SUPPORT THE UK’S REPRESENTATIVE AT THE INTERNATIONAL & EUROPEAN BLUES CHALLENGE
Photo courtesy of Graham Munn
The Kaz Hawkins Band will be representing the UK when they join more than 250 other acts from all over the world at the 33rd International Blues Challenge (IBC) in Memphis, USA organised by the Blues Foundation between 31st January and 4th February 2017.
They will also compete in the 7th European Blues Challenge (EBC) in Horsens, Denmark organised by the European Blues Union on 6th, 7th and 8th April 2017 in which 20 plus bands from across Europe will compete.
The UK Blues Federation (UKBlues) is an Affiliate of the Blues Foundation and an Active Member of the European Blues Union and is honoured that both these organisations have appointed UKBlues to run the process to choose the UK’s representative at these two prestigious events.
As part of UKBlues’ mission to support the Blues in the UK we have set up this crowd funding campaign to raise funds towards the considerable costs which will be incurred by the Kaz Hawkins Band representing the UK at the 2017 IBC & EBC.
The Kaz Hawkins Band celebrate their success at the 3rd UK Blues Challenge at the Robin 2, Bilston on 12th November 2016
Jointly organised by UKBlues and the Robin2 and sponsored by Upton Blues Festival
Photo courtesy of Alan White
Previous UK representatives at the EBC have been Ben Poole, 24 Pesos, Babajack, David Migden & the Twisted Roots, Laurence Jones and Red Butler many of whom have subsequently enjoyed great success in Europe.
Listen to Becky Tate of Babajack talking about how important their appearance at the European Blues Challenge in 2013 was for them
Multi award winning Kaz Hawkins is Northern Ireland’s very own blues and soul darling. The Belfast born singer-songwriter is fast becoming a performing icon across UK & Europe with the United States temptingly beckoning her over. Her high energy, original shows with her 1950s style swing-dress-meets-Dr Martens look and ability to closely connect with her public contribute to make Kaz one of today’s most popular blues artists in the UK and Ireland, as she continues to play to full houses.
Kaz has been compared to Etta James & Janis Joplin to name but a few. Mixing through the genres of music for over 20 years, she finally found her niche in roots and blues, bringing a fun, inspiring & hopeful message with her new debut album ‘Get Ready’ self-released in August 2014, featuring Kaz’s deep, powerful voice, original song-writing and soulful tracks. ’Get Ready’ wooed both the public and the critics, winning the Blues Matters! Magazine Writers’ Poll Best Studio Album of 2015 in September.
In a hat trick feat during the same month, Kaz accepted the prestigious Barry Middleton Award for Emerging Artist at the British Blues Awards (the first ever Northern Ireland recipient) and also received the Pure M Award for 2015 All-Ireland Best Female Act at a ceremony in Dublin.
Kaz’s stellar rise to success will be no surprise to the Northern Ireland’s music fiends and blues fans over the world she has been wooing for years with her deep, powerful voice, original song writing and soulful tracks. No mean feat for the 43 year-old funky grandma, who owes surviving a life of physical and emotional hardship to music and a larger-than-life personality that doesn’t take setbacks lying down! Kaz has now rebranded full time as KAZ HAWKINS BAND. Guitarist Nick McConkey has been with Kaz 4 years and has been a crucial part of the bands direction. With the addition in 2015 of brothers Pete & Jan Uhrin on drums and bass KHB as they are now known, release their ‘Feelin’ Good’ album and UK tour on 28th May at Belfast Empire Music Hall.
Kaz has worked tirelessly for different charities and is Arts Ambassador for EastSide Arts Belfast in which she lectured students at Boston University on how she used music to survive trauma.
Visit UKBlues' website- www.ukblues.org which contains a wealth of information which is regularly updated.
The site also has more information on how you can support UKBlues by joining or making a donation.
The 2017 European Blues Challenge has its own site at www.ebchorsens2017.dk