The Cincy Blues Society created a “Blues in the Schools” program not long after the Society was founded in 1990, because members realized that keeping the Blues alive for another generation is an integral part of the group’s mission. The Society’s educational program, known as BITS, has two areas of focus: presentations by professional musicians and performances by young people who are learning to play the Blues.
Why We Do BITS Presentations
The Blues are an American art form and an important part of our country’s heritage, born in the South during a time when people were not all treated as equals. The music reflects a dark time in our nation’s growth, yet it also shows the ability of the human spirit to find ways to overcome and express itself in a way that reveals a deeper truth. By teaching about the origins of the Blues and focusing on the common ground we can find in the music, BITS presentations offer a unique way to introduce the history woven into the music as well.
In-School Blues Presentations
This program brings accomplished area Blues musicians to local schools to educate students about the history and significance of Blues music. There is no charge to the schools. BITS is funded by money raised at Cincy Blues Society events throughout the year, with additional funding from grants and donations.
A BITS presentation lasts about an hour and can be performed in an auditorium, a classroom, or any space large enough to accommodate the audience and musician(s). The presentation usually starts with a song, but the musician will also talk about what makes the music—the chords and progressions of 12-bar Blues music—and the musicians who created the art form. There is usually also time allotted for questions from students. Because the BITS program is free for the school, we can take presentations to inner city charter schools, suburban private schools, rural public schools, vocational institutions, or any other educational establishment that requests the program, reaching a wide spectrum of students.
Book a BITS Presentation or Find Out More About Us
The Cincy Blues Society’s BITS program has been bringing a little history, a little music, and a lot of inspiration to tristate students for almost twenty years, and we are proud to have established a program that keeps Blues musicians playing and another generation listening to, learning about, and performing this uniquely American music.
For more information about the Blues in the Schools band or the Under 21 Jam, please visit John Redell’s BITS page at John’s Web site.
To book a BITS presentation, to find out about joining the BITS band, or for any other BITS-related information, contact Chuck Brisbin at bits @ cincyblues.org.