Stepping Out

A weekend of music at the Barrier Beach Blues and Arts Festival

Sounds of the Blues in Long Beach


A bit of the Mississippi Delta comes to Long Beach this weekend in the form of the 2nd Annual Barrier Beach Blues and Arts Festival. Producer Johanna Mathieson, with the assistance of Artists in Partnership, brings over 100 musicians and vocalists to Long Beach, Thursday through Sunday, June 24-27. Along with the music, artists and photographers will have their works on display in a blues-themed juried show.

“We want to give people something they can be a part of and learn from,” Mathieson said. “We have an amazing lineup of performers.”

The Long Beach Public Library is the festival’s major venue, with performances at Kennedy Plaza on Sunday. Two restaurants – Monterey and Lola’s – will be the site of some additional music-making.

June 24

5:45-6:45 p.m. - Artist Reception and Awards

7-8 p.m. - “Jook Joint-styled Blues Dancing” Workshop: Nationally recognized Blues Instructors Devona Cartier and Joshua Boroff perform and teach blues dancing.

8-9 p.m. - The 405 Blues Band presents a history of the origins of the Mississippi Delta Blues, along with a performance of traditional Delta Blues music to practice those newly acquired “Jook Joint” dance moves.

June 25

7-8 p.m. - The Michael Barnett Blues Band, a local legend, with special guest vocalist Pamela Falcon

8:15-9:30 p.m. - Internationally recognized and contemporary “Blues legend” Michael Powers, joined by 16 year-old harmonica phenom Jay Gaunt

June 26

6:30-7:15 p..m. - The MOTU Delta Project

7:30-8:15 p..m. - Chrissie O’Dell and One Hot Mess

8:30-9:15 p..m. - Bill and Chaney Sims

9:30-10:15: p..m. - Kerry Kearney Band with special guest Steve Adelson on the Chapman Stick

All events take place at Long Beach Public Library, 111 W. Park Ave., Long Beach.

June 27

Blues and Art in the Plaza

1:30 p.m. - DRIFTWOOD

1:45-2:15 p.m. - Benoir and Dreamer Cult

2:30-3 p.m. - Tony Santos and the Blues Conspiracy

3:15-4 p.m. - Halley Devestern Band

4:15-5 p.m. - Mama Funk and the


The outdoor program is held at Kennedy Plaza, 1 W. Park Ave., Long Beach.

All events are free. The schedule is subject to change. For more information, contact (516) 432-7201 or visit