• Ric Stewart

    Help is on the way! I made the commitment to New Orleans continuing to follow a passion to connect curious fans, scholars and students to blues and roots music and musicians. Hence, I relocated to NOLA in 2015 and founded Save the Blues Foundation (educational non-profit) and The Blues Center (bluescenter.com).

    The passion has been paying off as The Blues Center Interview YouTube series with Joe Louis Walker, Stanton Moore, Billy Vera, Deacon John and Mason Ruffner et al. now generates tens of thousands of views (bluescenters.com). The Blues Center pop up debuted our interactive music map at Jazz Fest 2017 with dozens of exclusive videos and photos. Jazz Fest’s Community Partnership grant has smiled on us for the last two years. However, it’s been a boot strap effort, so hopefully Offbeat readers can subscribe to our Insta, YT and FB pages, shop in our online store (bluesninja.com), contribute to the non-profit and even invest in a dazzling physical museum center.

    These projects were inspired by over 3 decades as a radio DJ – currently D.J. Maraca on Sat. afternoons on WTUL (where I first spun in ’91) – interviewing artists and road testing themes for the eventual center. The whole process also builds on deep archives of similar productions for web and video done over the last two decades.

    Giving back in this case includes capturing oral history and crafting docs, shows and stories that can broaden the appeal of the artist, the music and New Orleans. It’s clear that this old port town needs to connect its historic scene with its huge global impact to attract fans to delve into this ripe topic daily and discuss. One thing that has gotten lost since Woodstock is that you have to ‘pay your dues to sing the blues.’ In this case, it’s going down at the Blues Center. Stay tuned!