Who will represent The Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival at the 2012 International Blues Challenge.

The 2012 International Blues Challenge will be the 28th year of Blues musicians from around the world competing for cash, prizes, and industry recognition. The Blues Foundation will present the IBC January 31-February 4, 2012 in Memphis, TN. The world's largest gathering of Blues acts represents an international search by The Blues Foundation and its Affiliated Organizations for the Blues Band and Solo/Duo Blues Act ready to take their act to the international stage. In 2011, 110 bands and 83 solo/duo acts entered, filling the clubs up and down Beale Street and the Orpheum Theater. The Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival has sent New Brunswick blues acts for the past four years, and in 2010 joined the ranks of one of the select few "blues societies" that has won the contest, with New Brunswick bluesman Matt Andersen taking top honours in the solo/duo category.

Harvest Jazz and Blues would like YOUR help in choosing the finalist to send to the 2012 IBC. Vote for your favourite artist here. The finalists will play a showcase on Saturday, September 17 at 2pm in the Galaxie Barracks Tent. The winner will be selected based 50% on the online vote, and 50% on the votes of a panel of industry judges.

  • George Street Blues Project

    Fredericton, New Brunswick
    Chicago Blues, R&B

    What started as a "project" more than 10 years ago has turned into a staple of the New Brunswick blues scene. Having played in major festivals throughout Atlantic Canada and Quebec, George Street Blues Project has earned a well-deserved reputation for keeping the blues alive with enthusiastic renditions of traditional Chicago blues and old standards, as well as original material. This year the project is bigger and better than ever before with a band new line up. Fronted by powerhouse R&B singer Sheldon Gordon, The Project has new energy that is sure to please old and new fans alike. Add to that the stalwart rhythm section of Mike Flemming and Jeff Barnes, duelling guitars of Terry Morrison and Paul MacNabb, plus veteran harp ace Dave Bedford, and The Project is ready for the International Blues Challenge!

    Born Under a Bad Sign

  • J-C Arsenault & Dan Robichaud

    Bathurst, New Brunswick

    J-C Arsenault was inspired to form his own Chicago-style blues band 15 years ago, after experimenting with impromptu blues gigs with Halifax bluesman Joe Murphy. Soon after he invited Fredericton-based blues harp player, Dan Robichaud to a gig and an immediate chemistry between the two was established. J-C and Dan have been playing together ever since, along with a handful of Maritime blues musicians, playing, promoting and passionately living the blues. Now the two playin a refined duo format that celebrates the pre-war blues contribution to the North American music heritage.

    Catfish Blues

  • Double Dutch Hutch

    Fredericton, New Brunswick

    Double Dutch Hutch brings together two generations of blues players and a few of their friends to entertain with blues magic. Festival founder Rick Hutchins joins forces with his son Sean, a very talented young artist on the Fredericton music scene. Sean is a fine guitar player and vocalist with experience beyond his years. His band, the Midnight Ramblers is rocking audiences on a regular basis and is one of Fredericton's rising star acts. Rick Hutchins, an original member of Fredericton's Downtown Blues Band, joins Sean on stage. Two generations, one love of the blues.


  • Ross Neilsen

    Fredericton, New Brunswick
    Blues Rock

    Hometown bluesman Ross Neilsen is one of the hardest working blues-rockers on the scene today and quickly establishing himself among the East Coast's best. He recently released his sixth album – Live at the Acoustic Grill – the follow up to his acclaimed 2010 album Redemption, which he recorded in Mississippi with three-time Grammy nominated producer Cody Dickinson of North Mississippi Allstars after competing at the 2010 International Blues Challenge in Memphis. Proving hard work pays off, Ross was nominated for a 2010 Maple Blues Award for Best New Artist, two Rising Star nominations from CBC, back to back Blues Album of the Year nominations from the East Coast Music Association and won Best Blues Recording for Redemption at the 2010 MusicNB awards. Whether electrifying audiences with his power trio or telling tall tales in his intimate solo shows, Neilsen is "out there" delivering unforgettable live shows across the country. Combining clever lyrics with old school, guitar-hero-style guitar playing, Neilsen has secured himself as the real deal among both peers and fans alike.

    Preachin' Blues

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