The original Ann Arbor Blues Festival is widely recognized as the first “electric” blues festival in North America, which, in its early years, featured perhaps the greatest lineup of heritage blues musicians ever assembled – including B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Freddie King, Big Mama Thornton, Luther Allison and many others. Expanded in 1972, and renamed the Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz Festival, it quickly became one of the Midwest’s most popular music festivals, playing host to superstars like Ray Charles, Al Green, Miles Davis, Dr. John, Koko Taylor, Etta James and more.
The 2018 Ann Arbor Blues Festival will be Friday August 17 and Saturday August 18 at the Washtenaw Farm Council Fairgrounds, 5055 Ann Arbor-Saline Rd, Ann Arbor, and Sunday, August 19th at the Blind Pig, 208 1st St, Ann Arbor.
The Ann Arbor Blues Festival has always transcended any particular headliner and attracted fans through the vibe of the overall event. It is always all about the Blues. That same ethos informs the current edition of the festival. The artists performing in 2018 have received innumerable honors throughout their careers, including more than 20 Grammy nominations, collectively, and have won dozens of Blues Music Awards.
In addition to attracting the best talent in the blues world, a core mission of the Ann Arbor Blues Festival is to honor the Chicago-style blues roots of the original fest, while keeping a keen eye toward the future of the genre. To that end, this year’s festival features a diverse mix of blues musicians, including contemporary blues artists, bands that performed at the original festivals, plus up-and-coming blues musicians that are generating huge buzz, like 17-year old guitar prodigy Jake Kershaw.
Friday, Aug. 17, 2018 (Gates Open at 5 pm; Show at 6 pm)
The Bob Margolin Trio
Saturday, Aug. 18, 2018 (Gates Open at 11 am; Show at noon)
Nora Jean Bruso
John Sinclair and the Blues Scholars with special guest Don Was
Sunday afternoon Aug. 19 at the Blind Pig
Visit the Ann Arbor Blues Festival website for more information and to purchase advance tickets www.a2bluesfestival.com