Kenny Neral

MIBF headliner —
Kenny Neal is one of the strongest modern proponents of Baton Rouge swamp blues. Neal is a second-generation southern Louisiana bluesman who is cognizant of the region’s venerable blues tradition and imaginative enough to steer it in fresh directions. Neal was born on October 14, 1957 in New Orleans. His dad, harpist Raful Neal, was a Baton Rouge blues mainstay whose pals included Buddy Guy and Slim Harpo (the latter gave three-year-old Kenny his first harmonica). At age 17, Neal landed a job playing bass for Buddy Guy. His gritty Louisiana roots with a sophisticated Chicago/Memphis soul approach have earned him many accolades. Kenny’s 2016 release, Bloodline, was nomimated for a 2017 Grammy for Best Contemporary Blues Album and also won two 2017 BMAs (Blues Music Awards); one for Best Contemporary Blues Album and the other for Best Contemporary Male Blues Artist. Kenny Neal, a true living blues Legend is THE REAL DEAL and more poised than ever to deliver the blues like no one else can!

Blues Broads

Dorothy Morrison, Tracy Nelson, Annie Sampson and Angela Strehli, all highly regarded vocalists in their own rights, have joined forces as The Blues Broads. Reflecting more than two centuries of collective experience in blues, country, gospel and rock, the awesome aggregation is nothing less than a roots music “super group” of the first order.

Tracy Nelson‘s career in music dates back to the mid-1960s when she recorded an album of acoustic blues songs with Charlie Musselwhite’s backing for the Prestige label. After moving to San Francisco, she founded Mother Earth and rose to the front ranks of the era’s great female singers, sharing stages with the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and many more.

Dorothy Morrison rose to international renown as the lead vocalist on the Edwin Hawkins Singers hit “Oh, Happy Day,” the biggest selling gospel recording of all time. A member of the singing Combs Family, She has worked with such notable artists as Van Morrison, Boz Scaggs, Delaney & Bonnie, Rita Coolidge, Merry Clayton and even Simon & Garfunkel.

Angela Strehli had been one of Austin’s most highly regarded female vocalists prior to her move to the Bay Area. She was a fixture at Antone’s in Austin where she initially played a key role in that legendary club’s development.

Annie Sampson is a triple threat, bringing a rock, gospel and theater background. She played one of the leads in the original San Francisco production of Hair in the late 1960s and would go on to be a founder of Stoneground. Annie has been part of recordings and performances by a host of notables including Taj Mahal, Maria Muldaur, Journey, Eddie Money, Elvin Bishop, Johnnie Johnson, Jerry Garcia, Elvis Costello, Sammy Hagar and others.


Local Blues Guitarist, Stu Heydon, has played and taught the blues all of his life, earning him the Motor Cities Blues Awards – Lifetime Achievement Award, at the Detroit-Windsor Freedom Festival. He has shared the stage with James Cotton, Paul Butterfield, James Brown, John Lee Hooker, Chicago Pete, Buddy Guy, Taj Mahal, and too many more to list. He has performed at just as many festivals, including: The Montreal Jazz Fest. Monterey Blues Fest. Chicago Blues Fest. Alabama Blues Fest. Mississippi Blues Fest. Windsor Blues Fest. House of Blues Boston.

After working with Bobo Jenkins and Wild Child Butler for twenty years, Stu moved to Carmel California and began his most important work—teaching music— for which he was awarded a Paul Harris Award for teaching the blues.

Scotty Wright

A veteran musician for over 30 years, one can hear the entire spectrum of jazz singing in the performance of vocalist Scotty Wright. With a warm, rich-toned voice and relaxed delivery,
Scotty possesses a unique sound that is deeply rooted in the jazz tradition. His style features harmonic sophistication, a playful rhythmic approach and insightful phrasing of the lyric.

Scotty’s repertoire includes interpretations of classic songs by Gershwin, Porter, Kern and Rodgers & Hart; jazz standards by Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Horace Silver, Thelonious Monk, Wayne Shorter and Billy Strayhorn, as well as his own well-crafted songs.

While his style is informed by the masters of jazz singing – Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, Jimmy Scott, Carmen McRae, Johnny Hartman and Billie Holiday, among others – Scotty’s way with a song is unmistakably his own.


Kyle Rowland

“Blues harmonica player of the year” and “Blues New Artist of The Year” in 2009 from the West Coast Blues Hall of Fame, Kyle Rowland, has been dominating the stage since the tender age of 10 years old. Beginning his career sitting in and receiving lessons from the hit Sacramento band, Mick Martin and the Blues Rockers, for 7 consecutive years, Kyle quickly and naturally developed his own sound. With help from a few of his heroes such as James Cotton, Hubert Sumlin, Matt “Guitar” Murphy and many others, Kyle learned specific techniques of stage presence, the music business, and several highly revered harmonica secrets. At 16 years old Kyle formed his own band.

Keeping the tradition alive and sticking with the roots, The Kyle Rowland Blues Band dishes out a sauté of boisterous Chicago and swampy Texas blues with a pinch of West Coast swing. Danceable and listenable, this show will have you wanting more with your toes tapping into the next morning. In May of 2012 they recorded their first CD titled, “High Rollin with Kyle Rowland”. Produced by world renown harmonica extraordinaire Rick Estrin and recorded live By Kid Andersen at Greaseland studios in San Jose, CA, it is currently being featured on radio shows throughout countries such as Germany, England, and Australia and receiving high ranking reviews. This real blues band released another record, Spring of 2015, with the gritty and soulful sounds of the newest additions to the band, baritone and tenor saxophone. Be sure to check out this musically pure and energetically entertaining show.


Monterey International Blues Festival
P.O. Box 2776, Monterey, CA 93942 www.montereyinternationalbluesfestival.com
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