The FBF (Fountain Blues Foundation, 501 (c)3 non-profit organization) is organized to preserve and promote the indigenous American music known as the blues. Preservation activities may take a variety of forms, including live performances, broadcasts, lectures and community education about the history of the blues, culminating in the annual Fountain Blues and Brews Festival (which features a wide-diversity of roots and blues styles). The FBBF supports blues musicians by facilitating live performances of blues music by both seasoned and emerging artists; providing programs to expose and promote blues music to the broader music community; providing education for musicians, including mentorships and music industry experiences that promote professional artistic exchange; partnering with local venues and merchants to promote a community that supports the blues art form. The FBBF aims to attract new listeners to the blues through its events, social media and PR/Communications efforts to the growing FBBF database of fans. The mission of the FBBF includes education programs centered on blues music to K-12 and higher education institutions and community organizations. These programs are intended to encourage young artists and audiences of all ages to appreciate or engage in blues music. The FBBF aims to support the economic development of the Bay Area by including local venues, vendors, merchants, and municipalities in the achievement of our blues mission. It all started in the spring of 1981, with a sold out concert at the San Jose Civic Auditorium by the rock group, Ambrosia. The Associated Students wanted to do a Free of Charge show to repay their fans for their support during the year. The board of directors decided on a blues festival because 1) the blues is an art form that cuts across every demographic line known to man, 2) blues artists usually don’t cost an arm and a leg to contract, and 3) there was almost no blues in San Jose at that time. To everyone’s surprise about 1,000 fans appeared to see mostly local acts, and just seemed to have a grand time of it. Some money was put aside earlier in 1982, John Lee Hooker and the Coast to Coast Blues Band was hired to headline, around 2,500 people came and the rest is history. In 1997, the Festival had some financial problems and was on the verge of going under when our friends at Metro Newspapers signed on as the presenting sponsor. Metro has kept its commitment ever since to “Save the Blues” for San Jose and the South Bay.
- SHANNON TABOR
- Jimmi Accardi and the Action Zone