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July 2024
Vol. 23, No. 10

Featured Stories

Blues Music Summer Camp 2023

by T.E. MattoxJuly 2023

Blues Camp director Ric Lee.

Instructor Robin Henkel

Instructor Michele Lundeen

What better way to end the dog days of summer than with a blues music concert. Now imagine that it’s your youngster that’s on stage, sharing what he’s learned in just one short week. Blues Lovers United of San Diego has announced the return of their Blues Music Summer Camp, August 7-11. The program is designed for kids 11 through 17 years of age at any level of musicianship. Instruction for all courses is provided by some of the finest professional working musicians in San Diego today. Your child will learn about performance technique; playing in a band; and applying those new skills on guitar, bass, drums, vocals, keyboards and harmonica.

The tuition for the entire week is just $300 and in order to keep class sizes manageable with one-on-one instruction and hands-on instrument, time enrollment is limited, so you’re encouraged to register early. This year’s camp will be held Monday through Friday 9am-2pm at Northminster Presbyterian Church, 4324 Clairemont Mesa Boulevard in San Diego, culminating with a live Friday night concert on August 11 from 6:30 to 8:00pm.

Camp director Ric Lee says, “You just have to have a desire to play the blues. We have teachers like roots and blues veteran Robin Henkel and Grammy Award-winning guitarist Fuzzy Rankins.” The faculty list continues to grow. Other instructors this summer include Jerry “Hot Rod” DeMink, Karl Dring, Michele Lundeen, and Mercedes Moore.

BLUSD is an affiliate of the national Blues Foundation, and San Diego’s current president, Janine Harty says, “Our mission is to preserve and promote blues, especially to the younger generations through our Blues in the Schools program and our Summer Blues Camp. The camp is the crown jewel of all of our work.” Harty smiles. “The kids put on a concert after the week-long camp, and they never fail to amaze us with their talent and dedication. We have sent several of our campers to Memphis to participate in Youth Showcases during International Blues Challenge week. Some of them are even returning to the camp as instructors.”

Blues Camp Administrator Janet Blair emphasizes that point. “When you have small classes, three students for every instructor, there’s a lot of one-on-one time, and that makes all the difference.” When asked how effective the week-long camp has been over the years Janet says the numbers speak for themselves. “About 80% of our students want to come back to experience it again.”

For more information on how you can support this annual worthwhile musical program, please contact Janet Blair at 619-436-9559. And I know what you’re thinking. I don’t have any kids that qualify for the Camp but I still want to support the blues. Then please consider contributing to the GoFundMe effort. These funds are to provide scholarships for low-income families, instrument donations to students, and to assist in running costs of the Camp. Our goal is to raise $15,000. Here is the link:

Blues Camp Fundraiser!
Mark your calendar for the annual Summer Blues Camp Fundraiser, taking place on Saturday, July 29. Get ready for a great evening with some of San Diego’s best blues musicians featuring Blues Camp instructors performing alongside of a few of the best and brightest of the Blues Camp alumni.

The evening promises a stellar line up with the best of the best, including Robin Henkel, Ric Lee, Karl Dring, Michele Lundeen & the Blues Streak, Jerry “Hot Rod” DeMink, Bayou Brothers with special guest Carrie Zavala on vocals, and Fuzzy Rankins & the Bluesmen.

Alumni guitarist Benji Davis heads up Benji and the Honeycats, with special guest alumni vocalists Eva Playman and Brianna Eckenrod along with 16-year-old Josh Stephens on drums.

Please help us pass on the legacy of the blues on to our younger generation of musicians by donating what you can !!!

Blues Camp Fundraiser, Saturday, July 29, 6-10pm.
Tio Leo’s, 5302 Napa St., San Diego


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