Sacramento Blues Society
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Organization Details


SBS pays for local professional blues musicians to give after school lessons on playing the blues to area high school students. These lessons are offered free to the students in three different schools. After six to eight weeks of instruction, students are highlighted in a Blues In the Schools Showcase in a local venue, where their family, friends, and the Blues community can celebrate their progress.
Program Successes
- One young woman described how singing onstage was something she had always wanted to do, but because of her studies and sports commitments never had the opportunity to do so. This BITS program provided that experience which has given her more self confidence as she heads into college.
- The classroom teachers we work with often mention that the students look forward to theses lessons (which convene in the Spring) all year long. This helps with student engagement, keeping the students in school and interested in staying connected to this school activity. Students have formed important relationships with/ connections to the professional musicians, who in turn become mentors to these students.
These assemblies connect students with their blues heritage and bring musicians and educators together to assist each other in teaching students about the blues. Blues In The Schools (BITS) presents the history and social/cultural relevance of the Blues, tailored to the grade levels of the students. The lecture material is presented within the performance of live blues, played by local professional blue musicians. So, for instance, students will hear examples of various styles of blues and participate in the call-and-response method of audience participation. They will learn how the music evolved from the gospel churches of the African slaves and that call-and-response was a way for them to communicate with each other while they worked the fields.

*The budget listed is per assembly.
Program Successes
- Schools have requested return performances. Younger students are now familiar with the Blues and can answer questions and respond favorably to Blues questions posed by the lecturers. We have received thank you notes, letters, and drawings from students indicating their approval of the BITS Assembly Program.
Region students involved with the Court and Community Schools system benefit from this program. These troubled students, many of whom are incarcerated, receive lectures on the history, and social/cultural significance of the Blues, and hear the Blues played by local professional musicians. We then offer a songwriting contest. The students submit their songs and the winning song is put to music and the student is presented with a CD.
Program Successes
- We have offered this program for four years and now have four Blues songs written by At-Risk Youth.
- Students have been amazed that they can actually write something, based on their true lives, that has value to others.
- The Sacramento County Office of Education has partially funded this program in the past.
The purpose of the Hall of Fame (SBS HOF) is to document the history of local Blues music, enhance and celebrate the existing Blues music environment, and to honor those who have made significant contributions to Blues music in the Sacramento region. To be considered for the SBS HOF, nominees must have: the Blues as their primary format or music style; at least a 20-year history of blues participation; made an historical contribution and/or had an impact and overall influence on the Blues in the Sacramento region, as determined by the SBS HOF committee.
Program Successes
2019 Inductees:
- Kenny Marchese
- Leo Bootes
- Marty Deradoorian
- Robert Nakashima
- (D) Gary "Whalin" Black

2018 Inductees:
- Andy Santana
- Artist Joyce
- (D) Frankie Lee
- Jimmy Morello
- Richard W. Grigsby

2017 Inductees:
- Bill Scholer
- Fred "Decon" Baker
- (D) Jay Peterson
- Kenny "Obie Dee" Van Cromphaut
- Stan Powell
- Tim Wibur

2016 Inductees:
- Tony Montanino of the Nite Hawks;
- Marcel Smith, singer with the Soul Prophets;
- Harvey "Guitar Mac" MacKnally, Delta Blues guitarist;
- Doug Crompacker, sax & harmonica player and founder of the Hucklebucks; and
- Dale Lyberger, bass player with Little Charlie and the Nightcats.

2015 Inductees:
- Bruce Pressley, drummer with Mick Martin and the Blues Rockers;
- Donna Proctor Smith, bass player with Mick Martin and the Blues Rockers;
- Liz Peel Vanhouten, original bass player with Little Charlie and the Nightcats;
- Michael Andrews, singer & harmonica player with the Parish Hall Blues Band; and
- Robert Sidwell, founding member of the Chrome Addicts.

2014 Inductees:
- Aaron King, guitarist & founder of Aaron King and the Imperials;
- Derek Washington, trombone player and founding member of the Sacramento Blues Society;
- Joe Lev, guitarist and Blues in the Schools mentor;
- Jan Kelley, devoted volunteer and many-time President of the Sacramento Blues Society; and
- Marshal Wilkerson, singer with the Sacramento Blues Review.

2013 Inductees:
- Patrick "Ratatat Pat" Balcom, drummer with Arbess Williams;
- Lew Fratis, guitarist & founding member of the Luminators;
- Jim Monroe, founder of the Bluescasters;
- Jimmy Pailer, founder of the Prophets; and
- Nate "Snakeboy" Shiner, founder of the Straight Ahead Blues Trio.

2012 inductees:
- Al Arnett bass player; Marshall "Soulman" Jones drummer;
- Ray "Catfish" Copeland of the Sunland Blues Band;
- Steve Samuels blues guitarist; and
- The Torch Club/Texeira Family, The Torch Club was one of the first bars in Sacramento and Marina Texeira is instrumental in bringing in nationally known blues acts weekly.

2011 Inductees:
- Lena Mosley, singer;
- Omar Sharriff "aka" David Alexander Elam, rated the 3rd best piano player in the world by Contemporary Keyboard magazine; and
- "Big Mike" Balma, for more than 20 years Balma contributed to Sacramento blues as a promoter and producer of blues festivals, and concerts.

2010 Inductees:
- Charlie Baty, formed Little Charlie and the Nightcats in 1975;
- Rick Estrin, harmonica player;
- Johnny "GUITAR" Knox, guitarist;
- Mick Martin, harmonica player, Mick was an original co-founder of the Sacramento Blues Society;
- Phil Givant, a co-founder of the Sacramento Blues Society, and the Sacramento Blues Festival.
This fund is named in honor of our 2008 Sacramento Blues Society's Hall of Fame inductee Mr. Gene Chambers. Gene, a longtime Sacramento Blues musician, teacher, and mentor had always cared deeply about the blues scene and blues musicians around our area. This fund provides assistance to SBS Musicians in times of great financial need due to catastrophic events in their lives. Donations to the GCMCF are dedicated 100% to artist relief efforts.
Program Successes
- The fund has been accessed several times since it began in 2008.
- As requests were filled, we have held fund raising efforts in order to replenish the funds.
- Currently the maximum support for each application is $300.