Keeping the Blues Alive Awards

The Keeping the Blues Alive Awards recognize the significant contributions to Blues music made by the people behind the scenes. Each is selected on the basis of merit by a select panel of Blues professionals. Each year, The Blues Foundation presents the Keeping the Blues Alive (KBA) Awards to individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to the Blues world. The event brings together Blues performers, industry representatives and fans from all over the world to celebrate the best in Blues recordings and performances from the previous year.

The Telluride Blues & Brews Festival was honored with The Blues Foundation's 2009 Keeping the Blues Alive (KBA) Award on, Saturday, February 7, 2009 in Memphis Tennessee. Noted educator, author, journalist, and KBA Chairman Art Tipaldi notes "the KBA may be awarded for the recipient's work in the past year but most often reflects a lifetime of work; we don't view the recipient as the winner of a 'best of the year' category. Consistent with this philosophy, the committee generally refrains from awarding the KBA to an individual or organization more than once. Rather, we select a new deserving winner each year, except in rare cases when a significant period of time has elapsed since the first award."

Celebrating 20 years this past September, the Telluride Blues & Brews Festival has become a mainstay of music festivals in America. B.B. King was quoted saying, “Out of the 90 different countries I’ve been to, I’ve never seen anything more beautiful than what you have here.” With the Rocky Mountains as the stage backdrop, the King of the Blues is absolutely right. "I feel very honored to be recognized by a group of my musical peers", says Steve Gumble, Founder of the Telluride Blues & Brews Festival. "I am fortunate to be able to book music for the festival in a manner that appeals to both young and old. That, in an of itself, helps to keep the blues alive".

Marcus Smith2013