THE Durban International Blues Festival, arguably the largest blues festival in South Africa, will take place from Otcober 28 to October 31.
The festival is in its 11th year and the organisers, having recognised the growth of the audience over the decade, will celebrate this year’s event with a new format.
“We agree that for the ticketed evenings, a venue with more capacity is needed than that of the traditional venue, Zack’s at Wilson’s Wharf,” says festival director Themi Venturas, adding that ticketed concerts will now take place at UKZN’s Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre.
Blues lovers may enjoy the first concert tomorrow entitled Wailin Blues, which features the international guest artist from Chicago, Khalif Wailin’ Walters.
Walters brings his own unique style of funk infused boogie blues. Calling the European market his home base now, Khalif Wailin’ Walter’s stormy guitar work and brash New Orleans style vocals define his sound which is reminiscent of the greats like Albert King, Otis Rush and Albert Collins.
Fusing contemporary style and innovative original arrangements, he delivers foot-stomping, finger-snapping blues.
The second ticketed evening, taking place on Thursday, October 29 is The BB King Blues Summit which is a tribute show incorporating the Blues Festival’s traditional Blues Summit and which sees some of the best of the fest mixed with a tribute to the late and great blues legend, BB King.
This tribute show will feature Durban’s The Reals as the backing band for the performance and will include a variety of music from the life and history of this great blues master. Fans should arrive early at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre and make use of the cash bar facility in the foyer, bearing in mind that drinks are not permitted in the venue.
These two ticketed evenings cost R150 per person per night. Season tickets are available at R250 and covers both nights and all bookings are upfront through Computicket.
Free concerts will be held at Zack’s Wilson’s Wharf on Friday and Saturday and will feature some of the blues circuit’s hottest names in the line-up.
Khalif Wailin’ Walters will also host a free blues master class at the Durban Music School at 11 am on Saturday. Blues enthusiasts wishing to attend this event will need to book a place with Pinkie Mtshali by calling 082 961 2165 or e-mailing pinkiemtshali @gmail.com