Congratulations to  the winners of the Colorado Blues Challenge. Representing CBS in Memphis in January 2020:










To listen to music from CBS member artists, press the Play button in the player at the bottom of the screen.

Colorado Blues Society Mission Statement

The Colorado Blues Society is dedicated to preserving Blues heritage and increasing awareness of and appreciation of the Blues as an indigenous American art form (the wellspring from which all contemporary popular American music originated)


Colorado Blues Society MEMBERS CHOICE AWARDS Nominations are now being accepted. Nominations will be taken thru November 5. To nominate your favorite blues musicians, venues, festivals, and live moments ( over 30 categories) go to  or click the Holley Award below.


African American Music-At the Crossroads  BLUES HISTORY COMING to BOULDER

With Dwandalyn Reece, Dom Flemons and Friends

Tuesday, November 5, 2019
Chancellor's Auditorium, CASE Building on CU Boulder campus

Free and Open to the Public

4:30  At the Crossroads: African American Music-Making in American Life
A talk by Dr. Dwandalyn R. Reece, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

Drawing upon objects in the National Museum of African American History and Culture’s collection, where she is Curator of Music and Performing Arts, Dr. Dwandalyn R. Reece will present, "At the Crossroads: African American Music-Making in American Life," an exploration of how objects deepen our understanding of music in the United States, offering new ways to construct narratives about the social, cultural and historical meaning music holds in our daily lives. The ways we engage with music is constantly evolving and the multiple worlds that music inhabits is a culture unto itself.  Within this movement to document, preserve and interpret music’s existence, is a growing interest in music’s material culture, the tangible objects that are the material evidence of its existence.

5:30  Black Banjo & Beyond Roundtable
A discusion with Dr. Dwandalyn R. Reece, Dom Flemons, Johnny Baier, and Otis Taylor

In conjunction with Dr. Reece's preceding talk and the Trance Blues Jam Festival taking place on November 9, 2019 at eTown Hall, the AMRC will present, Black Banjo & Beyond Roundtable, a discussion with Dr. Dwandalyn R. Reece, Dom Flemons ("The American Songster," Grammy Award winner, and founding member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops), Johnny Baier (Executive Director of the American Banjo Museum), and Otis Taylor (Roots Music Visionary and founder of the Trance Blues Jam Festival in Boulder, now in its 9th year).

Dr. Dwandalyn R. Reece, Curator of Music and Performing Arts at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture

Dr. Dwandalyn R. Reece is a musician, scholar and museum professional who has spent her entire career working in the public sector in the areas of history, culture and the arts.  As Curator of Music and Performing Arts at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture Reece is responsible for the acquisition, research and interpretation of the museum’s music and performing arts collection.  She is curator of the museum’s permanent exhibition, Musical Crossroads, for which she received the Secretary’s Research Prize in 2017 and currently serves as chair of the SI pan-institutional group, Smithsonian Music and co-curator of the 2019 initiative, the Smithsonian Year of Music.    Other projects include the forthcoming, Smithsonian Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap and a book on the material culture of African American music.   Before joining the Smithsonian, Reece was a senior program officer at the National Endowment for the Humanities and worked in several museums including the Louis Armstrong House and Archives, the Brooklyn Historical Society, the New Jersey State Museum, and the Motown Historical Museum.  She currently serves on the Society for American Music’s Education Committee,  Council Chair for the Society for Ethnomusicology, and is a member of the Board of Trustees at Scripps College in Claremont, CA.

Dom Flemons, "The American Songster," Grammy-award winner, and founding member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops

Dom Flemons (@domflemons) is a Grammy Award winning music scholar nominated twice for an EMMY Nominee and winner of the 2019 WAMMIE Award.  He is an historian, multi-instrumentalist, record collector, founding member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, well-known as "The American Songster" (his repertoire of music covers over 100 years of American folklore, ballads, and tunes), and considered an expert player on the Banjo, Fife, Guitar, Harmonica, Jug, Percussion, Quills, and Rhythm Bones.

In 2018, Flemons released a solo album titled “Dom Flemons Presents Black Cowboys” on GRAMMY Award-winning record label Smithsonian Folkways and received a GRAMMY Nomination for “Best Folk Album” at the 61st GRAMMY Awards. This recording is part of the African American Legacy Recordings series, co-produced with the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. The album peaked at #4 on the BILLBOARD Bluegrass Charts and Flemons has been nominated for “2018 Artist of The Year” at the International Folk Music Awards, “Best Acoustic Album” at the 2019 Blues Music Awards, “Best Folk Album” at the 2019 Liberia Awards, and has won a 2019 Wammie Awards for “Best Folk Album”.  He was chosen to be a "Spotlight Artist" at the "Soundtrack of America" event curated by the World Renowned Quincy Jones, EMMY Award Winning Director Steve McQueen and their team.

Johnny Baier, Executive Director, American Banjo Museum

Johnny Baier will be inducted into the American Banjo Music Music Hall of Fame this September, 2019. He has been called the “banjo player’s player” and the “entertainer’s entertainer”.  Baier is the Executive Director of the American Banjo Museum and comments that “the museum was originally founded primarily by and for enthusiasts and players of the four-string banjo, the predominate stringed instrument associated with the jazz age of the 1920s and early 30s.”  In contrast to that beginning, Baier noted that the museum has evolved much like the banjo. As the banjo has evolved for nearly 400 years in the United States taking on many different forms and styles, the American Banjo Museum has expanded and made a commitment to present every chapter of the banjo’s story, from its roots in American slavery to its most recent identities in Bluegrass and international folk music.

Baier started playing banjo professionally at 15, just two weeks after first picking up the instrument! From “learning as he earned,” leading sing-alongs at Shakey’s Pizza Parlor in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, Baier went on to win the Canadian National Banjo Competition in 1983. He subsequently spent three years touring across the U.S. as musical ambassador for the Sara Lee Corporation, prior to settling down in Orlando, Florida. Well known as a crowd pleasing entertainer and virtuoso banjo player - placing him in the ranks of Eddie Peabody, Harry Reser, John Cali and others who inspired him - in 1988 Baier started what would be a 15,000 solo show run at Rosie O’Grady’s in Church Street Station in downtown Orlando (so it’s fitting that Rosie O’Grady’s founder, Bob Snow, will be inducted alongside Johnny this year in the category of Promotion).

Otis Taylor, Roots Music Visionary and founder of the Trance Blues Jam Festival, now in its 9th year

Otis Taylor has been pursuing his own singular musical vision — a fusion of the primal hum of raw, primitive blues and contemporary, free-ranging expressionism — since the 1960s, when the banjoist, guitarist, bassist and harmonica player first toured the U.S. and Europe with a variety of blues-based bands including Zephyr, for whom Taylor played bass, and G&O Short Line, which included legendary guitarist Tommy Bolin.

Taylor has received 16 Blues Music Award (BMA) nominations including a win for best debut album, nominated regularly as an instrumentalist for his banjo playing, and won a Blues Music Award for his original style in 2009, following the release of Recapturing the Banjo, an album that examined the instrument’s deep African roots. He also took Downbeat Magazine’s Critic’s Choice Award for Best Blues Album in 2003 and 2014 and won their annual Best Blues CD award in 2005, 2007 and 2008. Taylor has also been nominated two times for the prestigious Académie Charles Cros award in France, winning the Grand Prix du Disc for Blues in 2012.

 In 2010 Taylor began his Trance Blues Festival in Boulder. The annual event brings a broad cast of professional and amateur musicians together for three days of performances, jams and workshops. This year’s Trance Blues Festival will be held at the eTown Theater in Boulder in November.



Rocky Mountain Bass Slam

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CBS is updating the music that is streamed from . We will remove songs older songs and add new ones. If you are a member of CBS and you want your blues song featured on the site, please send a 320kbps MP3 file to . Please include your permission for CBS to stream the song from If you are covering another artist please include the mechanical copyright details that shows you are licensed to publish and stream the music.

CBS Needs Vital Volunteers

Your Blues society has an urgent need for some very special volunteers. Here is a great chance to meet a bunch of fellow Blues fans and make new friends!!! You can become part of a great community 501c3 non-profit, an award winning Blues Organization- the 2013 recipient of the Keeping the Blues Alive Award from the Blues Foundation!

The Colorado Blues Society is looking for some special blues lovers- a Volunteer Coordinator, Merchandise Coordinator/Chair, and a Web Admin. These positions work close with our members and blues fans. The Merchandise Chair helps with managing our merchandise that we sell at the CBS Booth at Festivals and CBS events. This person doesn’t have to actually attend the events or physically manage the booth but will make sure we keep a good stock or merch, look for new items we might want to sell, figure how many volunteers will be needed at the booth, as well as look for opportunities/events to have the CBS merchandise tent at.

The Volunteer Coordinator will put out calls for the volunteers we need at events and work with the Merchandise chair and other CBS Directors to make sure we have adequate volunteers at events we are at. It is a great position for meeting other members and making new friends.

The Web Admin is responsible for maintaining this web site and the Office 365 mail platform used by the CBS Board.

If you think any of these sound like something you might enjoy, send an email to and let’s get together and talk! See you soon!

Get Your Ad In The Weekly Update and On This Website

CBS Business members (that includes bands and CBS acts) keep in mind as a member, for $25/month you can run an ad in the Weekly Update AND on this website. Send send us a .pdf or .jpg of your ad or poster (min size 293 width x 432 height) and we will link it to your website or event link. Not a CBS member? We'll give your ad the same two spots for $50 a month. That's a pretty cheap way to promote your act and something to keep in mind if you have a special show coming up down the road.

For more info send an email to

Do you receive the weekly Blues Update from the Colorado Blues Society?

Every week the Colorado Blues Society sends out a Blues Update that includes timely blues related news, band introductions, jam and performance schedules and more. There is no cost or membership required to receive the Blues Update. If you would like to receive this excellent Colorado blues resource please sign up here.

John-Alex Mason Scholarship Fund

The Colorado Blues Society has created an annual John-Alex Mason Scholarship to honor his memory and help continue the educational work he felt was so important. John-Alex took high school students from Colorado Springs to Mississippi on more than one occasion for an extended field trip that sometimes included visiting Memphis and New Orleans. This scholarship will help send student-aged musicians from Colorado to workshops and seminars that will further their blues music (and cultural) education. Your donations will help keep the dreams and memory of John-Alex alive.

Programs and Services Offered

To further our mission, we sponsor Blues in the Schools programs, in which musicians present music and information to students at all levels (kindergarten through college). We offer programs in American social history, women in blues, language arts, conflict avoidance, storytelling and even math. We also donate Blues-related materials (books, videos and CDs) to public libraries and offer educational programs in conjunction with those donations. We similarly work with other nonprofits, such as The Blues Foundation, Swallow Hill Music Association, The Colorado Music Hall of Fame, Blue Star Connection and The Colorado Music Business Organization.

Our members number approximately 600. Some are professional musicians; most are fans of the music and embrace the art and literature of the Blues culture. We publish a bi-monthly newsletter, The Holler, and a weekly email blast, The Blues Update.  The purpose of the newsletters, web site and social media platforms is to provide our members and the public information about Blues-related news and events in Colorado.

CBS created the John Alex-Mason Scholarship Fund to help send student-age musicians to workshops and seminars to further their Blues music education.   We sponsor youth performances where young blues performers can be seen making music on the “Blues 101 Stage”. Here kids of all ages have the opportunity to learn about the music which is part of their national heritage and the basis for present-day popular music.

We honor those individuals who have made extraordinary contributions.  Over time, CBS has honored Blues musicians and outstanding contributors with Lifetime Achievement Awards, Heritage Awards, In Memoriam or other special recognitions.

We work with local nonprofits, civic organizations and businesses to strengthen the awareness and appreciation of the Blues as an art form.

Date of most recent review by the Board of Directors:  June 12, 2018

The Colorado Blues Society Anti-Discrimination Policy

The Colorado Blues Society believes that equal opportunity is important for the continuing success of our organization. In accordance with state, federal, and municipal laws, this organization intends to comply with these laws which preclude negative discrimination against any person or organization because of race, disability, color, creed, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, military status, sex, transgender status, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, veteran status, political service, affiliation or any other protected classification. This policy applies to all activities of The Colorado Blues Society, including but not limited to employment, selection of volunteers, selection of recipients of its programs, grant- making, purchasing, and selecting vendors or consultants. The Colorado Blues Society defines "negative discrimination" to include (but not necessarily be limited to) denial of services, employment, or volunteer opportunities to any class of individuals in a manner that negatively restricts opportunities to that class of individuals.

In 2013, The Blues Foundation presented the prestigious Keeping the Blues award to The Colorado Blues Society for meritorious excellence in the Blues Society category.




Copyright © Colorado Blues Society 2018