Congratulations to Centrum’s Artistic Director for Blues, Jerron Paxton, who was named “Most Outstanding Musician” by critics at Living Blues Magazine, in their 25th Annual Living Blues Awards.
Kudos as well to Jontavious Willis (pictured above), who is joining us in Port Townsend in 2018, for being named “Artist Deserving More Attention.”
Both Paxton and Willis are on faculty at the Port Townsend Acoustic Blues Workshop & Festival this year, and we are thrilled to see them recognized.
We would be remiss in also not mentioning the posthumous award for “Most Outstanding Musician (Keyboard)” given to the late great Henry Gray. Henry was with us in Port Townsend in 2017 and is both deserving and deeply missed.
Founded as America’s first blues publication in Chicago in 1970, Living Blues magazine has set the standard for blues journalism around the world. From its first issue featuring blues legend Howlin’ Wolf on the cover, Living Blues has provided fans with insightful, in-depth stories on such legendary blues artists as Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Koko Taylor, and John Lee Hooker. In addition, Living Blues focuses on true creative originals like Otha Turner, Chris Thomas King, and Super Chikan, artists often overlooked by other blues press.
Living Blues was acquired by the University of Mississippi in 1983 and is published bimonthly by the Center for the Study of Southern Culture. Beginning in 2003, Living Blues has sponsored the Blues Today! Symposium each spring on the University of Mississippi campus. The Symposium has featured such keynote speakers as Paul Oliver, Samuel Charters, and Bill Ferris as well as intimate musical performances by Honeyboy Edwards, Little Milton, and B.B. King. In 2009, Living Blues was honored by the state of Mississippi with a Mississippi Blues Trail historical marker. Living Blues is also a past recipient of the Blues Foundation’s prestigious Keeping the Blues Alive Award.