FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE OCTOBER 24, 2016
GRAFTON, WI Ozaukee Talent is pleased to announce the addition of a blues school coming in 2017. The blues school will be held on the weekends and will feature blues music workshops where musicians can learn from other blues musicians. The blues school will be an extension of Ozaukee Talent’s current music education programming.
“When I was a music major, I learned how to sing Italian Opera and analyze the music of European composers. The general attitude toward the blues was that it was a ‘lesser art form’ that only used the basic I, IV, V chords. From a musician’s standpoint, I have come to appreciate the blues as an advanced American-born art form. Most American music education programs (including universities) fail to give the blues the attention it deserves. From its earliest beginnings, blues secrets have been passed from musician to musician. Experienced blues musicians teach ‘their students’ technique tricks through their recordings and open jam sessions.
People don’t typically go to music college to become great blues musicians. They spend their time listening to other blues musicians and then they put their own twist on it. I love that the blues is the musical language of the common man. It is an equal opportunity musical language that involves a mutual trust among musicians and not just an elite few. Do you like the phrase ‘Made in America’? The blues is an American-made product that is recognized and respected around the globe. My biggest beef with the American music education system is that it places too much emphasis on the classical composers and European-born music and not enough on the blues genre which should be a source of pride. As blues musician Willy Dixon said, ‘The blues is the roots. The rest is the fruits.’
There is a community among musicians that I would like to see in Grafton, WI. Why Grafton? If you look at any musical genre tree, you will see that at the very bottom toward the roots is a genre called the Delta Blues. Musician pioneers in the Delta Blues include musicians like Charlie Patton, Son House, and Skip James to name a few. These three mentioned musicians recorded in Grafton, WI between 1929 and 1932. And there were many more recording artists. It is for this reason that Grafton is a key location for a blues school. We all heard that Bob Dylan just won the Nobel Peace Prize. And where do you think Dylan got his musical chops from? I had the privilege of interviewing Skip James’ nephew several years ago and he talked about Dylan coming over to the house and how he adored Skip James.
I have worked with and have known musicians for most of my adult life. By default or by nature, musicians tend to isolate. A lot of them are brilliant, highly passionate yet incredibly shy. And those who want to make it HAVE to be teachable. They have to come out of the wood works and collaborate with others on a frequent basis so that their skills can be sharpened and their art form can become inspired.”
–Angie Mack Reilly, founder of Ozaukee Talent and co-founder of http://paramountshome.org
Ozaukee Talent is now booking blues musicians to be a part of the school in 2017 whether through video appearance or in person. Anyone with comments, questions or an interest to help the Ozaukee Talent Blues School should email firstname.lastname@example.org soon.
ABOUT THE BOB DYLAN PHOTO
- Title: [Bob Dylan and man, half-length portrait, seated, facing each other, playing guitars in restaurant] / Gilbert-Look.
- Creator(s): Gilbert, Douglas R., 1942-, photographer
- Date Created/Published: 1964 June 15.
- Medium: 1 photographic print (contact sheet frame)
- Reproduction Number: LC-USZ6-2311 (b&w film copy neg.)
- Rights Advisory: Publication may be restricted. For information see “LOOK Magazine Photograph…” (http://lcweb.loc.gov/rr/print/res/074_look.html)
- Call Number: LOOK – Job 64-1887, frame 31 [P&P]
- Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA