The Columbus Blues Alliance was recently awarded the prestigious “Keeping the Blues Alive” award by the Blues Foundation.

The Blues Foundation is the international organizing body of blues music worldwide and presents the Keeping the Blues Alive (KBA) Awards to individuals and organizations who have made significant contributions to the Blues world.

The KBAs are awarded to non-performers based on merit by a select panel of Blues professionals who recognize individuals and organizations that have made a significant contribution to Blues music.

The Columbus Blues Alliance was selected due to its longstanding and tireless efforts to infuse Columbus, OH with blues music, performances and culture.

Currently celebrating its 34th anniversary, The Columbus Blues Alliance stands as a vibrant and dedicated force in preserving, promoting, and advancing the blues in Ohio. Comprised of passionate volunteers, the Alliance has been instrumental in fostering a thriving local blues community through a variety of mediums and initiatives; the organization also serves as a statewide hub for the genre, collaborating with four Blues societies: the Blues, Jazz & Folk Music Society of Marietta, the Cincy Blues Society, the Northeast Ohio Blues Association, and the Cleveland Blues Society. The Alliance maintains strong connections with blues venues, notably Natalie’s Music Hall, and has a long track record of supporting festivals, including the Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival, which has been a cornerstone of the state’s blues scene for more than two decades.

On the education front, the Alliance has rejuvenated the Columbus Blues Hall of Fame (supported by a grant from the Ohio Arts Council), and, in partnership with Columbus blues artist Tenny Tucker, has facilitated Blues in the Schools programs. Another education-based initiative of note is 614BluesEd, investing in training Columbus youth in blues music and to send youth acts to the International Blues Challenge (IBC) in Memphis.

The Columbus Blues Alliance actively supports the blues acts who have emerged from the Columbus Blues Challenge and gone on to compete with distinction at the IBC. The resilience that the Columbus Blues Alliance demonstrated through the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic deserves especially high praise.

Columbus Blues Hall of Famer, Teeny Tucker says “I send my warmest congratulations to the Columbus Blues Alliance for their past and ongoing commitment to the Columbus Blues community and its artists. Bravo for being honored with the amazing “Keeping The Blues Alive Award” from the Blues Foundation in Memphis, TN!

The Blues Foundation will present the 2024 KBA Awards at a recognition brunch as part of the International Blues Challenge (IBC) weekend of events this week.