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Thursday, March 28, 2019 12:03 am

March celebrations and more

Chicago blues guitar legend, Joanna Connor, headlines the Illinois Central Blues Club birthday bash on Saturday night at the K of C Hall on Meadowbrook Road.


As we roll on through the last weekend of March, warm winds blow us toward the outdoor live music entertainment just ahead. But first, let’s get to our big March finale.

Supporting the blues scene with amazing dedication for over three decades, the Illinois Central Blues Club continues on in its stated purpose of “preserving and promoting blues music culture and sponsoring live blues performances.” With enough ups and downs and trials and tribulations over the last 33 years of existence to become a blues song unto itself, let’s give the ICBC a rousing “Hurrah!” for doing so much for so long to keep the blues alive and well in Springfield. Come celebrate during the group’s birthday party this Saturday evening at the K of C Hall on Meadowbrook Road. Torrey Casey and the Southside Hustle of St. Louis, who represented the Decatur Blues Society, Prairie Crossroads Blues Society and the Illinois Central Blues Club in Memphis at the International Blues Challenge last February, open the show at 7 p.m. Then longtime Chicago-based blues guitarist, singer and songwriter Joanna Connor comes on strong as the heavy duty headliner. Happy birthday to you, ICBC.

Another anniversary happens on Saturday as Buzz Bomb Brewing Company commemorates one year of being here with Buzz Fest from noon until 1 a.m. As the Buzz Bombers like to say, “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth overdoing,” so they’ve concocted a street fest on Adams in front of the downtown brew making and drinking establishment with five live music acts, several guest breweries, games, food and other forms of celebratory entertainment. The outdoor festivities stop at 11 p.m., but the party continues inside with blues cat Devin Williams until the cows come home. Congrats to Buzz Bomb, and thanks for hosting live music in a big and cool way.

Jerry Houghtby, owner and operator of Third Base Sports Bar, has for years been a big supporter of live music, including nationally known touring blues acts, as well as local musicians of all flavors. He has now “passed the baton” of running the club on to others. Jerry is going out in style with a couple of big shows including a “Goodbye Blast” on Friday with Black Magic Johnson and the MojoCats and a “Real Farewell Party” with Off the Wall on Saturday. Thank you Jerry for helping to make the music scene a more happening place to be.

Our friends at the Juvae Jazz Society will present a “Mini-Fest” of jazz-related music from 11 a.m to 10 p.m. on Saturday at the Decatur Conference Center Hall. The Williamsville High School Jazz Band opens the fest and the Kevin Turner Trio closes things out with a dance, while the hours in between are filled with classic jazz, dixieland music and dance lessons, too. Visit www.juvaejazz.com for more information.

From 1 until 6 on Saturday afternoon, the KC Lake Club hosts a “Jim Jam Benefit Bash” to raise funds for Jimmy Thomas, who suffered a stroke a few months ago. Jimmy, known for his caring ways and sax blowing days, needs financial assistance as he continues with stroke recovery therapy, so a bunch of his music pals are jamming all day long to help out a musician friend in need. Hip Bone Sam, Jimmy’s longtime friend who coordinated the event, says if you can’t make it on Saturday but want to help, the Alliance Bank in Athens has a fund set up, or use GoFundMe at Jimmy Thomas Medical Expenses online. Let’s get Jimmy jamming again.

See you in April. No fooling.


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