BluesEd is pleased and proud to be sending Voodoo Vinyl to the 2016 Youth Showcase at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee. Voodoo Vinyl will be performing on the famed Beale Street in Memphis alongside hundreds of national and international touring blues acts vying for grand champion. The Youth Showcase will occur on January 29th, 2016 at one of the 16 famous venues on Beale Street in Memphis. Students will have free access to all Blues Foundation events on historic Beale Street during the event including: quarter and semi-final venues as well as finals at the Orpheum Theater.
Band members of Voodoo Vinyl include:
Thomas Palensky, age 17 - bass guitar
Billy Svolos, age 14 - drums
Graham Brooks, age 17 - guitar and saxophone
Cole Palensky, age 14 - guitar
Carmel Hemphill, age 14 - vocals
Elyse Davis, age 16 - vocals
Gabi Basile, age 15 - trombone (not shown in photo)
The Blues Society of Omaha is also sending a band to the IBC. The winner of the Nebraska Blues Challenge was Hector Anchondo Band featuring drummer Khayman Winfield. Khayman was one of the first graduates of BluesEd nearly 15 years ago and he attributes much of his success to BluesEd. Khayman said "People ask me all the time 'You are so young and accomplished. How did you get so good?' I tell them about BluesEd in Omaha and how it prepared me as a Blues musician." Good luck to Khayman & the Hector Anchondo Band!
BluesEd has sent several other bands to Memphis in the past including: The Side Effects, Crimson Dawn & Mojo Bag. Special thanks, as always, go to the Blues Society of Omaha for their financial & moral support of BluesEd. 2016 marks the 15th year of BluesEd in Omaha. BluesEd has grown from one youth development band with 4 students to 39 students in 6 bands. You can catch our bands performing most weekends in the summer at many area venues including: Playing with Fire, Jazz on the Green, SumTur Amphitheater, 21st Saloon, Bushwackers, Bellevue Riverfest, Stinson Park, Werner Park among many other great venues.
Several of our BluesEd students will be performing with Brad Cordle Band in the Concert Hall at Holland Center for the FREE 10th Anniversary show on Saturday, Oct. 17th. Sponsored by the Blues Society of Omaha.
Location: Kiewit Concert Hall in Holland Center
Looking for something cool to do this weekend?
*Start the weekend tonight (Thurs) with Jazz on the Green and Silver Lining Band at 6:30 at Midtown Crossing at Turner Park
*Friday visit us at Arena Que at the Ralston Arena with Highway 61,Far&Wide Blues Us & Them Blues Band starting at 7:00.
*Sunday @Highway 61 will be at Josyln Castle from 10-4
*Sunday - Far & Wide Blues & Silver Lining will be at the Kon-Tiki-O River Boat from 2-5.
All events are FREE and all events are ALL AGES!
Great weekend of Live Music!
Reprinted from the Blues News - Blues Society of Omaha Newsletter
By Scott Stocking (additional text by Chris Shouse)
BluesEd bands have been busy in the month of July. All six bands displayed their talents at the BluesEd Showcase at the 21st Saloon on July 12. As usual, the bands wowed a packed house. After each performance the BluesEd Clinicians gave band members feedback on performance and style. On July 17-18, all BluesEd bands performed at Bellevue's River Fest Celebration at Haworth Park. BluesEd officially wraps up it's season July 26 at Sumtur Park in Papillion, with the Senior Jam as the highlight of the evening.
In addition to official BluesEd events, several of the bands have been busy at individual events. Silver Lining, Far & Wide and Highway 61 all performed at the Town & Country Humane Society fundraiser on July 11th in Pacific Junction, Iowa. Dilemma performed at Midtown Crossing for Jazz on the Green on July 9th for the largest ever opening night crowd. Us & Them played at Playing with Fire on July 2nd and at the River City Star on July 19. Far & Wide also performed at Sokol Park July 3 in an event that headlined the Kris Lager Band. Then they wowed the crowd at Plattsmouth the same evening as their show at River Fest. Next they opened for The Side Guys on July 23rd for Jazz on the Green. Voodoo Vinyl was at Doghouse Saloon on July 5th in an event that featured an extended jam session with Austin Young from Colorado as opening act for Sue Foley & Peter Karp band. Silver Lining & Highway 61 had a great time on the Kon-Tiki-O party boat on Aug. 2nd. Silver Lining is performing at the final Jazz on the Green on Aug. 13th.
All BluesEd bands have some "off-season" gigs at various venues including the Arena-Que BBQ event at Ralston Arena on Aug. 14th, Dairy Chef in Elkhorn on Aug. 22 and Omaha Kite Festival on Sept. 26th
A big thank you to all who have come out to support BluesEd bands this season. If you know of talented musicians ages 12-18, encourage them to check out BluesEd for the 2015 season. Auditions will take place in January or February. Keep checking www.bluesEd.com for more information and for band schedules.
14 years since inception
4 clinicians with over 100 years of experience
70 (and counting) performance hours
Countless rehearsal hours
1 amazing season
Name: Rebecca Erdman
School: 2015 Graduate of Westside High School
Band: Far & Wide
Possible College & Major: I have been accepted and am now working very hard to get to Berklee College of Music. I will be double majoring in vocal performance (With a blues and jazz focus) and sound production/engineering.
How long in BluesEd? This will be my 2nd year
How long have you been playing/singing? Since I could talk :)
What is your favorite BluesEd workshop song? Feeling Good by Nina Simone
Who is your favorite Blues artist? B.B King or Ray Charles. That's a hard one!
Favorite BluesEd moment? First performance!
Hobbies: I love to go concerts and hang out with my friends and typical teenage activities, but really my life revolves around music. I write music and have taught myself piano and so I spend most of my time writing lyrics and charging piano sheets and recording it. That's pretty much how I spend all of my time!
What else would you like us to know about you? I am thankful for blues Ed for really revealing my passion of performing :)
Name: Ben McLaughlin
School: Creighton Prep, 2015 graduate
College & Major: Loyola University, New Orleans - Music Industry Studies
How Long in BluesEd? 3 years
How long have you been playing? 7 years
What is your favorite BluesEd workshop song? When My Train Pulls In by Gary Clark Jr.
Who is your favorite Blues artist? Stevie Ray Vaughan
Favorite BluesEd moment? Playing with Fire
Hobbies outside of BluesEd? Attending concerts, listening to music, running
Hard to believe but our BluesEd Season Finale is upon us this Sunday, July 26th. Please join us for our final all BluesEd band performance of the year. We have six bands + our seniors will have their final jam. Music starts at 5:00 p.m. at the beautiful Sumtur Amphitheater in Papillion. Food & beverages available for purchase. Admission is FREE!
Highway 61 - 5:00
Silver Lining - 5:45
Us & Them - 6:30
Far & Wide - 7:15
Dilemma - 8:00
Voodoo Vinyl - 8:45
Senior Jam & Goodbyes - 9:30
Reprinted from the Omaha World-Herald: 17-year-old sax man racking up
the miles for his musicBy Casey Logan / World-Herald staff writer | Posted: Monday, April 13, 2015 1:00 am
School: graduated from Omaha North High School
Band: Silver Lining
Possible College & Major: I will study business at UNO and minor in music
How Long in BluesEd: I have been in BluesEd for two years now
How long have you been playing/singing? I have played piano since I was two years old but have played guitar (my main instrument) for three years now and started singing when I picked up guitar.
What is your favorite BluesEd workshop song: Rack Em' Up
Who is your favorite Blues artist? I can't decide on a favorite blues artist it varies every other week.
Favorite BluesEd moment: had to be performing at Sumter amphitheater it was definitely the most memorable
Hobbies outside of BluesEd: recording music
There are a lot of people who make BluesEd such a special organization for our young musicians. Of course we have our four amazing Clinicians who give up a great deal of time and talent mentoring our students. But how about the "Unsung Heroes" of BluesEd?
We'd like to give a special "SHOUT OUT" and recognize some very special people who have given up multiple hours to BluesEd: Our Lead Parents and Performance Coordinators!
Each of these parents has given up countless hours to BluesEd & their bands. Not only do they help organize the bands, they set up gear, they communicate to the Directors & Clinicians, schedule practices, communicate via social media, arrange gigs, assist Directors with communication to bands, among many other tasks. They are the first ones to get to a gig and the last ones to leave. And sometimes they even spend some of their own money to make sure the band has everything they need to perform at their best. Please help us in recognizing these LP's & PC's for all of their hard work this year:
Far & Wide: Jason Groenjes and Sean & Erin Gillen
Dilemma: Chris & Kevin Shouse
Highway 61: Daren Kizlin and Dawn Abboud
Silver Lining: Kim Boyd and James Dark
Us & Them: Trudy & Bryan Bredthauer and Laura & James Foxall
Voodoo Vinyl: Susan Brooks and John Palensky
BRAVO LP's & PC's!! You are very much appreciated. We can not thank you enough to your dedication to BluesEd!
BluesEd bands take the big stage at the Bellevue RiverFest again this year for the 3rd consecutive year!
Admission is just $1.
24 food vendors on site.
Nebraska BBQ championships awarded
Location is right on the river at Haworth Park.
Friday - July 17th
Dilemma - 5:30-6:30
Saturday day - July 18th:
Voodoo Vinyl 12:00 - 12:50
Far & Wide - 1:05 - 1:55
Silver Lining - 2:10 - 3:00
Us & Them - 3:15 - 4:00
7/18 - Saturday night: Highway 61 - 5:00 (or when awards are complete) to 6:30.
Haworth Park2502 Payne Dr
Bellevue, NE + Google Map
Ever since Playing with Fire started it's free concert series in Omaha 12 years ago, BluesEd bands have been asked to perform as opening acts for the headliners. We have been blessed beyond measure with this partnership. Our students have a chance to perform on the big stage in front of large appreciative Blues-loving fans with a professional sound & light system.
This year we were lucky enough to have three BluesEd bands at PwF:
Voodoo Vinyl on June 18th
Dilemma on June 25th
Us & Them on July 2nd
This year, Playing with Fire also asked BluesEd bands to host an AfterBurn Jam following the headliner at a local bar/restaurant. BluesEd enlisted the help of Ben Curran, BluesEd alumni (Mojo Bag) and jam expert extraordinaire to assist our bands in prepping for the jam and leading the jams.
The first week the PwF artists had an early morning flight so we still held the jam. We were lucky enough to have some BluesEd alumni sit in on several songs with Voodoo Vinyl. Watching the growth of our BluesEd alums, now in their 20's, was extremely impressive. It's so great to see so many of our BluesEd students continue to pursue music as a hobby or even a career. Even BluesEd parent, John Palensky, got in the act and played guitar and sat in on a few songs.
Our final night at the Playing with Fire concert was July 2nd. We had a dicey start to the show due to some bad weather in the area but Mother Nature shined on us and gave us a beautiful evening for a show. BluesEd band Us & Them Blues band opened the show and set the tone right for the evening with high energy blues and rock. Following Us & Them was the Boogie Boys Band from Poland & PwF favorite, Albert Cummings. After the sizzling show the crowd made it's way to the AfterBurn Jam to keep the fire burning. Many Polish fans wanted to see & hear the Boogie Boys one more time before they left Nebraska. Those in attendance were treated to a phenomenal show with the Boogie Boys and Us & Them jamming the night away. Several local musicians joined the jam too. Truly a very special night, as was each of the AfterBurn Jams hosted by BluesEd. Thanks again to Playing with FIre Promoter, Jeff Davis and his Associate Producer Vanessa Marie for always believing in BluesEd. Can't wait to do it all again next year!!
Reprinted from the Blues Society of Omaha newsletter
We are right in the thick of our BluesEd season! Our six BluesEd bands are performing nearly
every weekend at area events. We just wrapped up our BluesEd Benefit Concert on Father's
Day held at a Sokol Park in Bellevue. All six of our bands performed beautifully despite the hot
weather. Our BluesEd parents, Stephanie & Jason Groenjes, chaired the Fundraiser which
provided additional revenue for BluesEd. Guests at Sokol Park were treated to an outstanding
Silent Auction full of treats for music lovers, food & beverage items, pampering gifts and tickets
to area events. We also had three area food trucks serving our hungry guests & a full bar
serving drinks. Funds raised help us keep our tuition costs low for our students while they learn
the art of performing Blues music in a band setting.
Look for BluesEd bands performing this summer at many well-known Omaha-area venues.
Voodoo Vinyl, Dilemma and Us & Them all performed in front of large, appreciative crowds for
Playing with Fire. Those bands then hosted the AfterBurn Jam at Cantina Laredo featuring the
headliners from Playing with Fire. Even our BluesEd alumni joined us at a chance to jam with
the very finest Blues artists in the world.
For the first time in BluesEd history three of our BluesEd bands will also be performing at the
venerable "Jazz on the Green" at Midtown Crossing. Opening acts on July 9th, July 23rd &
August 13th will feature BluesEd bands Dilemma, Far & Wide and Silver Lining respectively.
Other area events you'll see BluesEd bands include July 12th at the 21st Saloon for our
BluesEd Showcase & July 26th for our Season Finale at Sumtur Amphitheater. Come out to
support these young musicians. Chances are you are witnessing a young Jimi Hendrix on
guitar, Etta James on vocals or Ray Charles on keys. Time and time again people attending our
shows say they can't believe these are "kid bands." The talent level of our 12-18 year old
students will blow you away.
Be sure to check out our website: www.BluesEd.com and like BluesEd on facebook to get all
the latest updates.
Kevin & Chris Shouse
2015 graduate from Millard South High School
Instrument: Guitar (main), Drums
Possible College & Major:
Metro, possibly Business
How Long in BluesEd: first year in BluesEd
How long have you been playing/singing?
Playing for 11 years
What is your favorite BluesEd workshop song:
Who is your favorite Blues artist? Stevie Ray Vaughn
Favorite BluesEd moment:Sokol Park was my favorite show, so far
Hobbies outside of BluesEd: Work at Hy-Vee, Cook BBQ, Play Music
Sunday July 12th, at the 21st Saloon (96th & L)
4:00 - 4:35 - Silver Lining
4:50 - 5:25 - Us & Them
5:40 - 6:15 - Voodoo Vinyl
6:30 - 7:05 - Hwy 61
7:20 - 7:55 - Far & Wide
Food will be available for purchase (Hawks BBQ will set up inside the 21st Saloon & Buffalo Company is next door.)
Open to the public!
No Cover Charge!