On Saturday, Jan. 18, The North & Greater Richmond Blues Foundation, Inc. held its first networking event “A Gathering of Like-Minds” (Part 1) at their offices in North Richmond. Local residents and blues lovers gathered to share, reminisce, strategize and coalesce around the development of a cultural Center that reflects the rich musical heritage of north and greater Richmond.
Founder, DeJeana Burkes explains that, “ Blues and gospel music has always found a place to thrive within African-American communities. Our history shows it was no different here in Richmond. During the years 1940-70 a bustling business district developed “Out North” and grew a strong blues culture to rival any other in the Bay Area. Preserving our roots…our music is important, and now is the time for us to step up, and take our place on the world stage where we historically belong. The center will allow us to educate, and preserve our roots, while promoting blues and gospel music through film, recordings, oral history, memorabilia, seminars, classes, conferences and performance art.”
Ms. Burkes has served as producer of the annual North Richmond Music Festival for the past 10 years. She is a blues artist actively performing on festival stages, and venues nationally. She loves the blues and works hard at keeping the blues alive. DeJeana , also recently received a mini-grant award from the Richmond Arts & Cultural Commission for her project “Paint & Vibe”, she is truly a force on the move.
“A Gathering of Like-Minds” (Part 2) is scheduled for Saturday, March 14, 2020. It is an event seeking community input. Interested in music preservation? Contact the Richmond Blues Foundation by email: [email protected]