Nat Dove Appointed Blues Festival Director
Nat Dove, blues musician-historian and native of Bryan, has been named Director of the Bryan Texas Blues Festival presented on June 15th and 16th 2012, at the Palace Amphitheater located in downtown Bryan at 105 S. Main St. Concerts will be 7:00 PM-11:00 PM both evenings. The Palace Theater is a covered public outdoor stage and has seating for 400 people. It is owned and operated by the City of Bryan, Texas.
This will be the inaugural festival sponsored by the City of Bryan and The Brazos Valley African-American Heritage and Cultural Society. The featured festival performers are all natives of Bryan, and all relish the opportunity to bring their talents and musical skills back home and share with former neighbors, friends, family and the whole local community. The musicians below are the featured artists who will be performing at the Bryan Texas Blues Festival.
Donald Ray Johnson; Blues singer, percussionist, record producer and founding member of the Grammy winning disco-dance band in the 1970s A Taste of Honey and winner of many international music awards will be one of the festival headliners. Donald Ray grew up in the Bryan area and performed locally with many of the bands, recording and broadcasting on local radio. Johnson now lives with his lovely family in Calgary, Alberta Canada. He has the distinction of being the only Grammy winner from the city of Bryan.
The festival will also feature Sunny Nash; vocal artist with Brunswick Recordings. Ms. Nash is also an author, producer, photographer and a leading writer on race relations in America. Her book, Bigmama Didn't Shop At Woolworth's, was chosen by the Association of American University Presses for its value to the understanding of U.S. race relations. Nash grew up in Bryan, was educated in the public school system, and graduated from Texas A&M University. She is now headquartered in Southern California, and she is the editor and producer of The Bryan Texas Blues Festival souvenir book commemorating the inaugural Bryan Texas Blues Festival 2012.
National acclaimed pianist Damu Sudi Alii aka Albert Griffin, who is presently headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area, will bring his unique piano styling of jazz, funk and soul to entertain and enlighten the concert audience. Mr. Alii was born and spent his formative years in Bryan, where he learned and honed his skills as a concert pianist and trombonist.
William "Bill" Walker grew up in Bryan and attended Bryan public schools, where he played trumpet. In 1948, Mr. Walker relocated to Los Angeles and taught himself to play electric guitar and bass. He has enjoyed a long career as a performer and recording session musician. William's discography reads like "who's who" in the music industry. He has recorded with the likes of Duke Ellington, Big Joe Turner, Pee Wee Crayton and Milt Jackson, etc.
Nat Dove (Festival Director) is internationally acclaimed as a blues musician (vocalist-pianist), historian and lecturer in ethnomusicology at California State Universities, through-out the state, Baldwin Hills Academy of Music in Los Angeles, Calif., New York University, Kunatachi Academy of Music in Tokyo, Japan and American Art Center in Paris, France. Nat was invited to perform and lecture at the 45th Folklife Festival for the Smithsonian Institute, in Washington DC on the capitol Mall.
Nat Dove is also founder of the Bakersfield Blues Preservation Society. The Texas Boogie King, is a blues singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger and record producer, film Composer and was inducted into the West Cost Blues Hall of Fame in 2008. Nat Dove (www.natdove.com) has many hit records to his credit, such as Brick-House, Float On and his first hit Part-Time Love in 1963.
Everyone is welcome to come out and witness history being made, as Bryan celebrates its rich musical past.