St. Louis (April 21, 2015) – The National Blues Museum in St. Louis today announced that it has received a six-figure contribution from Grammy Award-winning musician Jack White that will fund the “MIX IT UP” creative Blues experience within the state-of-the-art museum.
“MIX IT UP” will be the culminating experience of every guest’s visit to the new museum, which is scheduled to open in late 2015. Traveling through the Museum’s chronological galleries, visitors will be able to sample a variety of musical styles and influences within the complete history of the Blues. Ultimately, visitors will conclude their experience by entering “MIX IT UP” where using intuitive editing tools, they can blend their selections together and share their new compositions with others.
“Perhaps as well as anyone, Jack White understands that the Blues is truly the foundation of all American music and remains relevant today, said Rob Endicott, the museum’s Chairman of the Board. “Through Jack’s vision and generosity, we hope to inspire the next generation of Blues artists, historians and fans.”
Blues icons and Grammy Award winners including Buddy Guy, Robert Cray and Derek Trucks have also supported the 23,000-square-foot National Blues Museum, which will include more than 16,000 square feet of highly interactive technology and artifact-driven exhibits, a theatre, special event space and classrooms. The museum will explore and preserve the historic significance of the Blues as the foundation of American music and celebrate the musicians who both created and advance the art form.
The facility will explore the various Blues styles and trace its history and American roots music from the Mississippi Delta through St. Louis to Chicago, its expansion across the U.S. and internationally. From the experience, Museum visitors will understand how the Blues deeply influenced Rock and Roll Hall-of-Famers including the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin and more.
Beyond the galleries and exhibits, the National Blues Museum will host public programs and activities, already underway. Educational programming, a major component of the Museum’s mission, will focus on providing on-site curriculum-based music education as well as virtual educational opportunities accessible to all.
While additional funding is needed to enhance technology, expand exhibits, deepen the impact of community and educational programs, and create accompanying curriculum, initial exhibits will include:
• Blues History: tracing the Blues from its late 19th Century origins in the Delta to cities. Experience highlights will articulate differences between major Blues cities of the 1930s, ‘40s, and ‘50s and document the arrival of Blues rock in the 1960s, its arrival in Europe, and the expansion of Blues rock in America. Connections to other historical trends will be interwoven.
• The Creation of Blues Lyrics and Chord Structures: demonstrates and teaches the intricacies of the Blues, enabling visitors to create their own songs. Whether an experienced musician or exploring the basics, visitors can create a recording, preserving and carrying forward the legacy of the Blues.
• Blues Legends: those who significantly contributed to Blues history and its sounds will have their stories told through sophisticated multimedia.
An additional performance area will serve multiple purposes, providing classroom and private event space, and evening programs (screenings, readings, and intimate music performances). A temporary exhibit gallery will respond to visitors’ curiosity on many levels, showcasing exhibits from collections of other institutions.
For more information about the National Blues Museum, visit NationalBluesMuseum.org or email info@NationalBluesMuseum.org.
words by: Michele Hug | photo by: Mary-Ellen Mattews