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2015 Recap – and on to 2016!

Dear Blues Family….

Thoughts are surfacing of what was and what will … is that time of year. Reflecting back on the year that was is what one does. Alas, everyone has a story to tell and sometimes that story shapes what will come. The Blues Society of Western PA (BSWPA) was off to a rocky start early last year. However, the board and the members rallied together and soon it was business as usual. The BSWPA met the challenge, recharged and more determined than ever to do the best that we, as a group, could do to fulfill our mission to ‘keep the blues alive’.

We left the starting gate in 2015 at a trot and soon found ourselves at a fast gallop. We, the BSWPA, are on the final lap of the year. Our accomplishments were many and very productive.

First thing to note…. the BSWPA as nonprofit organization is a fan based society. Some feel that we should be a booking agency for bands. That in itself would be a daunting task…pushing some bands ahead of others. Not fair at best. We, the BSWPA, have chosen to represent the bands by showcasing them to the public, to enable them to increase and enhance their fan base. This policy best ‘fits’ our society’s guidelines. That said…..What we do know is that we, the BSWPA, are big, big supporters of our local talent and appreciate the musical treasures that live among us.

What have we done in the past year?

The annual activities:

  • 11th Annual Blues Society of Western PA Blues Challenge

  • Sent to acts to the International Blues Challenge.

  • Sent a youth representative to participate in the Youth Blues Showcase in Memphis, TN at the International Blue Challenge.

  • Food Bank activities to help feed those in need.

  • Blues Go Pink Divas show for breast cancer screenings.

  • Blues Garden Party to benefit the Sonny Pugar Foundation.

  • Hosted booths at the Pittsburgh Blue Fest and the Heritage Blues Fest.

  • Hosted a Christmas party.

  • Hosted the New Year’s Eve Blues Bash.

  • Guitar Showdown with Vince Agwada and Co.

  • Partnered with Hopewell Parks for the Blues picnic.

What was new:

  • Youth jam

  • Artist showcase

  • Band marketing and promotional workshop

  • Harp Face-Off

  • Making Music, Making Smiles….an event that raised funds to send live music to nine area hospitals for the Sonny Pugar Foundation.

Yes, looking back, the blues were alive and well in the burg. We thank all of those who support LIVE music and support the Blues Society of Western PA.

Together, as a blues family, we have accomplished much.

We, the BSWPA, wish you much happiness and joy in the coming year. We also wish you a blues filled 2016. See you down the blues highway!!!!

Yours in Blues,

Jonnye Weber President Blues Society of Western PA


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