From the Blues Foundation website:
Joe Bonamassa has been elected to the Blues Foundation’s Board of Directors. He will serve in a Board-Elected slot for a three year term–2005-2008. According to Jay Sieleman, Executive Director, “The Board is always seeking to enhance its makeup by adding members with skills, constituencies, and perspectives that may otherwise be lacking. Joe’s age, audience, and experience should bring an added dimension to the Board and The Blues Foundation.”
They chose very well! Joe’s always been involved with preserving blues heritage and often makes room in his schedule to deliver Blues in the Schools performances at various stops on his tour.
Joe stated, “Over the last several years I have made a substantial committment to The Blues Foundation and the Blues In the Schools (BITS) program, which gives me a great deal of enjoyment. Given my active touring schedule, averaging over 150 shows per year in North America and Europe, I believe that I would be instrumental in successfully communicating the importance and heritage of the blues to the younger generation and creating renewed excitement for the blues within this group.”
This is great news for the Blues Foundation as well as the blues community at large. Joe’s fans come from all walks of life and bring with them a great deal of enthusiasm. As the announcement was made on the Bonamassa forum last week, people began to ask how they could get involved.
The best way to help is to get involved with your local blues society. At the very least, join. Your membership helps to fund Blues in the Schools projects on a local level. As well, you’ll have the opportunity to meet others who enjoy the blues.
I don’t know how it is with other blues organizations, but the group I’m involved with publishes a monthly newsletter with a gig calendar (which I assemble), articles, photos, etc. We also had five rounds of competition for our bands and solo/duo acts to determine who would represent us in Memphis for the IBC. I was fortunate enough to attend most of them and was pleased with the final selections.
I didn’t start off doing the calendar. No, I only joined to find out what was happening around town. I KNEW there had to be more blues than I was finding in the local papers. And there was. Then, there was a call for someone to take over the calendar. I waited a couple of days and then volunteered, thinking someone would have already taken the position. Nope. It was all mine. Since that time, I’ve become a board member, worked at promoting the blues at local venues, written articles (including one on Joe), photographed many events, and watched our blues community grow. I’ve met wonderful musicians, all of whom possess incredible talent. Personally, I’ve never felt more at home with a group of people than I do surrounded by blues lovers.
You want to get involved? GET INVOLVED! Start by contacting your local organization. Google it, if you must. But go, get started, and enjoy the heck out of it!
You can also join the Blues Foundation to support the blues on a national and international level. I’d recommend joining both. The money you spend on dues is the equivalent to what you might spend one night in a bar on drinks. The return is so much greater, though.
Amazingly, it turns out that another of my favorite singer/guitarists has been bitten by the Blues Foundation bug. Anthony Gomes has become an official member. Way to go, AG!
And Joe, congratulations! 28 years old and sitting on the board of directions. You must be doing something right to be elected. We know you’re going to do a bang up job.