Heritage Blues Quartet will ROCK THE BARN on March 10, 2013. Harrisburg, PA.

HeritageBluesOrchestra, squareThe Grammy nominated Heritage Blues Quartet will ROCK THE BARN with their explosive and powerful New Orleans style blues on Sunday, March 10, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. at the Fort Hunter Centennial Barn located at 5300 N. Front Street in Harrisburg. The event will be preceded by a 6 p.m. potluck dinner and is sponsored by the Susquehanna Folk Music Society in collaboration the Central PA Blues Society and the Central PA Womyn’s Chorus. Tickets are available at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/304403.

The Quartet is the core of a larger ensemble, The Heritage Blues Orchestra which includes brass players from Paris, France that supplement the group when they tour in Europe. Their very first album And Still I Rise was nominated for a 2013 Grammy.

The group has been described as “an inspiring testament to the enduring power, possibilities, and boundless beauty of African-American music”. It drives concert-goers down Highway 49 from Clarksdale to New Orleans, journeys across the Middle Passage, takes people from chain gangs and juke joints to orchestra pits and church pews, and even to back porches. Their loving celebration of tradition gives rise to a new adventure in music with a singular sound.

The members of the Heritage Blues Quartet are guitarist and vocalist Junior Mack, multi-instrumentalist Bill Sims, Jr., and singer Chaney Sims. Each of these three musicians is a powerful singer who excels at solo work as well as harmony singing. They are joined by and percussionist Barry Harrison.

Born into and raised by a sharecropping family in rural Georgia, Bill Sims, Jr., is an internationally respected master of the blues. A talented guitar play; he also plays a MEAN New Orleans style piano! He began playing piano at age 4 and by 14 was playing R&B professionally. He likes to mentor young blues and roots musicians; teaching them to respect the music and to be good performers.

“When I grew up listening to the blues, BB King and Muddy Waters were the ones that I always wanted to see,” he says. “They got up on stage and were always dressed really sharp. I do the same and sometimes the young kids will ask why I do that. I tell them well—its show business. Then they start dressing up too.”

Mr. Sims is also an accomplished musical director and has lent his talents to many theater and film productions in New York and throughout the United States. In 1999 he and his family were the subjects of “An American Love Story, “a PBS documentary about a bi-racial family.

Chaney Sims, daughter of Bill Sims, Jr., is a native New Yorker who is descended from music makers from Georgia, Florida, and Ohio. She has a gorgeous, full-bodies voice that her father says is a gift that just comes naturally to her. She developed her love of music growing up listening to R & B, Billie Holliday and James Brown.

Her voice is steeped in field hollers, work songs, spirituals, blues, soul, and R&B. She says she is dedicated to sharing the significance of these unique art forms, exploring their influence on her voice as a queer woman of color, and revealing a broad spectrum of the blues, roots music and the American songbook.

Self-taught, Junior Mack has become a gifted guitarist and vocalist. He has been playing since age 9 and is equally at ease playing acoustic and electric styles. He started out playing gospel on the guitar and then moved into the country blues of Lightnin’ Hopkins and the big city blues of Freddie King and B.B. King.

Barry Harrison is a New York City based percussionist who was the drummer for legendary bluesman, Johnny “Clyde” Copeland.

The concert will be preceded by a free potluck dinner. Bring a covered dish to share. Drinks and place settings will be provided. Concert tickets are $20 General Admission, $16 for SFMS members, members of the Central Pennsylvania Womyn’s Chorus,and the Central PA Blues Society.  $10 for students ages 3-22. Advance tickets are available through Brown Paper Tickets at (800) 838-3006 or online at http://www.BrownPaperTickets.com. Funding is provided by the Cultural Enrichment Fund and by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, administered locally by the Cultural Alliance of York County. For more information, visit the Susquehanna Folk Music Society web site at http://www.sfmsfolk.org

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