Patricia Wilson Aden Named New President & CEO of The Blues Foundation

Patricia Wilson Aden Named New President & CEO of The Blues Foundation


Cary Baker / Conqueroo

Aden, President and CEO of the African American Museum in Philadelphia and former Executive Director of the Rhythm and Blues Foundation to succeed Barbara Newman, who will be retiring.

Patricia Wilson Aden, New President & CEO, The Blues Foundation

 

The Blues Foundation is pleased to announce the appointment of Patricia Wilson Aden as its next President & CEO. Aden brings more than three decades of non-profit management experience to the Foundation, with a specialization in the preservation and celebration of African American cultural resources. Her most recent experience as President & CEO of the African American Museum in Philadelphia and her earlier role as Executive Director of the Rhythm & Blues Foundation make her uniquely qualified to lead The Blues Foundation and its Blues Hall of Fame. Aden stated, “I am genuinely excited to join The Blues Foundation and the Blues community in celebrating the Blues and the artists who have made it America’s original musical genre.”

Aden will join the Foundation’s staff on October 1, 2020.

 

Barbara Newman, retiring President & CEO, The Blues Foundation

  Aden succeeds Barbara Newman, who will begin her retirement September 30th. Under Newman’s leadership, The Blues Foundation saw marked growth in engagement and reach in all facets of the organization’s operations. She embraced technology to offer greater access to and programming of major Blues Foundation events, including The International Blues Challenge and Blues Music Awards, forged new industry alliances, and amplified awareness of organizational activities in fulfilling The Blues Foundation’s mission to preserve, celebrate, and expand awareness of the Blues genre.

 Most recently, she led the charge to develop a relief fund to provide financial support for basic living necessities to Blues musicians whose income streams have evaporated in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the first of April, that fund has raised over $250,000 and assisted close to 250 musicians. Throughout her tenure, she has prioritized strong fiscal management and is leaving The Blues Foundation well-situated to further advance its mission under Aden’s leadership.

Michael Freeman, Chairman of The Blues Foundation’s Board of Directors, added, “On behalf of the global Blues community we wish Barbara Newman the very best for a wonderful retirement and with the greatest appreciation for her tireless dedication to The Blues Foundation as its President & CEO. Thanks to her vision and leadership we are well positioned to welcome Patty Aden as our new President & CEO to continue the forward movement of the organization. We are thrilled to have found such an experienced and well-respected leader and look forward to welcoming her on October 1st.”

Based in Memphis, Tenn., the home of the blues, The Blues Foundation is world-renowned as THE organization with a mission to preserve blues heritage, celebrate blues recording and performance, expand worldwide awareness of the blues, and ensure the future of this uniquely American art form. With approximately 4,000 individual members and more than 170 affiliated local blues societies, it represents hundreds of thousands of blues fans and professionals around the world.

In addition to the Blues Music Awards, the Foundation’s other signature honors and events include the Blues Hall of Fame, Keeping the Blues Alive Awards, and the International Blues Challenge. Its HART Fund provides the blues community with medical assistance and advocacy for blues musicians in need, while Generation Blues scholarships and Blues in the Schools programming expose new generations to blues music.

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, The Blues Foundation has recently established the COVID-19 Blues Musician Emergency Relief Fund to provide financial support for basic necessities such as housing and utilities to blues musicians negatively impacted by the pandemic. The Blues Foundation’s Blues Hall of Fame, opened more than five years ago, adds the opportunity for music lovers of all ages to interact with the music and the history. Throughout the year, the Foundation staff serves the worldwide blues community with answers, information, and news.

The Blues Foundation

Southern Avenue to Perform Two “Virtual Fest” Sets on Saturday April 18

Southern Avenue to Perform Two “Virtual Fest” Sets on Saturday April 18


Press Release

If you’ve seen them live, you know what to expect. If not, then hang on to your hat because Southern Avenue has TWO virtual fest performances this Saturday.

Fiery Memphis combo Southern Avenue will be performing two sets on Saturday, April 18th. Oh, and did we mention they are for two separate festivals?

The seeds for Southern Avenue’s birth were first planted when Ori Naftaly, who’d grown up in Israel with a deep-rooted passion for American soul, blues and funk, came to Memphis in 2013 to compete in the prestigious International Blues Challenge. Although his talents were embraced by American audiences, Naftaly felt constrained in his own band, feeling the need to embrace a more expansive musical vision.  That opportunity arrived when he met Tierinii Jackson, who’d gotten her start singing in church, before performing in a series of cover bands and theatrical projects. Despite not having a record deal at the time, Southern Avenue quickly found success touring in America and Europe. They won additional attention playing some high-profile festivals and making it to the finals in the International Blues Challenge.

On their self-titled 2017 debut album, the boundary-breaking Memphis combo sparked a one-band musical revolution, embodying an effortlessly organic soul/blues/R&B fusion that reflects the band members’ diverse roots as well as their deep commitment to their chosen style. On their second album Keep On, the dynamic outfit expanded its gritty musical vision to embrace new musical challenges and a more expansive creative vision.

If you’ve seen them live, you know what to expect. If not, then hang on to your hat because Southern Avenue has TWO virtual fest performances this Saturday. Here’s the info:

Mojo Station Blues Festival “MojoFest Lockdown Edition”

This is an actual festival in Rome and Southern Avenue is performing to help raise morale for their Italian music family that’s been quarantined for months already (and who have all lost people at this point due to COVID-19).

Southern Avenue performs at 12PM CDT (5PM GMT)

Other artists include Cedric Burnside, Fantastic Negrito, The Reverend Payton’s Big Damn Band and more.

Mojo Station Blues Festival

and…

Sway-at-Home: A Virtual Music Festival Curated by Dustbowl RevivalThis event actually takes place Friday, Saturday, and Sunday April 17, 18 & 19Southern Avenue performs Saturday, 4/18 at 6:30PM CDT (11:30PM GMT)Other artists include Luther Dickinson (North Mississippi Allstars), Dustbowl Revival and more.Sway-At-Home Curated by Dustbowl Revival

Southern Avenue