The 2020 and 2021 IBB will not take place due to COVID-19
Leaving the 2019 stuff up for now... still have a few t-shirts available.
The 2019 International Blues Blowoff! (The IBB)
The traveling 'bucket list' blues show... unique in all the world! Only possible due to the 'perfect storm' of so many world class musicians converging each year in a different city for the annual SPAH convention. Come to historic downtown Tulsa check it out!
Tues Aug 13, 2019 - Downtown Tulsa Hyatt Regency Hotel - All Ages Cash Bar at the show, please buy your beverages there instead of the lobby
August 5 Update: VIP seating sold out.
Read the disclaimer at page bottom before purchasing!
-----> Click HERE for TICKETS and T-SHIRTS <-----
Fabulous door prizes!* Reliable sources have pledged a dozen+ new instruments to be given away to those present at show's end.
Must be present to win
This year's incredible lineup... in no particular order, plus more TBA!
RJ Mischo's Red Hot Blues Band (!!!) RJ is a top name on the festival and club circuit. In high demand, he regularly tours all points of the globe... and is one of my personal favorites. For good reason he was the Featured Artist the first year I produced the IBB., since then RJ's growing popularity has had the unfortunate side-effect of making him unavailable for a return performance, but this year the stars have finally aligned and I couldn't be more pleased... you will be too! His band will take the stage around 6PM, and afterward back many of the rest throughout the evening.
The Fabulous Sugar Harp! Sugar Harp's first IBB appearance, a 2018 inductee into the Alabama Blues Hall of Fame - More on 'Sugar' coming soon!
Tim Gonzalez I can only describe Tim as the "Carlos Santana" of the harmonica. This long time Nashville session player and Hohner endorsee brings a distinctively unique Latin twist to the instrument, plus an infectious amount of personality and showmanship to the stage. Tim is once again bringing his own band just to do this one set! ....Worth It!
John Long A national treasure in the truest sense, John has been paying dues for over 5 decades on harp, vocals and acoustic guitar. His deep resonant voice and impromptu storytelling always leave you wanting more. Mentored back in the day by Homesick James, Lightnin' Hopkins, Walter Horton, Roosevelt Sykes and more. Muddy Waters dug his act so much that he would have John play for him in his dressing room between their respective sets. He's opened for and played with a seemingly endless list of past and present blues, rock and folk legends, including Terry & McGhee, John Hammond, Phoebe Snow, John Prine, Big Mama Thornton, BB King, Howlin' Wolf... A safe bet this two-time BMA nominee and 2017 SPAH President's Award recipient will fill the room with a warm soulful authenticity reflecting his decades in the trenches.
The Great Caesar ... undisputed Soul Man of the harmonica. Don Caesar brought down the house on the main stage at last years SPAH convention, his compellingly polished and highly energetic performance had people literally dancin' on the tables, a performance that sent him to the very top of my wish list for this years lineup. An incredible showman in the vein of James Brown (splits & all... ouch!) you'll have to be there at evening's end to see him work his magic as this year's closing act!
Special Guest Cameo's Don't be surprised to learn you've been rubbin' elbows all night with a prominent international artist, there's at least as many in the audience every year as there are on the stage. Not many shows where you can find yourself randomly seated next to bonafide blues & jazz legends and 70's rock stars, many of whom are Grammy, W.C. Handy, BMA and SPAH award recipients.
Peter "Madcat" Ruth Innovator, pioneer and Grammy Award recipient! Madcat possesses a dizzying array of talents. You might see him do anything from old school Vaudevillian entertainment, to great amplified work, to playing lead in a harmonica trio. to playing blues on a "stratolele", right on through to killer fox chases in the tradition of Sonny Terry. In high demand worldwide, back in the 1980's he was the first SPAH awardee from outside of the traditional trio and harmonica band community, it's always a treat when Peter can be available for the IBB.
Gary Allegretto His first IBB appearance, this KBA Award recipient has shared the stage and/or recorded with a diverse array of musicians, including Pinetop Perkins, Queen Latifah, Warren Haynes, David Lee Roth and many more. A two-time Grammy nominee, featured in the harmonica documentary "Pocket Full of Soul", and has done Hollywood sound track work for both Disney and Warner Brothers. Gary is also the founder and director of Harmonikids.org
Charlie Barath Yet another great artist appearing for the first time in the IBB! More about Charlie coming soon!
The return of the Young Guns Showcase! Due to various factors last years IBB did not have a youth component. Pleased to announce that this popular segment returns with a great roundup of up-and-coming players who are attending the SPAH convention. Thanks go out to SPAH's youth committee, and particularly to the talented Jarred Goldwebber (a former SPAH scholarship recipient himself) for putting this spot together.
Mystery Guest(s) I always like to rock the crowd with something unexpected. Sometimes I know who it will be months ahead and just want it to be a surprise, sometimes it's because schedules haven't been confirmed yet. Or, it might be that it's a "Stevie Wonder" level celebrity and that if it were announced the venue couldn't hold everyone who wanted a ticket. I have a couple names in mind who you'd be very happy to see.
The Grand Finale An Invitational Pro Jam (time permitting) A spectacular mix of the nights entertainers combined with some of the world class players who are out in the audience. With apologies to all hopefuls...this is not an open jam session, but... there are open jams every day and night all week long at the SPAH convention with many of the above attending, plus an amazing array of other pro's hosting and sitting in.
Click HERE for TICKETS and T-SHIRTS Read the short disclaimer at page bottom before purchasing!
Advance tickets available via Paypal through this website only. Cash only for tickets at the door.
SPAH attendees receive a discount! Proof of membership or convention registration required. Or... you can purchase tickets at the standard rate to further support this event. The IBB donates significantly every year to SPAH's Youth Fund!
SPAH: Society for the Preservation and Advancement of the Harmonica
The heralded 56 year old 501(c)(3) non-profit. www.spah.org
The night-of tip jar raises funds for SPAH's extensive Youth Programs!
Warning: This is "adult night" in regard to the SPAH convention, irreverent lyrics and general merrymaking may be encountered. Chaperones/parental discretion is recommended for younger attendees.
My Four Rule Disclaimer:
1. All ticket sales are final. Extreme circumstances will be considered... late flights, changed plans etc do not qualify for refunds.
2. Lineup and performance order are subject to change at any time. The above artists have confirmed, but with so many coming from so far there can be unforeseen issues. The ticket you purchase is for the IBB itself, due to the above mentioned conditions we can not guarantee that any particular artist will be present. No worries, always a dozen+ world class players in the house who can step in, the talent that comes to the IBB every year is incredibly deep!
3. Do not bring music gear to this event. But... it is SPAH week after all, harmonica cases ok for those with a reasonable expectation of being called to the stage during one of the Showcases or the Grand Finale. Larger items such as amplifiers or guitars will not be allowed through the door.
And #4. Have a ball, but keep it in your pocket! Gussing is not permitted! "Gussing" is an inside term for playing a harmonica in the audience during the show, this practice is considered to be disrespectful to the artists. (would you play a guitar in the crowd during a Buddy Guy performance?) Extreme cases subject to ejection without refund.
Use the form below to join the event mailing list or to request general info about the IBB. Please be specific as to what you're asking for.