Toronto Blues Society | » January 2022 – Loose Blues News

January 2022 – Loose Blues News

Published January 4, 2022 in Loose Blues News, News

Pioneering Canadian blueswomen honoured: On December 17, Canada’s “First Lady of the Blues,” Salome Bey was posthumously inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame. Jackie Richardson, who was chosen to honour Salome was herself just invested into the Order of Canada for “…distinguished service in or to a particular community, group or field of activity.”  Both women have been an inspiration to a whole new generation of young female singers who are making their mark on the Canadian (and international) blues scene.

Radio Waves:  Good news, bad news on the local radio scene., an online station that surfaced when had a mini-mutiny, will cease operation at the end of the year. Kudos to Dani Elwell, Garvia Bailey and many others who breathed life into it – including our own Raoul Bhaneja who hosted a terrific blues show.  Dani Elwell writes, “ When Raoul Bhaneja and Jesse Whiteley came to visit us in our small studio off of Ossington for The Alley back in the winter of 2019, we knew we had to get Raoul involved in  Beyond being an incredible human being and a talented actor, his knowledge and commitment to music as a fan and as a beautiful Blues performer was palpable.  A month later he was sending us his show Raoul’s Blues. The interviews that Raoul conducted for his program were deep, timely and real.  We are so proud to have been able to have been even a tiny part of the consistent, professional and passionate programming that Raoul created.  Although fell victim to some support issues, COVID and a distraction from its “labour of love” reality, Raoul was always, always one of its shining lights.”

On the positive side, has surpassed their fundraising goal with dontations totaling $103,000.  The money will be used for the purchase of next generation broadcast hardware and software, a dedicated live music studio, a new podcast channel and more.  Also, is winding down their pledge drive and it looks like they’re in great shape.  Thankfully, jazz and blues fans continue to support community radio even if they can’t hardly get out to any live music events.

And as some shows go away more come to our attention.  The Buffalo NPR station, WBFO features blues on Saturday from 7 to 11 with Blues with Pat Fedballe and Sunday 7pm to midnight it’s Blues with Tommy “Z.”

IBC 2022 Postponed:  One of the biggest blues events of the year, The International Blues Challenge has been postponed due to COVID-19. No new dates have been announced.  The Blues Foundation wrote, “As recently as mid-December, the COVID-19 pandemic and Omicron variant seemed under control, as vaccination rates were growing and large events were taking place successfully with safety protocols in place. The past couple of weeks, however, have shown a significant increase in positive cases not only in the US but globally. Memphis has seen its highest spike in positive cases this week since the inception of the pandemic.”

Keeping The Blues Alive:  Part of the IBC Week in Memphis is the presentation of the Keeping The Blues Awards but that will have to be put off too but the honorees have been announced. This year’s honorees include Karen Gottheimer’s brilliant initiative to fill the vacuum of live performances with online shows (over 450 of them) which provided some income for out-of-work bluesicians and allowed fans to stay in touch with their favourite artists.  All the shows are archived at Also recognized were the Big Blues Bender, a 4-day music festival held annually in Las Vegas, FitzGerald’s Roadhouse in Chicago, Joe Bonamassa’s Fueling Musicians Program which raised $500,000 for blues musicians who couldn’t even afford to put gas in the tank, filmmaker Phil Ranstrom, Blues Music Magazine publisher Jack Sullivan and radio personalities Tom Claypool, Jerry Mason and Raúl de la Rosa (who organized Mexico’s first blues festival). 

And meanwhile…the Blues Foundation has named Judith Black its new president and CEO, effective January 1, 2022. Black is co-founder and previously served as President of the Tarik Black Foundation, which has a mission to “provide young people access to practical information and exposure through real world experiences.” She also held senior posts at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the National Civil Rights Museum and as chair of the city of Memphis’ Minority Business Development Oversight Commission. “I am honored and thrilled to serve as CEO for the Blues Foundation,” Black said. “I grew up in a household where the blues was celebrated and its history embraced. I look forward to drawing from my own family legacy, knowledge of this community and depth of business experience in advancing the mission of the organization.”

Honours for the Alligator Man: On Friday, December 17, 2021, Alligator Records founder and president Bruce Iglauer was honored with the French Charles Cros Academy “In Honorem” Award. Iglauer is thrilled to receive this recognition, saying. “I am extremely honored to have Alligator Records receive this award. I accept it in the name of all the Alligator artists, from Hound Dog Taylor in 1971 to Christone “Kingfish” Ingram today, who have lived the blues and carried the tradition forward.” In addition, On June 18, 2021, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot declared “Alligator Records Day” throughout the city via official proclamation and on September 18, 2021, the Mayor declared “Bruce Iglauer Day” across the city.

– with contributions from Janet Alilovic, Derek Andrews, Brian Blain

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The Toronto Blues Society acknowledges the annual support of the Ontario Arts Council, the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council and the Department of Canadian Heritage, and project support from FACTOR< and the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage (Canada Music Fund) and of Canada’s Private Broadcasters, The Canada Council for the Arts, the SOCAN Foundation, SOCAN, the Ontario Media Development Corporation, and the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport.