Line up for Curaçao International BlueSeas Festival 2024 announced

Once again, this year, the historic Pietermaai district will transform into a blues haven around Easter for the sixth annual Curaçao International BlueSeas Festival. The festivities kick off on Thursday evening, March 28, at Kura Hulanda Village with a live concert featuring Jo Harman.

“Jo mines pop, soul and gritty blues with conviction”, the press in her native United Kingdom once wrote about singer Jo Harman. Comparisons with legends like Carole King and Joni Mitchell were even made. After graduating from Brighton Institute of Modern Music, Harman set out in the music world and has released two studio albums so far: 2013’s Dirt On My Tongue and its successor, 2017’s People We Become. Her warm, bluesy voice landed her a 2014 British Blues Award for Female Vocalist.

Known as the Queen of Avant Soul, Candice Ivory released three albums with jazz, soul and R&B songs before submerging into the blues on her latest album When the Levee Breaks: The Music of Memphis Minnie (2023). The release of the album coincided with the 50th anniversary of Memphis Minnie’s death. On the record, Ivory collaborates with guitarist and producer Charlie Hunter.

American blues singer and guitarist D.K. Harrell first picked up the harmonica at age 11, followed by the guitar a few years later. Fast forward to 2019, when he got his first paying gig as a musician at a symposium at the B.B. King Museum. Harrell hasn’t slowed down since; he finished third at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis in 2022 and is seen as one of the most promising young blues artists around. His debut album, The Right Man, was released last year to rave reviews.

Guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and six-time Blues Music Award-winner, Tommy Castro always brings along his band, The Painkillers, consisting of bassist Randy McDonald, drummer Bowen Brown and keyboardist Michael Emerson. He has released 16 albums to date, the latest being 2021’s A Bluesman Came To Town.

With both Joe Bonamassa and the late, great B.B. King singing your praises, you must be doing something right. American blues guitarist Chris Cain has both legendary musicians firmly in his corner. He burst onto the blues scene in 1987 with his debut album, Late Night City Blues, which received four Blues Music Award nominations, including Blues Guitarist of the Year. To date he has released thirteen albums, the latest being 2021’s Raisin’ Cain.

Damon Fowler is an American electric blues and blues rock singer, guitarist, and songwriter. Although his sound is blues based, but there is much more to it: country, swamp rock, R&B, swing… Fowler has released ten albums so far, the latest being 2023’s Live At The Palladium.

Kat Riggins will blow you away with her vocal power. A blues woman through and through, she nonetheless mixes up the genre with soul, rock, gospel and more. Riggins has been compared to great female voices like Tina Turner, Etta James and Koko Taylor, but is mainly her own woman. She released two albums; the latest, 2020’s Cry Out, was produced by Mike Zito, who is also her label boss.

Singer and bassist Danielle Nicole became the first ever woman to win the Blues Foundation’s Blues Music Award for Best Instrumentalist, Bass in 2014. Nicole released her first solo album, Wolf Den, in 2015 to rave reviews. In 2018 it was followed by its successor Cry No More, which peaked at number 1 in the Billboard Top Blues Albums chart. Furthermore, in 2019 she received two Blues Music Awards, three Independent Blues Awards and a Grammy nomination for the album. This year she released her new album The Love You Bleed.

Kai Strauss grew up in the German town Osnabrück and developed a passion for the work of Albert King, Buddy Guy, and the Vaughan brothers, Jimmie and Stevie Ray, through listening to his parents’ record collection. He has recorded seven albums to date. The latest one, Night Shift, was released at the end of 2022. Strauss received several German Blues Awards and has played with the likes of Jimmy Johnson, Mike Wheeler, and Lurrie Bell. He regularly tours with his band, The Electric Blues Allstars.

The complete program is as follows:

Thursday 28 March, opening in Kura Hulanda Village: Jo Harman
Friday 29 March: Candace Ivory, D.K. Harrell, Tommy Castro and The Painkillers, Chris Cain Band
Saturday 30 March: Damon Fowler, Kat Riggins & Her Blues Revival, Danielle Nicole, Kai Strauss & The Electric Blues Allstars

© Copyright 2021 Curaçao International BlueSeas Festival. All rights reserved.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.