Kenny Wayne, one of the artists who will perform at Huatulco's annual blues festival. Kenny Wayne, one of the artists who will perform at Huatulco's annual blues festival.

Award-winning artists at Huatulco blues fest

Among them is Kenny 'Blues Boss' Wayne, at the forefront of blues piano players

Huatulco is a Oaxaca tourist destination famous for its many bays and beaches — and blues music.

The annual Blues on the Beach festival will bring award-winning blues musicians to town for concerts on January 11 and February 8.

The first event will feature Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne, a blues, boogie-woogie and jazz pianist who was inducted in August into the Boogie Woogie Piano Hall of Fame, and singer/blues harp player David Rotundo.

Wayne, 74, is described as being at the forefront of modern-day blues piano practitioners, and has been hailed by Living Blues magazine as “an artist bringing the piano back to the front ranks of contemporary blues.”

The energetic Rotundo, a native of Toronto, has been a crowd favorite at previous Blues on the Beach shows.

The February 8 concert will be a “women in blues” night starring Rita Chiarelli and her six-piece R&B band Sweet Loretta. Show organizers describe Chiarelli as Canada’s most highly-acclaimed female roots and blues artist, with a long list of awards to her name.

Known as the “goddess of the blues,” Chiarelli has won every major Canadian blues award.

Two other Canadian artists will appear as special guests. Music scene veteran Cheryl Lescom sings blues, R&B and soul with a powerful voice in the style of Etta James and Janis Joplin.

Joining her will be Sarah Smith, a full-time touring musician who also has several awards to her credit.

Concerts take place at Chahue Beach, where beer, wine, soft drinks and snacks are served.

All proceeds go to support Un Nuevo Amanecer (a new dawn), a Huatulco organization that helps children with mental and physical disabilities.

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