If you missed the highly acclaimed South Orange International Blues Festival in South Orange, NJ this past September, here’s your chance to experience a “do over.” Join the South Orange International Blues Festival (SOIBF) and the South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) as they present “Blues in the Loft” on Sunday May 1, 2011 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the SOPAC Loft.

“Blues in the Loft” was conceived by Mike Griot, Founder and Executive Director of the SOIBF, and Michael Bollinger, Executive and Artistic Director of SOPAC. Given the overwhelming response to the 2010 SOIBF, Griot decided to organize a series of “blues events” leading up to the next main SOIBF event in September 2011.

Griot said, “Since the SOIBF began as a South Orange-based event, it’s important to highlight the best about the Village of South Orange including its cultural institutions. SOPAC is known for offering quality programming to the community of New Jersey, so it’s only natural that we partner together to preserve and promote this indigenous American music.”

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“Blues is one of our greatest original American art forms, yet it is probably least known and celebrated,” added Griot. “I want to expose a wider audience to the history and creativity this music has to offer.”

“The Blues in the Loft” will feature Michael Hill’s Blues Mob, a cutting-edge premier contemporary blues band and one of the headliners from the 2010 SOIBF. "Hill and company return the voice of prophecy, as well as the outraged heart of contemporary urban African-American experience, to the modern blues tradition", exclaimed Living Blues Magazine.

Since Hill’s first album in 1994, “Bloodlines,” earned the Living Blues Critic's award for Debut Blues Album of the Year, Hill’s music continues to delight audiences at national events such as the Chicago Blues Festival, and Memphis In May as well as international festivals and clubs in England, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, France, Norway, Scandinavia, Turkey, Russia, Brazil, and Australia among others.

World-renowned guitarist Dave Stryker, another featured performer from the 2010 SOIBF, will also make a special guest appearance. Stryker was voted one of the Top Ten Guitarists in a Downbeat Readers poll, and a Rising Star in four Downbeat Critics Polls. His approach combining the jazz burn to a soulful blues feeling is communicating to new fans wherever he plays.

Additionally, featured youth and adult musicians from the 2010 SOIBF “Blues Battleground” competition will perform. One of the main objective of the SOIBF is to cultivate a passion of blues music among younger generations.

This is a blues event for all ages!

Tickets are $20 and may be obtained at the SOPAC box office or online at www.SOPACnow.org (service fees apply). For more information, please call the SOPAC Box Office at 973.313.ARTS (2787) or visit the SOPCA Box Office (Monday through Saturday 12-6pm) at One SOPAC Way, South Orange, NJ.