Mile High Blues Society

Welcome to The Mile High Blues Society!

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We are musicians, fans, venues, and media committed to enjoying and sustaining Denver's blues music scene.
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The Blues Children on Stage (BCOS) 2018

Our first 2018 BCOS is scheduled for:

Saturday - February 24, 2018
Lincoln Station, 9360 Station Street, #175, Lone Tree, Colorado 80124
2pm load in / set up / sign up
BCOS Jam starts at 3pm

This is a FREE event and All Ages Are Welcome!

A HUGE thanks to Patrick and Susan DiBartolomeo

The Mile High Blues Society, Blues Children On Stage (BCOS)

A Mile High Blues Society Special Event. Blues Children on Stage - A youth showcase of musicians and singers under 21! A positive musical experience for children. Provide youth musicians & singers with an environment conducive to establishing an interest in performing live blues music. Open to all Musicians / Singers under 21 Participating instructors / teachers / mentors may also support their students on stage.

No entry fee – free for everyone – all ages welcome! Full back line will be provided. Each group will be put together during the event, just as done in a blues jam setting. Each group will play 4 or 5 songs per set and the number of sets will be based on the number of participants.

Learn as many of these songs as you can – you may be able to perform more than one set! Types of music to learn: Blues Shuffle – Jimmy Reed Country Blues Jump blues / swing Delta Blues Chicago Blues Blues Rock Slow Blues Shuffle Sample song list: Big Boss Man Crossroads Cross Cut Saw The Thrill is Gone Got My Mojo Working I’m ready Kansas City Key to the Highway Rock Me Baby Stormy Monday Shake Your Moneymaker Sweet Home Chicago Every Day I Have the Blues (Sample Song List CD Available) Contact: Jodie Woodward, Vice President, MHBS, 303-931-8236 email:

Mer Sal, of The Symbols, our 2018 MHBS IBC Band, was featured in a Bass Magazine, "BassMusician - The Face of Bass"! How cool is that!




Our Mission: To preserve blues heritage, celebrate blues recording and performance, expand worldwide awareness of the blues, and ensure the future of this uniquely American art form.

Greetings from Barbara

Hello Blues Friends,
January was such a busy month that my head is spinning a bit and I'm not sure where to begin. I cannot believe that February is already here. I guess the saying really is true - "time sure flies when you're having fun." And boy, are we having fun while we are working hard for this genre at The Blues Foundation.

We are now just a few weeks past the International Blues Challenge and there is still a lot of work to be done as we complete our post-production and debriefing work. Further down in this Newsletter, you can enjoy some highlights from the week.

Please allow me to congratulate not only our winners, Keeshea Pratt Band and Kevin "B.F." Burt, but also our runners up, Fuzzy Jeffries and the Kings of MemphisArtur Menezes, and Daniel Eriksen along with our Best Self-Produced CD Winner, Jontavious Willis, our Gibson Guitar Winner, Artur Menezes, and our Solo/Duo Cigar Box Guitar winner and Lee Oskar Harmonica Winner - Kevin "B.F." Burt. Now that these musicians have been internationally discovered via the IBC, watch for them at festivals and clubs around the world and listen for them on radio. I think we will be hearing a lot more from them in the future. Even as they are celebrating their IBC successes, I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge every single musician who represented their local blues society in Memphis in mid-January, and we are talking about over 800 musicians in total. Each one of you who put yourself out there to compete at the local level and then won the right to stand on a Beale Street stage and perform your heart out is a winner in my book. You are investing your time and your energy to create music that matters and to share your song with music lovers who you inspire. I hope you will use your experiences at the 2018 IBC to continue developing  your craft with great hopes for the future of the blues. 

The IBC is a true labor of love and takes more than just a village to pull it off - it takes hard working and dedicated volunteers the world over to descend upon Memphis in the midst of snow, ice, and cold to make sure that musicians are checked-in, venues run on time, bands are judged fairly, scores get to the scorekeepers, passes are picked up, merchandise and cds are sold, panels and workshops offer valuable information, films are screened, memorabilia is shared, and guests are warmly welcomed. There are just too many volunteers to thank you all individually, so please allow me to publicly send a huge THANKS to everyone who gave of themselves to ensure that the IBC went off without a hitch.  The names I can and will share are The Blues Foundation Staff:  Joe Whitmer, Elizabeth Montgomery BrownAddison Hare, and Stephen Whitney, who braved the weather, denied themselves sleep, and gave 110% of themselves to ensure a successful IBC for all. I know that my three hours of sleep each night  were sound because of my trust in these four individuals. They are my rocks and I hope that each of you will thank them directly when you get the chance. Nothing that happens at The Blues Foundation would happen without them. So from me to my staff - BIG THANKS!

This is also a good time to let you know that after 5 years as an intern, production assistant, and our Membership Coordinator, Stephen Whitney has decided to use the skills he developed at The Blues Foundation to move on to new opportunities. Having recently been selected as one of The Memphis Flyer's "20 under 30," Stephen has just begun to make an impact on our community and we wish him well.  His shoes will be hard to fill, but I hope to have a replacement for him in the next few weeks, and as soon as we know who our new Membership Coordinator will be, we will send out an announcement to welcome him or her. In the meantime, if you have any membership needs, we ask that you be patient during this transition and we will be there to assist you as soon as possible. Of course, I am always just an email away if you have an urgent request. 

Just a few days ago, The GRAMMYs® announced their big winners. On behalf of The Blues Foundation, I send words of congratulations to Taj Mahal and Keb' Mo' on winning Best Contemporary Blues Album for TajMo, and to The Rolling Stones on their win for Best Traditional Blues Album for Blue and Lonesome. Big congrats go out, as well, to all of the nominees in each category.  For details and the full list of GRAMMY® blues nominees and winners, please scroll down further in this Newsletter. 

And now, with the calendar turning to February, we turn our attention to the Blues Music Awards. The nominees were announced in early January and the ballot has gone out to members.  If you are not yet a member of The Blues Foundation, it is not too late to have a voice in who receives a BMA on May 10th. For as little at $25 per year, you can become a member, support the mission of The Blues Foundation, and receive a 2018 ballot. If you are a member, and have not yet voted, all you need is your login credentials and password. And if you have already voted - thank you for being a part of the process. BMA tickets are now available on The Blues Foundation's website and there are links in this Newsletter as well.  You do not have to be a nominee or a member of the blues industry to attend.  The BMAs are open to all and we encourage you to join us for the biggest night of blues music and celebration of the year. I  hope I'll see you in Memphis on May 10th.

Best Regards,

Barbara Newman


Join us for the 39th Blues Music Awards on Thursday, May 10th, 2018
at the Memphis Cook Convention Center!

OPEN NOW: Ticket Sales & Hotel Rooms

Individual Tickets - $150 per person
Regular Tables for 10 - $1,500
Premium Tables for 10 - $1,800 - SOLD OUT!
Sheraton Memphis Downtown Hotel - Rooms start at $149/night

Purchase BMA tickets
Reserve Your Hotel Room





What does the HART fund do?

The Blues Foundation established the HART Fund (Handy Artists Relief Trust) for Blues musicians and their families in financial need due to a broad range of health concerns. The Fund provides for acute, chronic and preventive medical and dental care as well as funeral and burial expenses.


Request Funding

Requests for funding should be made by contacting The Blues Foundation directly. Upon contacting the foundation, you will be asked to complete a short application form. A committee will then review your application to ensure that the individual qualifies and the request is for health related financial needs.

To request funding please contact: 

Elizabeth Montgomery Brown

(901) 527-2583 ext. 13


Over the years, contributions have been made by our members, other donors, and specific benefit events. Funds donated to the HART Fund are dedicated 100% to artist relief efforts. 


Contributions may be made online or by sending a check to: The Blues Foundation (HART Fund), 421 South Main, Memphis, TN 38103.



There are other groups that do work similar to the HART Fund that may be able to provide help to Blues musicians in need. While Blues Foundation has no control over the outcome of these resources, we’ve compiled a list for easier access. 




Award Winning Colorado Roots/Blues Artist, Cary Morin,
Recipient of Native Arts & Cultures 2018 National Artist Fellowship Award
Vancouver, Wash., January 31, 2018 – 20 Native artists representing five artistic disciplines have been honored by the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation (NACF) with National Artist Fellowships, following a national open call of American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian artist applicants who were reviewed by a panel of art peers and professionals.
The 20 awardees reside in 12 states: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, and Washington.
“We are so pleased to honor so many Native artists in both the contemporary and traditional art forms this year. This is the most that we have offered in awards. The increase exemplifies a farther reach for us into new states and tribes, as we are always trying to reach as many artists and tribes as we can for this National award. The honor is always ours to work with such a prestigious group of artists each time,” says Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Director of Programs Francene Blythe, Diné/Sisseton-Wahpeton/Eastern Band Cherokee.
The Native Arts and Cultures Foundation National Artist Fellowship includes an unrestricted monetary award of $20,000 that provides support for Native artists to explore, develop and experiment with original and existing projects. Fellows also work with their communities and share their culture in numerous ways. Fellowships are made possible with additional support from the Ford Foundation, the Second Sister Foundation, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and the philanthropy of arts patrons nationwide.
We at Maple Street Music Agency are proud to represent Colorado based artist, Cary Morin, as a 2018 Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Fellow.
-Celeste Di Iorio, Maple Street Music Agency


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Stacey Turpenoff Band


Valor Jazz Band @ Lincoln Station Monday, March 5, 2018 at 7:00PM.
Eric Jones and Mario DiBartolomeo will be opening as a duo!



Las Vegas - September 6, 7, 8, 9, 2018

The Custom Shop Band





Ora Denise Allen, "Denise LaSalle"
1939 - 2018

'Queen of the Blues' Denise LaSalle dies at 78

Brandon Shields - USAToday - Updated 12:24 p.m. ET Jan. 10, 2018

Walter Reid has known Denise LaSalle and her husband, James Wolfe, most of his life.

He worked for LaSalle both at her restaurant, managing the Blues Legend Café, and working at the radio station LaSalle and Wolfe owned.

“I’d done work as a D.J., but never on the radio, and they took me under their wing at 19 years old and gave me a job and a chance to work,” Reid said.

Reid added that Monday was a sad day for anyone who’s a fan of the rhythm and blues genre of which LaSalle was a pioneer.

“She was the Queen of the Blues,” Reid said. “I went and saw her in Milan a few weeks ago when she was trying to get better, and I talked to her for a little while.

“She and James treated me like a son, and I think of them like parents. I thank them for all they did for me.”

LaSalle died at Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville on Monday at the age of 78. She’d dealt with illness for an extended time.

She was known for such R&B hits as Trapped by a Thing Called Love and Now Run and Tell That. She was inducted into the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame in 2015 and had recently branched into the gospel genre of music.

She’d planned to open the Denise LaSalle Blues Academy of Performing Arts in Jackson and was still working to achieve that.

Reid said it didn’t matter if it was a visitor to her restaurant, a person attending one of her concerts or someone who simply knew who she was, LaSalle wanted to make sure everyone she came into contact with had a good time.

“I remember one time this couple came in from the United Kingdom to the restaurant and had Denise LaSalle T-shirts, and they’d met her one time before and wanted to meet her again,” Reid said. “But she wasn’t here. She was in Memphis.

“But we called her up, and she talked with this couple for a little while. She was that nice to everybody. We’ve definitely lost a good one with her passing.”

Funeral arrangements for LaSalle were incomplete as of Tuesday afternoon.

Mile High Blues Society
P. O. Box 12464
Denver, Colorado 80212-2464

The Mile High Blues Society Store is Open for Business! You can order one of our very cool, high quality MHBS T-shirts. Prompt shipment via USPS Priority Mail. Show your colors; visit the store HERE

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Business Members

303 Blues Project



Lincoln Station Coffee/Pizza/Music

9360 Station St. #175,
Lone Tree, Colorado 80124

The Oriental  Theater


3355 South Wadsworth Blvd
Lakewood, CO 80227

(303) 980-6200

Buffalo Rose
1119 Washington Avenue
Golden, Colorado 80401


Jim Drake Guitars

Swallow  Hill / Arvada Center

Woodward  Productions

DrumCity - GuitarLand
9225 W. 44th. Ave.
Wheat Ridge, Colorado USA 80033
Phone: 303-421-4515, 303-424-9393

Lil Devils

Westminster Brewing Company

Ziggies  Live  Music
4923 West 38th Avenue
Denver, Colorado 80212

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