The Nighthawks, All-Star Jam Set to Shine at 15th Annual Silver Spring Blues Festival

The Silver Spring Blues Festival returns to Downtown Silver Spring on Saturday, June 15, featuring the return of local legends The Nighthawks, Deanna Bogart, Teeny Tucker, Memphis Gold, Gabe Stillman, and more.

Blues Week starts on Sunday, June 9, with a special performance by Boogie Woogie Bluesman Daryl Davis and Angela Hill at 6 p.m. at Cissel-Saxon American Legion Post 41. Throughout Blues Week, additional concerts will be held at various venues around downtown Silver Spring.

The festival day opens at 10 a.m. with the Archie Edwards Blues Heritage Ensemble, aka the Archie Edwards Barbershop. At 11 a.m., Virginia native Rick Franklin brings Piedmont Blues guitar pickin’ and song to the Festival stage.

At Noon, Stormi & the Blue Skies bring traditional Blues led by Stormi Weaver. Since 2018, S&BS has performed Blues and R&B, Rock & Roll, Country, and popular songs. Stormi & the Blue Skies will also host a special Barbershop Tribute to Phil Wiggins at El Golfo Restaurant’s patio on Thursday, June 13, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The tribute performance, featuring an array of Archie Edwards Blues Heritage performers, will honor National Heritage honoree Blues harmonica player Phil Wiggins, who passed away last month.

At 1 p.m., Louisiana native and longtime purveyor of the Piedmont Blues tradition Eleanor Ellis performs. Eleanor regularly collaborates with legendary Blues artists, including Piedmont Blues Archie Edwards and Blues/Gospel street performer Flora Molton.

At 2 p.m., harmonica players of all abilities can join a Harmonica Workshop off-stage led by “Stingy Brim” Geoff Seals. Participants should bring a “C” harmonica. Archie Edwards Blues Heritage Foundation will provide some harmonicas.

Then, at 3 p.m., the Festival Stage gets “electrified” with the School of Rock “Doin’ the Blues.” Youth performers on guitar, bass, percussion, keyboards, and vocals fire things up with an energetic Blues Rock show.

At 4 p.m., internationally acclaimed multi-instrumentalist Deanna Bogart returns to the Silver Spring Blues Festival Stage. Bogart is a five-time winner of the Blues Music Awards Horn Instrumentalist of the Year (2023). Adored by her fans, her artistry shines through her dazzling keyboards, soul-stirring saxophone performances, smokey and soulful vocals, and exceptional songwriting prowess. Her unique ability to fuse genres and create transcendent melodies sets her apart in the music world and crafts an unforgettable live music experience.

At 5 p.m., D.C.’s Memphis Gold, who appeared in the first Silver Spring Blues Festival, takes the stage with his Scrap Iron Band. By age 8, Memphis Gold was a regular on historic Beale Street in Memphis, where he played the guitar and danced for pocket change from the crowd. For more than a half-century, guitarist Memphis Gold has shared the stage with an array of international stars from Blues and beyond, including James Brown, George Clinton and the Parliament Funkadelic All Stars, Shemekia Copeland, Robert Cray, Taj Mahal, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, Bobby Parker, Charlie Sayles, Guitar Shorty, Mavis Staples, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Jimmy Vaughan and The Temptations, just to name a few. A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Memphis Gold is a proud Vietnam Veteran who has toured internationally playing blues festivals and concerts, including many performances for U.S. troops around the globe.

At 6 p.m., debuting at the SSBF, The Gabe Stillman Band hits the stage in high gear as they embrace all corners of American Roots Music with their impromptu selection of original gems and carefully chosen covers. Since landing in the final 8 of the 35th Annual International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tenn., and being further honored as the recipient of the Gibson Guitar Award, Gabe and his band have focused on expanding their footprint nationally and internationally.

A Berklee College of Music graduate, Gabe’s honors include an invitation to support Z.Z. Top, Eric Gales, Blues Traveler, George Thorogood, and more; he was a Blues Music Award nominee in the Best New Emerging Artist Album category; and The Gabe Stillman Band was selected as the Best Blues Band at the 3rd Annual Central PA Music Awards, nominated in the category in 2022, 2023, and 2024.

At 7 p.m., making their debut on the SSBF stage, the Teeny Tucker Band hails from Columbus, Ohio. Touted as one of the most gifted, vibrant, stimulating, and imaginative personalities on the Blues scene today, Teeny Tucker wows the crowd with a powerful, soulful voice. Winner of the Monterey Bay International Blues Festival, Tucker has received wide praise and nominations, including three times nominated for the Blues Music Awards Traditional Female Blues Artist of the Year.

Teeny Tucker is also a visual artist and will be featured in a program “Healing the HeART: In the Studio with Artist Teeny Tucker” on Tuesday, June 11 at 8 p.m. on Zoom as part of Silver Spring Blues Week.

At 8 p.m., local legends and Silver Spring Blues Festival favorites The Nighthawks return with gusto. Formed in 1972, The Nighthawks are an American blues and roots music band based in D.C., featuring Blues harp player Mark Wenner (vocals and harmonica), Dan Hovey (lead guitar), Paul Pisciotta (bass guitar), and Mark Stutso (drums).

As a 15-year tradition, the Festival culminates in a finale with the Silver Spring Blues Festival All-Star Jam, which gathers artists from the day’s performances. The Nighthawks will lead the jam, featuring Teeny Tucker, Gabe Stillman, Memphis Gold, and others.

The Festival also features an array of arts and craft exhibitors from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. along Ellsworth Drive. Festival-goers can enjoy various food and drinks from area merchants throughout the day and evening, including offerings from downtown Silver Spring restaurants J. Hollinger’s Waterman’s Chophouse, Nando’s Peri-Peri, and McGinty’s Public House.

The Silver Spring Blues Festival will be held at 920 Ellsworth Drive in Downtown Silver Spring and is free to attend. For more information and a full festival lineup, visit the Silver Spring Blues Festival website.

Photos Courtesy of Silver Spring Town Center, Inc.

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