Bluesfest 2017 will be held over the five day Easter long weekend from Thursday 13th to Monday 17th of April at its home on the Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, just outside of Byron Bay.
Today’s artist announcement shows that Bluesfest is on track to once again deliver a festival that enchants music lovers of all ages.
Bluesfest is building on the powerful line up of female musicians already announced, adding the supreme and Grammy award winning Mary J. Blige and Corinne Bailey Rae to the bill.
Returning to Bluesfest is rising star Michael Kiwanuka, as well as music collective Nahko and Medicine for the People. First time performances by the awe-inspiring R&B musician Gallant and Houston’s award-winning 10-piece The Suffers will have Bluesfest audiences wanting more.
Bluesfest is known to festival fans for presenting spectacular artist releases over several months, delivering up to 12 hours of music daily over the five days, across multiple undercover stages, as well as offering an abundance of food and market stalls, several bars, parking and camping on site.
The multi award-winning Bluesfest reports that ticket sales for 2017 have been ‘through the roof’, since the first announcement a few weeks ago and is urging its audience to purchase their tickets now, before further significant price rises occur and certain ticket types sell out.
With many more announcements on the agenda, Bluesfest Byron Bay will be the only place to be next Easter.
THE SECOND 2017 BLUESFEST ARTIST ANNOUNCEMENT INCLUDES:
MARY J. BLIGE
CORINNE BAILEY RAE
NAHKO AND MEDICINE FOR THE PEOPLE
With so many more to come!
2017 ARTISTS ALREADY ANNOUNCED:
ZAC BROWN BAND
PATTI SMITH AND HER BAND PERFORM HORSES
BUDDY GUY EXCLUSIVE
MAVIS STAPLES EXCLUSIVE
TROMBONE SHORTY AND ORLEANS AVENUE
RICKIE LEE JONES
ST PAUL & THE BROKEN BONES
BETH HART EXCLUSIVE
BOOKER T. PRESENTS THE STAX RECORDS REVIEW
Peter Noble OAM, Festival Director of Bluesfest, comments on the 2017 Bluesfest round two artist release:
“We have had some truly amazing artists play Bluesfest…and to continue in that vein, we proudly announce Mary J. Blige as the headliner of our R&B/Soul flavoured second announcement.
Yes, “the MOST successful R&B female artist of the past 25 years” (Billboard) is coming. With over 50 million albums and 25 million singles sold, 32 Grammy nominations, with nine wins, the greatest female soul singer of our time is coming. Her performances are the stuff of legend. To say I am chuffed she is coming to Bluesfest, is an absolute understatement.
They are not going to be able to keep Gallant under wraps for much longer…. his set at the Coachella festival 2016, was described as ” the weekend’s finest moment ” by Billboard. If EVER you have had the opportunity to see a unique artist bound for superstardom, this is it. The Guardian magazine review of Gallant simply said. ” Gallant is one of the best vocalists I’ve heard in forever”. Voices like this come along less than once in a generation, hear for yourself who Elton John and Seal are already praising. You can literally say you saw him when…
Corinne Bailey Rae has finally agreed to come to Australia…this multi Grammy winner is also one of the greats, and then we come to Michael Kiwanuka, the UK’s fast rising soul singer who had a number one album in July for his latest release, Love & Hate.
Add in Bluesfest favourite Nahko and Medicine for the People, who have been asked back after blistering shows at Bluesfest 2016, and you have a serious contemporary announcement. Oh, I nearly forgot Houston’s The Suffers. Think Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, with a touch of Tabasco and Latino sounds. Another band whose live shows blitz, and who are sure to be a Bluesfest favourite.
We hope you like this announcement and we have loads more announcements coming. So, what are you waiting for, grab yourself a ticket to one of the Greatest Shows on Earth while you still can get them. We are already way past half sold out. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Thank you all for your ongoing support.”
Peter Noble OAM
Byron Bay Bluesfest
MARY J. BLIGE
Global R&B superstar Mary J. Blige will be making her Bluesfest debut in 2017. The iconic Grammy Award winner, singer, songwriter, actress and philanthropist is a defining voice of the contemporary music era.
Mary J. Blige has amassed an impressive eight multi-platinum albums, nine Grammy Awards, 32 Grammy nominations, a 2012 Golden Globe nomination and five American Music Awards. She has sold over 50 million albums worldwide and is responsible for a plethora of hit singles including; ‘Be Without You’, ‘No More Drama’ ‘Not Gon’ Cry’, ‘Love Is All We Need’, ‘Seven Days’, ‘All That I Can Say’, ‘Family Affair’ and ‘Just Fine’.
Influenced at an early age by the music of Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan and Gladys Knight, Blige brought her own gritty, urban-rooted style—fusing hip-hop, soul and honest, frank lyrics—to the forefront on her 1992 debut album What’s the 411?. The successful debut featured hits such as‘You Remind Me’ and ‘Real Love’ and went to number #1 on the Billboard R&B/ Hip Hop Album Chart.
Mary J. Blige helped redefine the R&B genre as hit albums followed over the next two decades including her 2005 release The Breakthrough which debuted at number #1 on the Billboard 200 chart. Her most recent release and 13th studio album The London Sessions (2014) went to number #1 on the iTunes R&B Chart, and was included in Billboard’s 10 Best R&B Albums of 2014.
It is an absolute honour to welcome R&B royalty Mary J. Blige to Bluesfest for the first time.
CORINNE BAILEY RAE
Corinne Bailey Rae is coming to Australia to perform for the first time at Bluesfest in 2017.
With over five million albums sold, two-time Grammy winner Bailey Rae released her self-titled debut album in 2006, reaching number one in the UK and number four in the U.S. The album featured the global hits ‘Put Your Records On’ and ‘Like A Star’.
Originally the front-woman of an indie band, Bailey Rae’s music spans electronic, soul and experimental genres. She has completed her highly anticipated third studio album The Heart Speaks In Whispers which debuted at number three on Billboard’s R&B chart. Featuring ‘Been To The Moon’, ‘The Skies Will Break’ and ‘Green Aphrodisiac’, NPR named it one of the 30 albums of the year so far. The album has gained worldwide acclaim, garnering four and five-star reviews.
“a fascinating listen, one filled with catharsis and inspiration.” – Pitchfork
“What Rae adds to this idealists’ songbook is a feminine take that blends dreaminess with nuanced awareness of the heart’s hesitations and the need, in life, for clarity… After his death, many fans pointed to Prince’s legacy of work with female artists. Rae realizes it here — a woman, not a girl, dreaming in her own colours.” – NPR
Bailey Rae is sure to delight festival audiences with her soaring vocals and impressive stage presence, don’t miss her Australian premiere performance.
Michael Kiwanuka makes his highly anticipated return to Bluesfest in 2017. His 2013 performances created a huge buzz around the festival, and his career has continued to go from strength to strength since.
“Michael Kiwanuka’s second album might just be the best of the year” – The Times
“Bittersweet soul-baring and biting self-knowledge” – The Observer
Kiwanuka has the rare honour of having both his debut record Home Again and his sophomore record Love & Hate nominated for the Mercury Prize. He has received critical acclaim from journalists and fellow musicians alike; all paying testament to his incredibly smooth and soulful voice that recalls a number of the greats of our time.
“Michael Kiwanuka, at the ripe old age of 28, musically swaggers back into the room with as confident a second statement as you could wish for, full of strong melodies, affecting lyrics, sharp playing, immense arrangements, and sympathetic production.” – Mojo
Love & Hate was produced by Danger Mouse, who has also worked with U2, The Black Keys, Gorillaz and Beck. It’s a record that sounds as though it has been unearthed from a long forgotten studio canister in the seventies, but is permeated with a timelessness that defies any artist of any specific era. If the “death of the album” is still an ongoing conversation, Michael Kiwanuka’s new record is a startling, emphatic response to its enduring importance.
“You might even say that Falling weirdly resembles one of Kiwanuka’s old folk-soul heroes had they somehow been exposed to the latterday oeuvre of Radiohead. A beautiful melody, wrapped in gauzy textures, it’s a fantastic song, exquisitely arranged, something Love & Hate is packed with: the work of an artist coming into his own.”
– The Guardian
He is the real deal, a true artist whose passion and talent will wow Bluesfest audiences.
NAHKO AND MEDICINE FOR THE PEOPLE
Nahko and Medicine for the People are returning to Bluesfest with their worldly blend of rock, hip-hop, and alt-folk and will be bringing their new album HOKA with them!
HOKA is the third full-length album from Nahko and Medicine for the People, who have earned a horde of Bluesfest fans after their roof-raising performances in 2014 and 2016, which saw them receive shining reviews like this;
“The man known as Nahko Bear fronts an eclectic group, including very impressive violin and trumpet players. The songs evoke images of mountains, the sea, the sky and our connections with nature. There is no shortage of love in the Mojo tent as they excel..” – THE MUSIC
“As the sun went down, it was time for some spiritual awakening with the powerful message-deliverers Nahko and Medicine for the People. As always, the tent swelled as they played and even the unfamiliar were raising their hands in earnest by the end.” – DAILY REVIEW
Oregon-born singer/songwriter Nahko, who is of Puerto Rican, Native American (Apache), and Filipino descent described the new album HOKA, as “the soundtrack of the movement for a better planet”. HOKA was produced by Grammy Award-winning producer Ted Hutt (The Gaslight Anthem, Old Crow Medicine Show, Lucero, Dropkick Murphys).
The countdown is on to hear Nahko and Medicine for the People’s new material and experience their inspiring and energetic performances once again next Easter.
Bluesfest is thrilled to announce Gallant will be making his Australian debut at the festival in 2017. Named by Billboard as the #1 performance of Coachella in 2016, Gallant has garnered accolades for his exceptional voice from artists like Elton John, John Legend, and Seal.
His rise has been meteoric, finding his way onto the stages of The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and having his single ‘Weight in Gold’ handpicked by the esteemed Zane Lowe as his inaugural ‘World’s First’ and then the ‘Single of the Week’ on his Beats 1 radio show.
“Precise writing of Frank Ocean, big vocal runs of Sam Smith.” – LA Times
“Gallant is one the best vocalists I’ve heard in forever. And he sounds better live than he does on his recordings.” – The Guardian
The young Los Angeles artist identifies his music as future soul, bridging the contemporary productions with old school song writing. Recognising his generational talent, “the voice that will redefine R&B” according to NME has received sweeping critical acclaim for his first album ology, an innovative take on the alternative and urban music genres.
“A few years from now, when the singer who goes by the name Gallant is holding an armload of Grammys and has his own personal driver, I’ll brag about how I saw him in Austin, back before he started selling out arenas.” Robin Hilton – NPR
“It’s an honor to be here with such a talented young man. “I love that he’s paving the way, and I love that he’s the future…. I’m his biggest fan.”- Seal
“[Gallant] is going to be huge!” – Elton John
“It’s clear her music comes from deep within. Girl feels it, and as such, so do we” — NYLON
“The Suffers are a ten-piece soul collective that steeps their tracks in jazzy history with a modern twist. They’re the sort of neo-retro group you never knew music was so badly missing” — Brennan Carley (Spin Magazine)
If you like Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings then don’t miss The Suffers, Houston’s award-winning 10-piece ensemble is set to bring the house down at their Bluesfest debut.
The Suffers have redefined the sound of Gulf Coast Soul and are as much influenced by classic rock & roll, country, Latin and Southern hip hop as they are the Stax/Volt or Muscle Shoals era. Established in 2011, The Suffers’ line up was curated by bassist Adam Castaneda and vocalist/keyboardist Pat Kelly, who brought on trumpet player Jon Durbin, trombonist Michael Razo, guitarist Kevin Bernier, percussionist Jose “Chapy” Luna, and drummer/vocalist Nick Zamora. Jazz saxophonist Cory Wilson and guitarist/vocalist Alex Zamora filled out the rhythm section, while front woman Kam Franklin topped off the group with soaring vocals.
Last year brought the band to new heights, as they played 150+ shows across North America, visited NPR in Washington, DC for a Tiny Desk Concert, and made their national television debut on The Late Show with David Letterman who later said “If you can’t do this, get out of the business!”.
In 2016, the band officially released their much anticipated self-titled album and performed on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah and Jimmy Kimmel Live. The Suffers have quickly progressed from packing Houston venues to accepting invitations for featured performances at notable festivals and events, while remaining a local Houston favourite, accepting 20 Houston Press Music Awards in the last three years. Their performance at Jazzfest 2016 was hailed as one of the best of the event.
THE 2017 ARTIST DAILY PLAYING SCHEDULE IS AVAILABLE ON WWW.BLUESFEST.COM.AU
All 5, 3 & 1 day festival and camping tickets are now on sale through www.bluesfest.com.au or by phoning the Bluesfest office on 02 6685 8310