Bull Durham Blues Festival

Bull Durham Blues Festival

September
The Carolina blues style of music (also known as Piedmont blues) is different from traditional blues. Rather than expressing stories of bad luck, hard times, and lost love, Carolina blues balance sorrow with celebration. These songs are often light and upbeat, encouraging listeners to dance.
Since 1988, the St. Joseph's Historic Foundation, Inc. (SJHF) has held a blues festival at the Durham Athletic Park in North Carolina, where the Durham Blues baseball team used to play.
The SJHF, an African-American cultural and educational institution, was founded in 1975 to "advance cultural understanding through diverse programs that examine the experiences of Americans of African descent—locally, nationally, and globally." SJHF is deeply rooted in the historic Hayti community of Durham. Funds raised from the Bull Durham Blues Festival support the programs and operations of the Foundation and Hayti Heritage Center, which is the former St. Joseph's African Methodist Episcopal Church, a National Historic landmark. The Hayti District is an area on the southwest edge of Durham, where African Americans settled shortly after the Civil War.
According to the SJHF, the festival serves many purposes. These are as follows: "To increase awareness and appreciation for Durham's rich musical heritage in the Blues, particularly as a showplace for the Piedmont blues style made popular in this part of the Southeast; to increase awareness and appreciation for the Blues as a unique American art form that is reflective of the African American experience; to develop the local audience, particularly within the African American communities in the region, for the Blues which is often more popular overseas than in the United States; to become a national showcase for the finest in contemporary and traditional blues artists in North Carolina and the rest of the United States."
During the three-day festival, many of the best and best-known contemporary blues artists perform for audiences from over 175 North Carolina cities, 25 states, and five countries. As with many music festivals around the country, good food is plentiful in the various restaurants and other venues around Durham.
CONTACTS:
Hayti Heritage Center
804 Old Fayetteville St.
Durham, NC 27707
919-683-1709; fax: 919-682-5869
www.bulldurhamblues.org
References in periodicals archive ?
Major events of interest for African Americans include the National Black Theater Festival held every two years in Winston-Salem and the annual Bull Durham Blues Festival in Durham.