Currently celebrating its 34th anniversary, The Columbus Blues Alliance stands as a vibrant and dedicated force in preserving, promoting, and advancing the blues in Ohio. Comprised of passionate volunteers, the Alliance has been instrumental in fostering a thriving local blues community through a variety of mediums and initiatives; the organization also serves as a statewide hub for the genre, collaborating with four Blues societies: the Blues, Jazz & Folk Music Society of Marietta, the Cincy Blues Society, the Northeast Ohio Blues Association, and the Cleveland Blues Society. The Alliance maintains strong connections with blues venues, notably Natalie’s Music Hall, and has a long track record of supporting festivals, including the Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival, which has been a cornerstone of the state’s blues scene for more than two decades. On the education front, the Alliance has rejuvenated the Columbus Blues Hall of Fame, and, in partnership with Columbus blues artist Tenny Tucker, has facilitated Blues in the Schools programs.
Another education-based initiative of note is 614BluesEd, a program that has been developed in conjunction with the Blues Society of Ohama as a means to send youth acts to the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. Of course, the Alliance also actively supports the blues acts who have emerged from the Columbus Blues Challenge and gone on to compete with distinction at the IBC. The resilience that the Alliance demonstrated through the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic deserves especially high praise. The role the Alliance plays fostering all-ages live blues shows, including events at J & D’s Place, The Rumba Café, CJ’s Soulfood, and others, reflects an ongoing commitment to making the blues accessible to diverse audiences. In recognition of their outstanding contributions, The Blues Foundation proudly presents a 2024 Keeping the Blues Alive Award to the Columbus Blues Alliance.