BLESSINGS & BLUES

This extra-ordinary poster is the work of famed artist Gary HoustonIt was Gary's generous contribution to the second 'Blessings and Blues' Concert held at Grace Memorial Episcopal Church, Portland, Oregon, on November 1st, to celebrate Los Dias de los Muertos - The Day of the Dead.
 
The first 'Blessings and Blues' was presented on Palm Sunday, 2009, at St Peter's Anglican Cathedral in Adelaide.  BEMG artist Fiona Boyes was joined by Melbourne singers Lil Fi and Kelly Auty, keyboardist Tim Neal, and Adelaide's acclaimed Tutti Ensemble and Choir as they performed for more than 900 people. 

'Blessings and Blues' Concerts are benefits, with proceeds going to local projects that join social justice, the arts, and community.  Through the first concert we were able to raise over $10,000 to help the Tutti Ensemble join with other community choirs and record a live CD, this time at Christ Church, Nth Adelaide.  Tutti is a remarkable group, made up of people with intellectual and physical disabilities, and their artistic director Pat Rix has done an incredible job in shaping this project.  The Portland 'Blessings and Blues' Concert raised funds for Mercy Corps wells project in Liberia, and made a donation to the NW Musicians Relief Fund.

BEMG also offers 'Blessings and Blues' to Festivals.  Our first Festival performance was held in November, 2009 at 'Blues at Bridgetown' in Western Australia.  Over 6 hours of music was provided by more than 20 artists, with Rev'd Steve Clarke as Master of Ceremonies and preacher.  On three occasions local authorities had to lock the doors as overflow crowds exceeded fire and safety limits.  It was a great musical and spiritual experience for all alike.

We will be presenting 'Blessings and Blues' on the main stage at the 35th Port Fairy Folk Festival on Sunday March 13th.  Joining Steve will be Fiona Boyes, Shakura S'Aida (Canada), Christa Hughes (Australia), The Sweet Hearts of Swing - an all female Big Band, Tim O'Brien's Two Oceans Trio (Ireland/USA/NZ), Nick Charles (Australia), and Fiona's band The Fortune Tellers