Arts Garage was besieged by requests for a blues series, so this summer they turn up the heat by booking an outstanding line-up of nationally recognized artists, all with strong Florida ties. For those who have not yet experienced the blues, this is the perfect time to up your cool quotient. The blues is a truly American art form, filled with history and passion. To give us a better understanding of this genre, we chatted with Alyona Ushe, the Executive Director of Arts Garage. The Pineapple: Why do you feel people requested a blues series? Alyona Ushe: The blues is as hip and as American as the Fourth of July, and in the summer, people want to deepen their groove. They recognize the name of the genre, but content and scene are vague, making it a curiosity. The blues is one of the most influential genres of popular music and is ubiquitous in jazz, R&B and rock and roll. The Pineapple: How do you feel blues resonates with today’s audience?
AU: Music reflects life. Blues are the “comfort food” of music, and people are looking for that. The Pineapple: Many consider this a dying art form due to the age of the musicians. Why is it important to you to highlight this type of music?
AU: You can’t talk about jazz or rock or hip- hop or rap without talking about the blues. It defined the very essence of what makes American music “American.” When you understand and appreciate this truly American music, you better understand and appreciate all music. The Pineapple: For those who have never experienced blues or listened to the genre, why should they consider attending these concerts? AU: Blues is real music, made by real people, in real places, and Arts Garage is presenting the authentic experience. The Pineapple: What do you feel a novice will take away from the experience? AU: By presenting artists of this caliber in a performer/audience-friendly environment, which is structured around the personal and intimate, instead of mass and crass. Every person that comes to these performances will leave with not only an elevated soul, but a life-long memory, as well…and maybe a new passion.
The Pineapple: Tell us a little about the performers who will be appearing soon. AU: We opened Garage Blues in June with great success, thanks to an incredible performance by Little Jake Mitchell and the Soul Searchers. On July 21st, we are excited to present Matt “Guitar” Murphy and the Nouveaux Honkies. Many of you will recognize Matt from his iconic role in the Blues Brothers movies, but long prior to these films, he had established himself as one of the baddest guitar players in the country. Earlier this year he was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame. On August 18th, we welcome Barrelhouse Chuck Goering, whom you have all heard on the soundtrack to the hit film, Cadillac Records. He is an incredible pianist who has played with a long list of legendary performers. At his Arts Garage performance, he will be accompanied by South Florida favorites, Famous Frank and the Nucklebusters. Tickets for these performances are $20-$30 in advance. For more information call 561-450-6357 or www.artsgarage.org