NBN helps produces the following annual events with the help
of our sponsors & supporters.
Blues at the Beach Festival - Sept
Free Blues Concerts! This festival features local,
national acts and workshops held outdoors at the
oceanfront in Virginia Beach at the 17th Street Stage.
International Blues Challenge - Local Competition
Our local cometitiion to represent the NBN at the Blues Foundation's International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN.
of Natchel' Blues Network
The Natchel' Blues Network (NBN) has
been promoting the blues in southeastern Virginia as
a 501c3 non-profit organization since 1984. Chase Jackson,
Ernie Williams, and other musicians wanted to increase
the awareness of the blues in Hampton Roads, so they
formed the NBN. Our first "Elizabeth River
Blues Festival" was presented in Norfolk,
VA in 1985 with headliner John Lee Hooker. Over the
years, the headliners included Albert King, Bernard
Allison, Ann Rabson, Katie Webster, Big Twist, Lonnie
Brooks, Gatemouth Brown, The Holmes Brothers, Marcia
Ball, Denise LaSalle, and Lil' Ed & the
Due to cuts in grants, this festival
has not been presented since 1994. In 1996, Festevents
(promoters of the Town Point Jazz Festival for 13 years)
and the Natchel' Blues Network joined together to present
the Town Point Jazz & Blues Festival. This festival
has been very successful. In 1994, we had an opportunity
to try a new venue - the oceanfront in Virginia Beach,
for Blues At The Beach. The first festival was a low-budget,
one-day affair, that presented some of the best of
the local blues scene. Since then, Blues At The Beach
has included Roomful of Blues, Robert Lockwood, Jr.,
Bob Margolin with Pinetop Perkins, Lucky Peterson,
Smokin' Joe Kubek, Rod Piazza & the Mighty Flyers,
Long John Hunter, R.L. Burnside, Shemekia Copeland,
the Nighthawks, and a host of talented local bands.
Our organization has always stressed having local bands
participate in our festivals.
The NBN has presented workshops by
Koko Taylor, Saffire -The Uppity Blues Women, Cephas & Wiggins,
John Jackson, and Taj Mahal. These presentations were
in conjunction with Norfolk State University and Old
Dominion University. In October, 1997, Tim Morgan (one
of our directors) started presenting a Blues In The
School program and has done several more since that
time. We also run Blues Jams throughout the year,
present local workshops, publish a monthly calendar,
and publish the bi-monthly Blues News newspaper. Our members also presented
three benefits for the Johnny Copeland Heart Fund.
In 1998, the NBN won the Blues Foundation's Keeping
The Blues Alive (KBA) Award for Blues Organization
of the Year.