Kings, Queens and the evolution of the Blues

Kings, Queens and the evolution of the Blues

with Denny Ilett Guitar Player& Vocalist from England

To all our dear friends,

We invite you to a series of 3 musical lectures with the great Guitar player, Vocalist, the Artistic Director of Bristol Jazz Festival Denny Ilett from Bristol, GB!

It is well known that the Blues has informed many 20th Century popular styles such as Jazz, Soul, Funk and Pop but, who were the pioneers of the art form? What was the origin of their music and why did it evolve and permeate the sound of the 20th Century?

In this series, Denny Ilett will take us back to the Mississippi Delta to meet the architects of a song style born from oppression and poverty and trace the path of the music north to Chicago, New York and beyond.

Along the way, we will discuss the early stars of Blues, mostly women, who brought the Blues into their vaudeville acts. We will hear the masters of the Delta who, armed with just a guitar and a voice, transformed the sound of American popular music and we will see how the music adapted when it met the urban environment before eventually travelling overseas; kickstarting the musical revolution of the 1960’s.

Strictly the Bristol-based guitarist is Denny Ilett has been playing professionally since the mid-80s, perfecting a range of guitar styles across jazz, blues, rock and swing that enable him to shine in almost any context. As Artistic Director and joint founder of the Bristol Jazz and Blues Festival he has brought to the city great names.

Denny Ilett  is rare commodity – a virtuoso British guitarist and a talented writer/arranger, who has honed his chops not on the UK scene but rather by playing and touring with some of New Orleans finest including Lillian Boutte and members of such notable bands as The Meters, Dr John and the Harry Connick Jnr Big Band.

Recorded Musical Lecture No. 1

Crazy Blues” – Mamie Smith, Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey & the Blues”

It is often forgotten that the original stars of the Blues were women. In the 1920’s, the fledgling recording industry found a huge market for Blues among the black population. These records introduced the sound to a nation. Despite the fact that these artists were versatile and included Blues as only one aspect of their in-person performances, it was the sound of the Blues that the studios wanted. In a short time, this policy created Blues ‘specialists’ setting the scene for the developments to come.


Recorded Musical Lecture No. 2

“Down At The Crossroads” – Delta Blues & the cult of Robert Johnson

Now seen as one of the most influential Blues musicians of all time, Robert Johnson was, in fact, virtually unknown during his lifetime. We will discuss how this obscure artist rose to the top of the Blues mountain many years after his death whilst we rediscover many other male Blues performers who were, at the time, driving the music forward and influencing the next generation. We will also see the music leave the Delta and take its place in the urban centres of the North as the black population of the South migrated, looking for work, taking their music with them.


Recorded Musical Lecture No. 3

“Key To The Highway”

Urban Blues, the electric guitar and crossing the Atlantic

The advent of the electric guitar was a major force in Blues evolution from the 1940’s on. From here, we see the rise of Rhythm & Blues and Rock & Roll which, in the beginning, left a lot of the originators behind. It was in Europe and, in particular, the UK that many Blues artists found a new career. It was these tours that young musicians such as John Lennon, Mick Jagger and others attended. It was a moment in time that caused the ‘Blues boom’ in the UK that finally turned Blues into the pop music of the 1960’s and elevated many Blues artists into legends!

*The 3 links will be sent to you by email up to 24 hours after purchase and will be available for viewing up to about two weeks after purchase

*Each lecture lasts about an hour * If there is any difficulty in viewing or purchasing, you can write in WhatsApp to mobile number 0544347213 or email

*Price 120 NIS  or 28£ for the three lectures

We would love to see you with us!

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