International Headliners Announced for 7th Taiwan Blues Bash, 20-21 November
The 7th edition of the Taiwan Blues Bash will be held this year on 20-21 November. As usual, the bash features several international blues artists, along with several regional blues musicians and a host of local blues bands from around Taiwan. Traditionally staged at the Dream Community Centre in Shijr in Taipei, it is sponsored by the Blues Society on Taiwan, which is an affiliate of the Blues Foundation in the US.
This year there are four international headliners.
The Blues Bash has pulled off a coup by signing up guitarist Teddy Kumpel. Kumpel has just shared an Emmy Award for “Best Musical Score for a Miniseries” starring Clare Danes for his work as guitarist. He is a major fixture in the New York City recording and indie rock scene, as player, recording/mixing engineer and producer. Teddy will bring to Taipei his array of effects pedals — he is widely known as the master of effects, especially building multi-textured loops. His musical tastes are not defined by genre. Rather he is drawn to improvisational music in all its forms. But at the core, he has strong blues sensibilities.
Composer Alex Wurman, who wrote the EMMY award-winning score, as well as the sound track to “March of the Penguins,” describes Kumpel:
“Teddy Kumpel is an irreplaceable part of the New York music community. He has his own unmistakable voice as a guitarist, singer, engineer, and producer and is as flexible and experienced a musician as I’ve ever seen. He’s really kind of a freak; full of ideas but with a ton of patience and clarity.”
Colorful blues drummer and veteran of the infamous Chitlin’ Circuit, Mick Kilgos, for many years, called Key West, Florida, his home. Not only was he a musical mainstay there, he was also something of a culinary wizard, especially with Cajun cooking. He is certainly the only blues drummer with in own line of beans: Mick’s Original Key West Caribe Beans.
A couple of years ago, Kilgos moved to the San Francisco Bay Area where he has quickly earned a spot as one of the top drummers in the region. He has served as drummer with Mark Hummel and the Blues Survivors, and he has played with many of the blues greats in the Bay Area.
His website carries a slogan that tells you a lot about his perspective on music: “He who controls rhythm… controls.”
SHRIMP CITY SLIM
Shrimp City Slim — Gary Erwin in everyday life — was born in Chicago in 1953, but he has established his blues identity in Charleston, SC, USA. As a musician, Shrimp City does it all: he performs as a soloist on keyboards and vocals and fronts an electric blues band, performing all over the southeastern US. He has toured extensively in Europe and Asia. Since 1986, he has been producing various blues festivals in several locations. For many years, he hosted a popular blues radio program broadcast on National Public Radio. He is undoubtedly, with his multiplicity of actvities, one of the busiest bluesmen in the US.
What distinguishes a Shrimp City performance is his audience interaction. He’s been known to invent blues lyrics right on the spot, celebrating an audience member’s birthday, anniversary, promotion, hole-in-one — whatever event that prompts a request. His music, in addition to its deep blues roots, displays a keen sense of humor. He is a true blues entertainer.
KEN “SNOWMAN” MINAHAN
Back in mid-2001, Ken took a vacation in Pattaya, Thailand, that changed his life. Ken’s a bonafide blues guitar slinger, hailing from Chicago. In Pattaya, he discovered a blues club and asked to sit in. Before his vacation was over, he had been offered a full-time job as music director at The Blues Factory <http://www.thebluesfactorypattaya.com/>, one of the few clubs in Asia with live blues six nights a week. Ken hurried home and sold everything and was back in Pattaya within months. He’s become one of the true blues stars in Southeast Asia
Ken has a long and distinguished musical history, dating back to the mid-1960′s. In 1992, he not only won the Blues Boundation’s International Blues Competition (IBC) with his blues duo ’The Snowman and Piano Bob’, he won the prestigious ‘B.B.King ‘Lucille’ Award’ for being the best guitarist in the IBC competition – an almost unheard of hat trick’. He was subsequently asked to play at the W.C.Handy Awards where he was presented the Award by the Memphis Horns. Snowman is deeply knowledgeable about blues history and, at one point, taught blues history at the University of Miami.
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