With the subtitle "Spirit and Colours of the Blues", the Festival produces a wide program based on blues, african blues, rock blues, rhythm & blues, gospel, or folk, including French artists who have got the spirit and feeling of the blues, with more than 260 musicians coming from all over the world (USA, Europe, Africa, South America....).
117 concerts • 260 artists
With artists such as Johnny Clegg, Amadou & Mariam, Bettye LaVette, Tinariwen, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Babara Hendrix, Magic Slim, Lurrie Bell, Popa Chubby, Blues sur Seine has welcome a numbers of blues artist, well-known or to be discovered.
See the list of the bands who had perform at the festival since 1999.
The program also includes a section entitled "Tremplin Blues sur Seine" that gives an opportunity to new groups without CDs distributed in the market, to participate in a contest where a panel 30 judges from a representative sample of the French blues press select the six finalists (from more than 80 registrations) who will participate at the live final act program in the beginning of the festival program. A prize is delivered to the awarded band that gives it the opportunity to have guidance and support in developping their professional musical project with the help of Blues sur Seine : artist-in-residence programs, concerts in wellknown festivals (Jazz à Vienne, Le Chainon Manquant etc), album releases and advertising, tour-support... are the main aids organized by Blues sur Seine to help the winning band to develop itself.
Other activities include some original initiatives crossing blues and other art expression and directly linking with the inhabitants as for example a "Blues and Classical Music Meeting", a Broadway inspired show entitled "Blind Lemon Blues" or theatre plays made by workers in different factories, such as "501 Blues" done by Lewis factory workers who were in process of relocation. The festival had also managed "slam blues" workshops for teenagers and illiterate mothers, exhibitions, a blues short story contest, and the creation and development of theatre shows by teenagers, such as an history of blues performed in slam, hip-hop and blues dj sessions... This show created by local youths recount the history of music from its earlier hours to rap and hip-hop, showing us that the blues is the roots of all the popular music.
In order to promote French speaking blues in the world, the Blues sur Seine festival is twinning with the Montreal Blues Festival in Canada (Québec) to promote exchanges of artists and groups, both new and professional ones. Thanks to this collaboration between the two festivals, French bands and Canadians ones have the opportunity to play their music outside their country, front of a new audience, and by this way they find a unique chance to begin an international career.
For all the various aspect of this festival, such as artistic, social or educational one, or the international relationships developed all along the years, the festival won the 2008 Blues Foundation "Keeping The Blues Alive" Award, an international prize which honours the significant contribution of the festival to the Blues world and especially the uniqueness of this festival which succeed to take people "in" the festival with artists performing in schools, hospitals, nursing homes, prisons...