The Crossroads Blues Society, or CBS for short, is a 501(c)3 non-profit
organization that primarily raises funds in order to host Blues In The Schools Programs in the greater Rockford area of
northern Illinois.These programs are fully funded by CBS and
there is absolutely no cost to area schools for these programs. They are also the 2014 recipient of the Blues Foundation Keeping the Blues Alive Award for Foundation Affiliates!
In The Schools (BITS) is an acclaimed musical
appreciation program that helps students understand the roots of all popular American music today that has come from te blues and that blues comes from rural and urban
African-American culture mixed with European church music.Age
appropriate content is formatted to deliver high quality learning experiences
that meet the goals and fulfill the mission ofBlues In The Schools, Inc.Based
on this premise, this program was developed to suit the needs of students in a
variety of settings from organizations to schools.
areas of culture and art are explored in a hands on setting where students
actively participate in the creation of music and composition of songs that
represent them. The purpose of the program is to introduce students to the Musical Art form
that originated in Africa and was brought to
the new world via slavery. The music has since undergone many changes but still
maintains the essence of deep expression that the tradition it is based on
instills.The programs goals include
providing a forum where students can identify the cultural, geographical and
historical origins and evolution of Blues music and the people who composed and
played it while gaining an understanding of it's significance in the world of
modern music and popular culture.
Funding for BITS comes primarily through profits from our two festivals. In 2010, Crossroads embarked on their first festival effort since 1995. The Crossroads Blues Festival, held on the Saturday of the weekend before Labor Day Weekend, was held each of the first four years in downtown Byron, IL, and in 2014 will now be held at Lyran Park in Rockford, just south of the Rockford Airport. Crossroads has had success each year in providing a great lineup and full day of music at a reasonable cost. The festival features artists on stage and music workshops. Check them out at http://crossroadsbluesfestival.blogspot.com/.
In 2013, Crossroads inaugurated the Field of Blues Festival at Rockford Aviators Stadium. Actually located in Loves Park, the stadium offers a unique venue for blues fans as they can sit on field, in the stands or in one of the covered deck pavilions to enjoy the day. The 2014 Festival features the great John Nemeth as it's headliner. Go to http://fieldofblues.blogspot.com/ for more info.
Crossroads also publishes a bi-monthly
newsletter with articles, music reviews and other related information.
It is published in full color and distributed to our members, record
companies and other blues industry organizations. It is published in full color both electronically and in hard copy. Each issue usually contains at least two dozen reviews of recently released CDs.
In October 2013, Crossroads held their first blues challenge and the Alex Wilson Band came out on top. They represented Crossroads at the IBCs in Memphis in January 2014 and were semi-finalists!.