A young French musician, thanks to the collaboration with France Blues and his president Fred Delforge, Valentin Vasseur, 16 years old, had the chance to experience the Pinetop Perkins Foundation Workshop, and as a feedback of this “adventure” sent us a letter we re very proud to publish:
I am Valentin Vasseur, and I’m very grateful to you as you have supported me and gave me your trust for the Mississippi Blues Camp in Clarksdale. It brought me a huge number of benefits, on the human side as well as on the professional side.
We also have been lucky to have a personal guide for us, as we were under the age of 21 … The guide shared with us his great knowledge on blues, on history and he introduced us to fantastic American people and Blues musicians, living legends from the past!
We will NEVER forget this! And since the person was taking care of us, we had all the time free for us to focus on music and practice with others.
Pinetop Perkins Workshop to me is much more than a trainee workshop on Blues music, taking place in the USA…
It’s a big new family of friends and professionals, making everything possible for our success. It’s a meeting place, a working place, and a place to launch us, live, on stage!
The professional level and quality of the teachers were of very high standard, and attendees also had a very good music level, making it possible for us to perform live concerts on stage in less than a week, and truly, at a professional level! it was awesome!
During the Pinetop Perkins Foundation workshop, I was lucky to meet and work with such great artists as famous as Bob Margolin, ex Muddy Waters guitarist, with Johnny Burgin, and even the young new blues legend: Christon Kingfish, who was very generous with me on stage. So different generations of musicians sharing the same passion.
During the workshop, we were called on stage every night, performing with different groups, different musicians, which made us practice improvisations and jam sessions a lot! During classes and lessons, my understanding level of the English American language was sometimes not that easy… but at the end, thanks to music, it worked perfect!!
On the final day, for our last concert on the famous stage of Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale, I had the chance to play 4 pieces of music with different partners, young and very talented. Then Bob Margolin joined for great jam session and at the end, I closed with a group playing with Kingfish! I was in… heaven!
So, as a résumé, I would say that, even if this was a long trip, far away from France, the Pinetop Blues Workshop helps making very good professional encounters, sometimes very unexpected like Kingfish’s visit.
And then, when back in Europe, the benefit of the workshop appeared even better as obvious, as Kingfish invited me on the Cahors Blues Festival major scene! This happily closed my one month Blues trip!
Furthermore, i am still in contact with attendees of the workshop, and i look forward meeting them again in Europe or in the USA !
The support I got this year from France Blues and European Blues Union has been very positive for me and has given me faster and better chances to play on bigger stages, with French and American artists, during their summer European tours! So for me, the France Blues Association is like a quality label stamped on my programs!
I am now looking forward new experiences, hopefully new workshops…
Again, thanks for your investment and generosity !
Valentin Vasseur, age 16