10:00am

Wed June 11, 2014
Arts District

New For 2014: It's A Blues Jam For A Cause

The Greeley Blues Jam has long had a dual cause: To party and to support local charities. Now in its 10th year, event organizers expect an eightfold increase in the money donated.

The party will still come naturally.

Carrie Saldo speaks with the founders of the Greeley Blues Jam

For the past 10 years Greeley Blues Jam co-founders Pam and Al Bricker have taken money tossed into the beer tip hat - on average, $2,500 - and passed it off to local charities.

New for 2014, Blues Jam organizers will also donate its net profits. The recipients: Weld County flood victims.

“We are thrilled this year to be able to help raise some significant dollars for a cause that has truly impacted so many lives,” stated co-founder Pam Bricker in an email.

The community is still recovering from the September flood that displaced numerous Weld County residents. Al Bricker said a number of artists offered their support when they learned net proceeds would go to flood victims.

“Several of them are playing for considerably less than they might have because they too are taking part in donating to flood relief here in Weld County,” said Al Bricker.

Between artists’ donations, net profits, and beer tips the Blues Jam could garner as much as $20,000, a figure that Pam Bricker pointed out is largely dependent on festival attendance.

A total of 10 solo performers and acts have been selected to draw attendees to the 2014 jam at Island Grove arena. The line-up includes the Blues Jam’s first international act, the Ori Naftaly Band, named the 2013 Best Blues Band in Israel.

In an additional first for the decade old event, artist Marcia Ball returns for a third time. It’s rare for the Blues Jam to bring an artist back even for a second time, but Al Bricker said Ball has consistently captivated audiences.

“Everybody loves her,” said Bricker. “She is one of those performers who puts a great performance out every time she sits down at the piano. … She can play the blues, she can play the Boogie-woogie, she can do ballads that’ll make you cry.”

However, if history is any indication, the big green sod carpet, brought in especially for the Greeley Blues Jam, will be home to more Boogie-woogie-ing than crying.

Arts District is a collaboration of KUNC, RMPBS, and KUVO

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