Blues Festival lands B.B., Cocker

The world’s greatest living bluesman B.B. King (is there even a competitor for the title?) and the legendary British blues vocalist Joe Cocker (pictured) are the big names coming out this year for the Santa Cruz Blues Festival.

The Festival announced the line-up for its 17th annual event, to take place as always on Memorial Day weekend May 23 and 24 at Aptos Village Park.

Saturday’s headliner is King, the great Mississippi-born bluesman who first emerged in Memphis in the years after World War II and slowly built a legendary career. Also playing that day will be former blues wunderkind Kenny Wayne Shepherd, hip singer/songwriter (and local boy) Jackie Greene, Texas-based blues folkie Ruthie Foster, and promising blues rocker Carolyn Wonderland.

Sunday will feature the famously soulful Cocker, one of the truly distinctive voices of the rock era who is still producing vital music. Also playing Sunday will be contemporary country-blues stylist Keb’ Mo’, the iconic bearded one Leon Russell, and the young New Orleans horn man Trombone Shorty and his band Orleans Ave.

Ticket info can be found at the Festival’s Web site.


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