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Blues at the Arch

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Blues stage

Blues at the ArchBlues at the Arch is back for its third year in a row! Named the “Best Way to Celebrate St. Louis” by the Riverfront Times, these free concerts will be in the North Gateway of the Gateway Arch National Park for the first four Fridays in August, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The whole community is invited to come and enjoy live Blues music along with activities for all ages and food trucks each week. Students, couples, friends, and families can all enjoy these FREE outdoor concerts!

Blues music has long been a part of St. Louis history and connects music lovers from all over the city. Blues at the Arch celebrates people coming together to appreciate both local and national musicians with dynamic stories. The lineup for the concerts is full of talented artists that are sure to rock the North Gateway and bring the riverfront to life.

Zac Harmon and Little Dylan kick off the concerts’ opening night on August 3. Little Dylan is a local 17-year-old Blues prodigy who will start the concerts with soul and experience that puts him far beyond his years. Zac Harmon is an award-winning, Mississippi-born musician who combines old-school style with a modern edge. Each artist will bring their own unique sound that will get the community up and dancing to Blues rhythms!

Blues at the Arch is fast approaching on Friday with fantastic performers every night. Read about the rest of the musicians below to find out more about their great stories.
 

August 10

Keeshea Pratt

Singing since the age of six, Keeshea Pratt has shared the stage with several notable national figures including bluesman Bobby Rush, Eddie Cotton, opera singer Grace Bumbry, soul singer Musiq Soulchild, and gospel icon the late Reverend James Moore. Pratt has accomplished what few Mississippi-based singers before her have ever achieved: the ability to attract fans from all walks of life without ever straying from the intricate roots that nurtured her awarding winning voice in the first place. The Blues Foundation out of Memphis crowned Keeshea as the Queen of the 2018 International Blues Challenge (IBC) on January 21, 2018. 

Marquise Knox

Marquise Knox hails from a musical family deeply rooted in the Blues. He spent his early teenage years in St. Louis being mentored by the late great Blues legend & St. Louis Patriarch, N.E.A. (National Endowment of the Arts) Heritage Fellowship recipient and Grammy Award winner, Henry James (Mule) Townsend. Marquise's talents have earned him performing rights with some of America’s Blues legends, B.B. King, Pinetop Perkins, Taj Mahal, Michael Burks, Eric "Guitar" Davis, David “Honeyboy” Edwards, Robert Jr. Lockwood, Bobby Rush, and your favorite rockers like Z.Z. Top.

August 17

Skeet Rodgers & The Inner City Blues Band

Skeet Rodgers and The Inner City Blues Band are considered one of the best in the St. Louis area. Charles "Skeet" Rodgers started at age 14 on drums and has played with Doc Terry, Big George, and the late Little Walter Westbrook. Thomas Johnson, lead guitarist, has played since age 10. Tommy Thomas, rhythm guitarist, is a long time player in the St. Louis area. The inspiring Christopher Taylor plays harmonica. Sam Coleman, drummer, has played with many groups and was drummer for Gates of Heaven. Blind Willie Dineen, saxophone player, has played all over St. Louis and is inspired by John Coltrane, Pharaoh Sanders, Charlie Parker and Alberta Hunter. Rob Endicott, trumpet player, has several degrees in trumpet performance from Juilliard School in New York. Frank Dunbar, bass guitarist, has played with several present and past greats namely Chuck Berry, Johnnie Johnson, and Albert King. Frank was the bass player in Chuck Berry's movie, "Hail, Hail Rock and Roll."

Dexter Allen

Dexter Allen was born in Crystal Springs, Mississippi and began playing the bass guitar at the age of 12 for his father's gospel group traveling around the central Mississippi area. His sweet blend of Blues, R&B, Soul and Funk landed him a deal in 1995 when he teamed up with Airtight Records, a local independent label. He caught the eye of living blues legend Bobby Rush, who made him the lead guitarist in his worldwide touring band. Dexter's unique style landed him the 2008 Jackson, Mississippi Music Award for Male Vocalist of the year. Over the years Dexter has developed a passionate, driving guitar style in the vein of Buddy Guy, Muddy Waters, Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page. In 2014 Dexter was signed to Deep Rush Records, the label of icon Bobby Rush.

August 24

The Jeremiah Johnson Band

Born and raised in St. Louis, Jeremiah Johnson is the voice of Mississippi River Blues blending with the struggles of everyday life. He began learning guitar at age 6, drawing inspiration from his rich St. Louis Blues heritage and legendary guitarists, like Alvin Lee, Eric Clapton and Hank Williams Sr. and Jr. Johnson’s album, Grind, reached the #8 slot on the Billboard Blues Charts the week of November 7th, 2015. His album Blues Heart Attack reached #5 on the Billboard Blues Charts following its release in 2016. Johnson performs with Benet Schaeffer (drums), Frank Bauer (sax & backing vocals), and Tom Maloney (bass).

Christone “Kingfish” Ingram

Christone “Kingfish” Ingram love of music grew from the rich Gospel sounds emanating from his family’s church and the Blues music regularly heard played in his Delta neighborhood. A cousin to legendary Country music great, Charlie Pride, and trained at the Delta Blues Museum under the tutelage of Daddy Rich and Bill Howl-N-Madd Perry, Kingfish undoubtedly has music in his soul. Through his young career, Kingfish has shared the stage with legendary names such as Bob Margolin, Eric Gales, Rick Derringer, Guitar Shorty, Buddy Guy, and many more.  Not only can Kingfish play in the styling of his idols and mentors, but he also has an amazing ability to create guitar sounds entirely his own. After graduating high school in May 2017, Kingfish is now prepared to release his highly anticipated debut album in 2018.

FAQs

Is this event ticketed?

Blues at the Arch is free and open to the public! All concerts and activities are free for the public. The only cost at these events will be with the purchase of food or drink from our vendors.*

Are coolers allowed at this event?

Yes! Coolers with outside food and drink are allowed at this event. Glass bottles are prohibited. Keep in mind, Blues at the Arch will feature great food and drink trucks every night!

Is this a family-friendly event?

Absolutely! Blues at the Arch is a free concert series with family-friendly activities like yard games to enjoy in the park. The event has extensive security precautions, making it very safe for families to come to the North Gateway. Security includes National Park rangers, St. Louis Police Department patrol, and event staff to make this event secure.

Is this a dog-friendly event?

Dogs are always welcome to our public outdoor events at the Gateway Arch National Park. Leashes are required at all times on park grounds and owners are asked to clean up after their pets!

Where should I park for this event?

Parking by the Gateway Arch National Park has been made even easier with the new CityArchRiver Project renovations! Parking lots and street parking downtown and on Laclede’s Landing are all within walking distance. Gateway Arch Park Foundation members may use their parking vouchers in the Kiener West Garage. The MetroLink drops off conveniently at Laclede’s Landing at the Eads Bridge (there is an accessible elevator at this station)! For more information on parking, visit www.getaroundstl.com

Can I ride my bike to the event?

Yes! There are great biking paths in the Gateway Arch National Park that make it easy to ride to our events. The park has available bike racks to store your bike while attending the concerts. Motorized vehicles like electric scooters and mopeds are not allowed in the park area.

What can you bring into the Gateway Arch National Park?

Items Allowed

  • Dogs on leashes
  • Coolers
  • Lawn chairs
  • Blankets
  • Outside food and beverages, including alcohol
  • Tobacco products
  • Bikes

Items NOT allowed

  • Glass bottles
  • Drugs or drug paraphernalia (federal regulations apply to all National Park Service sites)
  • Motorized vehicles like scooters, mopeds, etc.
  • Balloons
  • Signs
  • BBQ grills

*For all vendor inquiries, please contact Dennis Gorg at dennis@imsevents.com

For more information on park rules and regulations, go to www.nps.gov/jeff.

Visit www.BluesatheArch.com for all the information you’ll need for attending our free concert series.

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