Where: Gateway Arch National Park, North Gateway by the Eads Bridge.
Named "Best Way to Celebrate St. Louis" by the Riverfront Times, this partnership between the Gateway Arch Park Foundation, the National Blues Museum, and the National Park Service brings renowned blues artists to the Arch grounds for free concerts in August.
Kim Massie and Kennedy Holmes - Kim Massie is one of the most recognizable vocalists in St. Louis and the Midwest. Before her fame, Kim performed at weddings and local venues in Ohio until she was discovered by St. Louis saxophonist Oliver Sain. Soon after, Massie formed her own band, the Solid Senders. The award-winning artist has shared the stage with Chuck Berry, India Arie, and St. Louis native Nelly. Kim has performed for large organizations like Major League Baseball and at popular events like Big Muddy Blues Festival, Fenton Days Festival, and the Blues Rising Festival. She was awarded Best Female Vocalist of the Year Award twice from the Riverfront Times and the Grand Center Visionary Award in 2005.
Kennedy Holmes started out performing music for her mother when she was only two years old, St. Louis native Kennedy Holmes is obviously no stranger to the spotlight. At only fourteen, last year she was one of the youngest performers ever to advance into the final four of NBC’s “The Voice” competition. Kennedy showcased her gifted singing and dancing at The Muny and sang the national anthem for the St. Louis Cardinals. Now Kennedy is beyond excited about the opportunity to become a beacon for the future of St. Louis rhythm soul & blues scene.
Annika Chambers - From singing for U.S Army to becoming the Blues Music Awards’ Best Soul Blues Female Artist in 2019, Annika Chambers is recognized as one of the more powerful vocal artist of her generation. During her tours with the U.S Army, Annika discovered her talent and made rounds in Iraq and Kosovo bringing happiness to the soldiers during tough times. In 2011, Annika created Annika Chambers and The House Rules Band, and her powerhouse voice gained respect from Blues legends Larry Fulcher and Richard Cagle. After her second album was #7 on the Billboard Blues chart, festivals from all around the world raced to Annika. She has a deep passion for supporting and inspiring the next generation of musicians.
Kenny Neal - Born in New Orleans, Kenny Neal is a critically acclaimed bluesman, whose guitar and harmonica abilities are superb and topped by his soulful singing and passionate performances. He joined his father’s band at just 13. In 1987, Kenny Neal teamed up with Bob Greenlee and recorded a series of albums that showcased his laid back Baton Rouge blues and funky contemporary gems. He won a Theater World Award in 1991 for his work on Broadway. Since then, Kenny has been touring the country performing with major blue stars from B.B. King to Buddy Guy. In 2019, the Blues Music Awards recognized him as Best Contemporary Male Blues Artist. Kenny Neal is a true living blues legend who delivers the blues like no one else can!
Ms. Hy-C & Fresh Start - Led by Saint Louis born Jacinta Branch-Griffin, Ms. Hy-C & Fresh Start exudes a high-energy soulful Blues experience with powerful vocals that get the crowd on their feet dancing. Inspired by Mississippi Blues legends and rock and roll pioneers like Chuck Berry, Albert King, Johnnie Johnson, Buddy Eights, Ike Turner, Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, this well-seasoned band encompasses Chicago Blues, rhythm, and soul Blues. Ms. Hy-C & Fresh Start are Foyo Entertainment’s 2016 Best Blues Band winners, St. Louis Blues Society's Road to Memphis Winner, 2018 St. Louis Blues Society IBC Band Winner, and First Place Band Winner of the 2019 St. Louis and International Blues Challenge. Their latest single, I’m Going to Memphis, shows their love of the “Real Blues” and determination to follow their dreams.
Big Mike Aguirre - Big Mike & the Blu City All Stars are proud of their St. Louis heritage. As a 19-year-old apprentice guitarist, Big Mike Aguirre was adopted instructed by St. Louis Blues elders like Big George Brock, Boo Boo Davis, Arthur Williams, David Dee and Oliver Sain. The Blu City All Stars are a testament for the depth and breadth of St. Louis musical talent who share the joy and spirit of St. Louis’ music all over the world. Big Mike has performed at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, NYC Winter Jazz Festival, “Liberation Day” Festival in the Netherlands, and thousands of clubs, theaters, and festivals in and out of St. Louis. For 17 years, Big Mike has been carrying on the legacy of St. Louis’ musical tradition. With his debut studio record soon to be released, Big Mike is ready to take the next step and spend the rest of his time on the planet sharing the spiritual power of St. Louis music with the world.
Johnny Rawls - Born in Mississippi in 1954, Johnny Rawls is a soul blues legend. With a career spanning more than 50 years, he’s an internationally known recording artist, music producer, and songwriter who tours extensively throughout North America and overseas. By high school, Johnny was playing professionally, backing artists including ZZ Hill, Little Johnny Taylor, Joe Tex, and The Sweet Inspirations. In 1985 he began touring as a solo artist. He has released more than 15 albums since his debut solo album; Here We Go was released in 1996. The Blues Music Awards, Blues Blast Awards, Living Blues Critics Poll Awards, and the W. C. Handy Awards have all acknowledged Johnny with multiple awards and nominations, including Soul Blues Album of the Year and Soul Blues Male Artist of the Year. Johnny is honored to be mentioned on two markers along the Mississippi Blues Trail.
Marquise Knox - Born in St. Louis, 28 year old Marquise Knox’s comes from a musical family deeply rooted in the Blues he spent his teenage years mentoring under Blues legend and Grammy Award winner Henry James (Mule) Townsend. Knox’s talents have earned him performing rights with B.B. King, Pinetop Perkins, David “Honeyboy” Edwards & Billy Gibbons, & have taken him all over the United States, Canada, South America & Europe. Marquise’s debut album “MANCHILD” was nominated for a Blues Music Award for Best New Artist Debut, at the time he was only sixteen! Marquise’s 3rd album, Black and Blue, was released independently on his own record label Knox Entertainment and features eleven original recordings.
Brandon “Taz” Niederauer - Sixteen-year-old Brandon Niederauer, nicknamed “Taz” for his ferocious guitar playing, is living proof that dreams really do come true. Having performed in some of the most legendary venues in America with many of the most prominent musicians of our time, the young guitarist, singer, and songwriter has already earned himself quite the reputation. Brandon was hailed as a prodigy and featured on The Ellen DeGeneres Show at the age of ten. Since then, he has been featured on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Good Morning America, and The View. Brandon has shared the stage with renowned musicians like Gregg Allman, Gary Clark Jr, Derek Trucks, and Warren Haynes. At 12 years old, Brandon was cast in the principal role of guitarist “Zack Mooneyham” in the Tony Award-nominated Andrew Lloyd Webber Broadway production, School of Rock the Musical. He is currently featured in the Spike Lee Netflix series “She’s Gotta Have It" and performs concerts for audiences across the country and around the world.