OKLAHOMA CITY — Some of the best musicians in the state will battle it out this weekend for a place in one of the world’s most respected blues competitions during the 2013 International Blues Competition in Oklahoma City.
The Battle of the Bands contest takes place Saturday, Nov. 2, at Oklahoma City Limits, 4801 S Eastern. Audience members are encouraged to arrive early, and bands will start playing around 7 p.m.
Around 10 bands hailing from all over the state will compete this year and each will have 20 minutes to perform.
“This is an awesome chance to come out and see up-and-coming blues musicians as well as to support blues music in Oklahoma,” said OBS president Matt Kemp. “This is our flagship event for the year, and the support we gain here goes back into all of the work we do for Oklahoma music year round.”
Oklahoma Blues Society members can watch the competition for free and also cast a vote to help determine which groups will represent the state at the next level of competition. Non-members pay $5 to enter and all adults 21 and older are welcome to come cheer the bands on.
“Everything OBS does is to support music in Oklahoma, and we want music lovers to come out and meet these bands, see how passionate they are and help propel the music scene here,” Kemp said.
Winners of the Oklahoma City challenge will advance to the next round of the competition in Memphis, Tenn., Jan. 21 -25, 2014, where finalists compete for cash, prizes and industry recognition.
First place winners in the IBC-Oklahoma City competition receive a headlining spot on the Oklahoma Blues Society Stage at Norman Music Festival 7. They also receive a cash award and five- night hotel stay in Memphis for the international competition in January.
Past IBC-OKC winners include The $5 Sugar of Tulsa, Oklahoma City native Garrett “Big G” Jacobson, The Jeffrey James Trio from Oklahoma City, The Benmore Blues Band and the Dan Danger Band from Oklahoma City.
During the competition, a panel of judges scores bands and solo/duo acts in six separate, weighted categories: blues content, vocal talent, instrumental talent, originality, stage presence and audience vote.
Now in its 30th year, the International Blues Challenge is the nation’s largest and most respected blues music competition. The IBC is an international search by the Blues Foundation and affiliated blues societies to find musicians ready to take their act to the national stage.
During the 2013 IBC competition, 125 bands and 80 solo/duo acts entered and performed in clubs and venues on the famous Beale Street in downtown Memphis. Finalists who emerge from the quarter-and-semi finals during the week compete in the famed Orpheum Theater for the competition’s top nine spots. Musicians, booking agents, festival representatives and recording industry professionals are present during the IBC in Memphis, making the competition a great networking opportunity for bands.
The Oklahoma Blues Society, a Blues Foundation affiliate, is a nonprofit working to preserve the rich history of the Blues by acknowledging the influence of Blues on all forms of modern music and supporting Blues music as an art form for future generations.