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SteelStacks at ArtsQuest Center
101 Founders Way
Bethlehem, PA 18015
(610) 332-1300 · info@artsquest.org

The Banana Factory
25 W. Third St.
Bethlehem, PA 18015
(610) 332-1300 · info@artsquest.org

Shemekia Copeland, Tommy Castro, Heritage Blues Orchestra & More Headline 2015 Blast Furnace Blues Festival Presented by Highmark Blue Shield


November 18, 2014


Event, set for March 27-29 in Bethlehem, Pa., will feature 20 national and local blues acts

BETHLEHEM, PA–Two-time GRAMMY nominee Shemekia Copeland, multiple Blues Music Award and B.B. King Entertainer of the Year winner Tommy Castro, the Heritage Blues Orchestra and John Németh & the Bo-Keys headline the 2015 Blast Furnace Blues Festival presented by Highmark Blue Shield March 27-29, 2015 at the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks in Bethlehem. Three-day festival passes and single-day tickets for the event, which features 20-plus national and local blues artists, go on sale today, noon, at www.artsquest.org and 610-332-3378.

On March 28, Blast Furnace Blues welcomes the one and only Tommy Castro. A two-time winner of the coveted B.B. King Entertainer of the Year Award, Castro has captured numerous honors for his music and songwriting including first place in the blues category of the 2012 International Songwriting Competition for “Hard Believer.” He has been touring nationally since the 1980s, first with the Dynatones, and then with The Tommy Castro Band. During his career, Castro has shared the stage with some of the greats in the blues, including legends Albert King and B.B. King.

Following a set by Castro, the Blast Furnace Blues audience will enjoy a scorchin’ set by John Németh & The Bo-Keys. Since 2002, harmonicist and singer-songwriter John Németh has recorded seven albums, earning seven Blues Music Award nominations in 2012 and 2013 alone. At Blast Furnace Blues, he will be joined by Blues Music Award nominees The Bo-Keys, whose music has been featured in multiple films including the Academy Award winner “Hustle & Flow.” The two artists recently joined forces to record “Memphis Grease,” and Blast Furnace Blues offers the unique opportunity to see them perform together on the same stage.

Headlining the festival on March 29 is vocal powerhouse Shemekia Copeland. Since beginning her career at the age of 16, Copeland has released seven albums, which have been nominated for several blues awards. She has shared the stage with artists such as Mick Jagger, B.B. King and Eric Clapton, while also performing at the White House for President and Mrs. Obama.

Also taking the stage March 29 is the GRAMMY-nominated Heritage Blues Orchestra. Based in New York, this group seamlessly blends together blues, gospel, country and jazz to create fierce and inspiring music that’s internationally cherished. Its 2013 album “And Still I Rise” made it onto the Top Blues Albums chart, and individual members have enjoyed their own astonishing successes. At Blast Furnace Blues, the audience will have the opportunity to experience this incredible nine-piece orchestra, which comes complete with a rippin’ horn section.

Other performers taking the stage during Blast Furnace Blues presented by Highmark Blue Shield include Texas-based blues guitarist Carolyn Wonderland, Curley Taylor and Zydeco Trouble, Eric Noden and Joe Filisko, Freddie King Reunion Band, and Shawn Holt & the Teardrops, led by the son of blues legend Magic Slim. The festival will kick off March 27 with a night of the blues by local favorites such as the Sarah Ayers Band, James Supra Blues Band, Friar’s Point and Dugan Thomas. On March 29, Blast Furnace Blues attendees can also enjoy a special Blues Brunch featuring music by local blues favorites The BC Combo. Tickets for the brunch, which are $35, are on sale now at www.artsquest.org and 610-332-3378.

”Highmark Blue Shield is proud to once again sponsor the Blast Furnace Blues Festival, a wonderful musical event that draws blues-lovers far beyond the Lehigh Valley,” says Susan Hubley, director of community affairs at Highmark. “This year’s lineup of musicians looks as incredible as the setting at SteelStacks. We’re grateful for the opportunity to show our support for this showcase of blues talent.”

Looking for the ultimate experience at Blast Furnace Blues? The festival is offering three-day VIP Packages, which include admission to the entire festival, as well as a Sunday Blues Brunch ticket, meet & greets with select headliners, commemorative poster, valet parking and more. VIP Packages, which are available in limited quantities, are only $199.

BLAST FURNACE BLUES PRESENTED BY HIGHMARK BLUE SHIELD 2015 LINEUP

March 27
Musikfest Café presented by Yuengling

6:15 pm Friar’s Point
6:45 pm Dugan Thomas
8:30 pm James Supra Blues Band
10:30 pm Sarah Ayers Band

March 28
Musikfest Café presented by Yuengling

1:30 pm Ed Anderson
3 pm Curley Taylor & Zydeco Trouble
4:30 pm Gaye Adegbalola
6 pm Shawn Holt & the Teardrops
7:45 pm Tommy Castro
9:30 pm John Németh & the Bo-Keys

Fowler Blast Furnace Room Stage

2:15 pm Shawn Holt & the Teardrops
3:45 pm Eric Noden & Joe Filisko
5:30 pm Ed Anderson
7 pm Carolyn Wonderland
8:45 pm Curley Taylor

March 29
Musikfest Cafe presented by Yuengling

11 am Blues Brunch with BC Combo (separate ticket required)
1:30 pm Carolyn Wonderland
2:45 pm Freddie King Reunion Band
4:15 pm Chris O’Leary Band
6 pm Shemekia Copeland
7:45 pm Heritage Blues Orchestra

Fowler Blast Furnace Room Stage

1:15 pm Mike Mettalia & Midnight Shift
3:15 pm Maria Woodford Band
5 pm Roddy Barnes
7 pm Freddie King Reunion Band

For complete information, tickets and festival passes for Blast Furnace Blues presented by Highmark Blue Shield, please visit www.artsquest.org.