can you make money from it?

We started in 1994 with the records of Luther Allison. I continued to work with American and British artists. We have only few European musicians. In that form it works out.

Still, you follow the same stereotypes you named before!

I don't deny it. The record label works around the world, so it's hard to offer European musicians in a world market. But I managed to do that. For instance, Ana Popovic, a girl from Serbia who broke out in USA. I also work with Finnish and Austrian girls, but it's realy hard from a business perspective.

As a record label, you release CDs/vinyl or prefer the digital way?

Both. We sign a contract with the artist, produce the music and then sell it any possible form.

Which records are sold the best?

The digital side continues to grow, but our main listeners are middle-aged people who prefer a physical record format. They are record collectors. Digital record sales are only 20 percent. 10 percent are record sales at the concert venues, but the rest is CDs and vinyl at the music retailers.

It has come in fashion to record in vinyls, but it's often just a form without a content. Digital records are released in vinyl, therefore the idea of vinyl saving better quality of some analogue record dissapears. What studios do you use for your artists?

I personally prefer vinyl, but sometimes we are not able to use analogue master copies. Still, analogue records are being made, and there are studios where you can do that.

Tom Ruf- Foto by Kaspar Garda

We have our local rockabilly king Pits Andersons, he just recorded his album in the analogue studio, in Berlin, and will release a vinyl single. It seems that analogue records suit rockabilly genre the most.

I definitely want to know which studio he used. Maybe I can take it for my artists. If it is good for rockabilly, maybe it would suit for blues!

We will find that out and send the name to you. Who is the blues king at your company?

It's hard to name one. Because someone might get offended. But there is a band who uses the king's crown in their image with reason. I am together with them on a tour and I only came to Riga for one day in order to see the places we could organize "European Blues Challenge”. The band is called "Royal Southern Brotherhood” where literally royal blues family members have united. One family is "The Allman Brothers” and the other is "The Neville Brothers” from Georgia and New Orleans, Louisiana respectively. Gregg Allman's son Devon Allman and the youngest Neville's brother Cyril Neville are in this band.

It's realy royal!

Yes, a real royal court of blues and rock'n'roll!

You work with such legendary musicians as "Canned Heat”.

Yes, I work with them for many years. Fito de la Parra is totally crazy and he still is an absolute boogie music spirit.
"Canned Heat” will celebrate its 50th anniversary next year. Fito told: "I will not advertise! What is it? 50 years on a boogie stage? It makes me old!”
It's wonderful that younger folks still listen to those old men. It means that blues has a future.

N.K. We noticed many young listeners at Sigulda Blues Fest, as well. It made us think of new promoting options.

By the way, which is the most popular German blues band?

T.R. To be honest, I can't really talk about German blues bands, because I know more about Finnish or even Latvian artists. For instance, you have the great "Latvian Blues Band”. The most recognized German band might be "B.B. and the Blues Shacks”. They are on European tour right now and are doing very well. I can't tell who will represent Germany at "European Blues Challenge”, because our national contest will be held in October.

Does European Blues Union continues to grow, new members are joining?

Yes, it continues to grow, I am glad about that, no doubt. But it still has no Estonian or Lithuanian representatives!

N.K. We have started negotiations with Estonians, I think, they might join soon. In such small countries, blues is mainly concentrated in one or few people's hands. So it depends on them. If they wish to create their blues foundation in order to join EBU.

Thomas, can you name the leading blues country in Europe? Germany? Great Britain?

Great Britain is definitely one of the leaders if not the first one. They had the blues boom in the 1960ies. "American Folk Blues Festival” was quite popular in Germany during the 1960ies, it was American musicians' union who toured in Europe. Scandinavia also has a great blues history. Now it's time for Latvia!

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Biblioteca Tecla Sala (Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona)

Entre el 19 de septiembre y 31 de octubre 2013 tendrá lugar la primera European Blues Expo en la Biblioteca Tecla Sala de Hospitalet de Llobregat (Barcelona). Tecla Sala, que es la sede oficial del fondo documental de la European Blues Union así como de la Sociedad de Blues de Barcelona, ofrecerá esta exposición para ilustrar las actividades organizadas por la European Blues Union. Los artistas que han cedido sus fotografías para tal fin son Pertti Nurmi (Finlandia), Alain Hiot (Francia), Sylvie Bosc (Francia), Fred Delforge (Francia), Roser I. Valls (España), SKAttomaTTO (Italia) y Charlie Hussey (Irlanda). Todo el material audiovisual que se expondrá está cedido por Bad Music Blues TV que han grabado las tres ediciones del European Blues Challenge y han realizado diversos programas especiales al respecto. La Biblioteca Tecla Sala cuenta con el apoyo logístico del Ayuntamiento de Hospitalet de Llobregat, y se espera la presencia de su alcaldesa, la Sra. Núria Marín, para asistir a los actos de inauguración de la European Blues Expo el 19 de septiembre a las 19.00 h, así como miembros de la European Blues Union. El acto estará amenizado con la actuación de Cotton Roots (Johnny Pérez, guitarra, voz y Little Jordi armónica).

Fondo de Blues / Blues Documentos Unión Europea
Director: Sr. Pedro Bravo
Avda. Josep Tarradellas, 44. 08901 LHospitalet de Llobregat. Barcelona (España)
Tel.: 00.03.4932602484 

Alain Hiot (França)
Sylvie Bosc (França)
Pertti Nurmi (Finlàndia)
Roser I.Valls (Espanya)
Charlie Hussey (Irlanda)
Fred Delforge (França)
SKAttomaTTO (Itàlia)
Bad Music Blues

La EUROPEAN BLUES UNION (EBU) es una alianza de profesionales de Blues de toda Europa que han decidido unir sus esfuerzos en la promoción de esta música formando una red europea. Para ello, la EBU organiza el concurso europeo de Blues -el European Blues Challenge- y el Blues Market donde todos los miembros asociados pueden compartir contenidos y encontrar fórmulas de cooperación. En la actualidad hay 27 países que constituyen la EBU: Austria, Bélgica, Bulgaria, Croacia, República Checa, Dinamarca, Finlandia, Francia, Alemania, Grecia, Hungría, Irlanda, Italia, Letonia, Luxemburgo, Holanda, Noruega, Polonia, Portugal, Rumania, Rusia, Eslovaquia, Eslovenia, España, Suecia, Suiza y Reino Unido. Toda la información sobre la EBU en
(Texto. Montserrat Pratdesaba)

Tecla Sala Public Library (Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona - Spain)

Between September 19 and October 31, 2013 will take place the first European Blues Expo at Tecla Sala Library in Hospitalet de Llobregat (Barcelona). Tecla Sala Library is the official home of the European Blues Union Archives and has a Blues Documentary Fund, promoted by Barcelona Blues Society. The exhibition aim is to illustrate the activities organized by the European Blues Union such as the European Blues Challenge and the Blues Market. Artists who have given their photographs for this event are Pertti Nurmi (Finland), Alain Hiot (France), Sylvie Bosc (France), Fred Delforge (France), Roser I. Valls (Spain), SKAttomaTTO (Italia) and Charlie Hussey (Ireland)- All the audiovisual material that will be shown comes from Bad Music Blues TV who have recorded the three editions of the European Blues Challenge and have made special TV programs and radio shows about them. Tecla Sala Library has the logistical support of the Municipality of Hospitalet de Llobregat, and the Mayor, Ms. Núria Marín is expected to attend the opening event of the European Blues Expo in September 19 at 19.00. together with some members of the European Bues Union Board. Sme live blues music will be provided by Cotton Roots (Johnny Pérez, guitar, vocals and Little Jordi, harmonica).
Everybody is invited to come to the opening event and visit it!
(Text by Montserrat Pratdesaba)

Fondo de Blues / Blues Documentos Unión Europea
AvDA. Josep Tarradellas, 44.
08901 L’Hospitalet de Llobregat. Barcelona (Spain)
Tel.: 00.03.4932602484 

Alain Hiot (França)
Sylvie Bosc (França)
Pertti Nurmi (Finlàndia)
Roser I.Valls (Espanya)
Charlie Hussey (Irlanda)
Fred Delforge (França)
SKAttomaTTO (Itàlia)
Bad Music Blues

The European Blues Union is a non-profit organisation which gathers professional and blues lovers around Europe who have joined forces to promote blues creating an European blues net. Among other promotional actions. the EBU organizes the annual European Blues Challenge or Blues Market where all members can share experiences, contacts or stablish cooperation links. The EBU has now 27 associated countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland an United Kingdom. All related information at
(Texto. Montserrat Pratdesaba)

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2014 European Blues Challenge, GA & Blues Market (Riga)

2013 European Blues Challenge, GA & Blues Market (Toulouse)


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Estatutos de la European Blues Union
(Resumen realizado por Big Mama según información de Jorden Wouters)

Gracias a la iniciativa de una serie de personas implicadas en el blues en diferentes países de Europa, surgió la idea de la creación de la European Blues Union, una asociación sin ánimo de lucro cuya finalidad es la promoción del blues a nivel europeo. A continuación se incluye un resumen de los estatutos de la asociación. Mas información en la web de la EBU

- Conveniencia de establecer un marco legal que dote de entidad y rigor a la EBU.

- Naturaleza de la EBU: ser una asociación sin ánimo de lucro que promueva el Blues europeo en todo el mundo, en particular en Europa, cooperando entre festivales, promotoras, entidades, discográficas, artistas, medios  especializados, expertos en la materia,  impulsando la difusión del Blues a todos los niveles, apoyando proyectos educativos para las escuelas, intercambiando ideas o experiencias, consiguiendo el soporte de las autoridades, creando premios o eventos relacionados con el blues, captando nuevos miembros en la EBU, etc

- Miembros. Pueden ser de tres tipos: Activos, Asociados y Honorarios.

MIEMBROS ACTIVOS: Tendrán derecho a voto en la Asamblea General y suscribirán los estatutos. Pagarán una cuota anual que se fijará en la Asamblea General y que no podrá superar los 500 euros, según fija la ley belga. Podrán acceder a ser miembro activo las asociaciones registradas, las empresas legalmente constituidas o los individuos que tengan algo que ver con el Blues & Roots. Si un miembro activo no paga la cuota en el término de un año dejará de serlo. Los votos serán de 1 miembro = 1 voto.

MIEMBROS ASOCIADOS: No tendrán derecho a voto en la Asamblea General pero podrán asistir como oyentes. Pagarán una cuota anual inferior a la de los miembros activos que se fijará en la Asamblea General. Al igual que los miembros activos, serán afiliados a la EBU y podrán acceder y beneficiarse de las actividades de la EBU así como tener un espacio propio en la web, con blog individual para difundir su obra y/o actividad profesional.

MIEMBROS HONORÍFICOS: Serán designados por la EBU y no pagarán ninguna cuota. No tendrán derecho a voto en la Asamblea General y podrán asistir como oyentes. Podrán beneficiarse de las ventajas de ser de la EBU cómo si estuvieran afiliados.

- Requisitos para ser MIEMBRO ACTIVO.

a) Ser músico de blues (Blues & Roots) en el propio país o en el extranjero.

b) Ser organizador de un festival, promotor de conciertos, representante artístico, realizar un programa de radio y/o de televisión, una web, revista en papel o en soporte digital cuya actividad se base en el blues (Blues & Roots)

c) Ser aficionado al blues (Blues & Roots) y estar bien informado del ambiente musical de esta música en su propio país, o disponer de materiales o información sobre músicos, compositores, locales, radios, festivales, etc., de blues (Blues & Roots) en el propio país.

- Obligaciones administrativas de la EBU.

a) Disponer de un número fiscal (V.A.T.) en Bélgica

b) Llevar una contabilidad.

c) Dar cuenta anual en la Asamblea General del "financial rapport", detallando los ingresos y los gastos.

d) Pagar los impuestos pertinentes en Bélgica.

- Organigrama.

a) La Asamblea General de la EBU se celebrará una vez al año, pero se podrá convocar a petición del 20% de los miembros activos.

b) Se elegirán: Presidente/a, Tesorero/a y Secretario/a General de la EBU mediante votación en la Asamblea General anual.

c) Los elegidos como Presidente/a, Tesorero/a y Secretario/a General de la EBU podrán delegar poderes ejecutivos a un "board" o equipo de miembros activos también consensuados en la Asamblea General.

- Los Estatutos de la EBU se aprobaron en la Asamblea General Constitutiva que se celebró en Berlín entre los días 18 y 19 de marzo de 2011.

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Pagina Principal/Home
El Programa de Radio/The Blues Radio Show - La Programación/Playlist - Novedades Cds/Cds Received - Criticas de Discos/Actual Cd Reviews - Criticas Discos Antiguas/Old Cds Reviews - Reconocimientos/Show Aknowledgements - Links de Interés/Logo Links - Posters Blueseros/Blues Posters

Quien es Zúmel/Who is Zumel - Las Fotos/Blues Gallery - La "Harmonica Zúmel Blues Band"/The late "Harmonica Zúmel Blues Band" - La Sociedad de Blues de Barcelona S.B.B/Barcelona Blues Society SBB

Los Conciertos de Blues/Blues Gigs Calendar - Las Noticias Nacionales/Spanish Blues News - Los Artículos/Articles -
Colaboraciones/Contributions - El Diccionario de Blues - Las Entrevistas/The Interviews

Las Noticias Internacionales/International Blues News - Articulos Internacionales/International Articles - Entrevistas desde USA/USA Interviews