We’ve just created a new YouTube Channel! Live music from local shows by BBS member bands, concert excerpts from touring blues musicians presented by BBS in the greater Boise area, and lots of other fine blues videos gleaned from YouTube and other websites. Check it out below, because there’s never too much blues music!!
Here’s a sample video from our channel of a recent BBS sponsored event with Portland’s Lisa Mann, and featuring Ben Rice:
Boise Blues Society has received a $1000 grant from the City of Boise, Arts & History Department to support our Blues in the Schools (BITS) program. Contributions like this help us reach out to students in the Boise area.
Part of our mission to “promote and preserve blues music” includes providing musicians as coaches and performers to introduce blues music to children and adults alike. BITS, which began in 2006, is part of our outreach effort and is provided at no cost to participating schools. Through BITS, Boise Blues Society brings a taste of blues music, and the lessons that go with it, into schools.
As a music teacher, I (like many music teachers) take pride in training my students in a variety of musical styles to thoroughly develop their musical expertise. Yet we often fail to celebrate one of the most recognizable forms of American music still performed to this day: the blues. Our students know the blues when they hear it and some have even grown up with it. Within the plethora of musical styles that must be mastered and taught in the public school system, this essential genre often falls to the bottom of the priorities list.
Ken Harris and the Boise Blues Society were there to help. Through their Blues in the Schools program, they arranged for a custom-selected blues band to perform for my students, including specialized instrumentation so that each student would have a professional to collaborate with. Their presentations and activities for each class were individualized based upon students’ level of mastery and included a variety of content matter from historical context to musical theory. My students were encouraged to stand up and join in with the performers and it was a great moment when some of my shyest students came out of their shell to play or sing their solo. Whether you have a thriving program with hundreds of students or a K-12 music class at a rural school, the Blues in the Schools program will captivate your students and have them humming the blues for weeks to come.
Director of Music – Canyon Springs HS (Caldwell)
Review by Ken Harris
On February 18, The Boise Blues Society showed up bright and early for “Blues In The Schools” at Canyon Springs High School in Caldwell. We were there for 3 classes: Guitar, Choir, and Jazz Ensemble
Our presenters were:
Ken Harris-piano, harmonica, vocals
Leif Skyving-harmonica,slide guitar
Phil Garonzik-tenor sax
In the Guitar class, after the band played 2 introductory songs, Marv demonstrated a series of simple guitar licks that the students all practiced on their individual guitars. Then Leif gave a slide guitar presentation and invited two students up to give it a try on a second slide guitar he had brought.
For Choir, the band played a blues song and Carmel got out in the midst of the students, had them all stand up and then got them to sing some simple blues riffs in 3 part harmony. Several students also tried some scat singing with the band.
In the Jazz Ensemble, the students split up for individual instruction with Bob, Phil, Jack, Ken and Mike to work on their parts on “Watermelon Man.” Jack did double duty working with two student trumpeters. At class’s end, all the students and presenters played “Watermelon Man” together.
We look forward to returning to Canyon County soon!
For information on bringing “Blues In The Schools” to YOUR school, FREE OF CHARGE, call Ken Harris at #440-4590.