Among 20 Keeping The Blues Alive (KBA) Awards, 2 have been given to Europeans, in particular:
BluesCazorla – Cazorla, Spain
For 20 years, the BluesCazorla festival has brought the finest blues performers to play on four stages around this tiny town. Located three hours south of Madrid, Cazorla features master classes and meet-and-greets, augmented by shows in the Plaza of Santa Maria, the Municipal Auditorium, and the town’s historic bull ring, where most of the headliners perform. Imagine Johnny Winter, Mavis Staples, Jimmie Vaughan, Rod Piazza, Charlie Musselwhite, the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Buddy Guy, Koko Taylor, Solomon Burke, and so many others performing in the center of a bull ring. Talk about growth – during the first 10 years, the festival featured four or five bands; in 1998, it began to hire international musicians; for its 10th year, it presented John Mayall, Buddy Guy, Rod Piazza, Otis Grand, and Sista Monica; and the 2013 edition of the festival featured over 30 bands and welcomed more than 25,000 visitors during its three-day run.
Gerard Herzhaft – Lyon, France
Gerard Herzhaft’s Encyclopedia of the Blues should be an essential addition to every fan’s bookshelf. It was first published in 1979 in Europe, but after many long trips to the United States, Herzhaft revised his book and released it in the U.S. through the University of Arkansas Press. The book includes alphabetical listing of performers, a discography, and 20 pages that trace the origins of blues standards. This encyclopedia has also been translated into German, Czech, and Spanish. But Herzhaft has written much more. He has penned over 1,000 articles since 1971 on blues history and music, published in nearly every blues and music publication here and abroad. He has written many essays on American music, as well as three blues-themed novels, all of which have been translated into English, and has won several literary awards in France. His Le Blues has been translated into Portuguese, Romanian, and Turkish, thus spreading the blues to millions of new readers and listeners. Finally, Herzhaft participated as a consultant from 1980 to 1992 in the creation of the Center for Southern Studies at the University of Mississippi.