Vicksburg Blues Challenge Sunday at Ameristar

Published 7:00 pm Saturday, September 29, 2018

The Vicksburg Blues Society will present the Vicksburg Blues Challenge 2018, a regional preliminary competition sanctioned by The Blues Foundation, Sunday on stage at the Bottleneck Blues Bar at the Ameristar Casino, 4116 Washington St.

The event is open to the public age 21 and older, and admission is free.

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“We’re excited to find the act that will continue our legacy at the International Blues Challenge,” Blues Society president Shirley Waring said. “We’re looking for someone who’s ready to step up to the international stage.”

The winners of the Vicksburg Blues Society challenge have had a presence at the IBC, placing in the finals the last six years in a row and winning top honors twice. VBS IBC winners Mr. Sipp in 2014, and Eddie Cotton in 2015, have propelled their careers to becoming major international stars.

This year’s competition will showcase six band acts and three solo/duo acts. Each band act will perform a 25-minute set, and the solo/duo acts will each perform a 20- minute set. A panel of four judges from a field of industry professionals will score the acts based on official criteria established by The Blues Foundation.

After the competition, during the deliberation and scoring by the judges, Cotton will lead an all-star jam.

Winners in each division will advance to represent the Vicksburg Blues Society at the International Blues Challenge 2019 Jan. 22-26 in Memphis, Tennessee.

The IBC is the world’s largest blues competition and attracts more than 850 musicians and thousands of fans from across the nation and around the world. Winning the right to compete in the IBC is revered as the performance of a lifetime.