By Brooke Gazer
Begun in 2011, this sensational blues festival has become an institution in Huatulco, delighting residents and visitors with top quality musicians each January and February. This year, audiences can expect the same excellence with star-studded headliners.
The festival on January 17 features Montreal’s Dawn Tyler Watson. This singer/songwriter has earned a unique place among Canada’s blues elite, capturing multiple awards both at home and abroad. Her powerful voice has been described as supple, sultry, and sexy; her fiery stage presence earned her the title “Montreal’s Queen of Blues”. Dawn will be joined on stage by David Rotundo, who is no stranger to Huatulco audiences. This multiple award-winning harmonica artist has wowed audiences with his sassy stage presence since the inception of Blues on the Beach.
January’s festival will be held in a new venue, the Sea Soul beach club located on Chahue Beach next to Latitude 15, where the event has previously been held. Dan Thompson, the festival’s promoter, is confident that this larger facility, with better traffic flow, will improve the overall experience for everyone attending.
On Febuary 14, two harmonica headliners will share the stage. David Rotundo has connected with harmonica virtuoso Lee Oskar, who is a legend of his genre. Lee Oskar is globally renowned for his iconic role as a founding member and lead harmonica player of the pioneering rock/funk/jazz band War, for which he composed and recorded “Low Rider”, “Why Can’t We Be Friends”, and “The Cisco Kid”. Between 1969 and 1993, Lee had numerous gold and platinum chart-topping songs and he continues to perform, produce and compose. If you enjoy the unique sound of harmonica blues, you won’t want to miss this dynamic duo.
All the money raised allows Un Nuevo Amanecer (UNA), a worthy charity that helps disabled children, to keep their doors open for another year. This organization receives very little government funding and most families of the one hundred children who benefit can ill afford to pay for the help they receive. Aside from the musicians, everyone working at this event is a volunteer; most are UNA staff and parents of the clients. This event ensures more than just a good time – it allows UNA to continue to help children with a multitude of disabilities and is but one example of what a generous community Huatulco is.
Brooke Gazer operates Agua Azul la Villa, a B&B in Huatulco http://www.bbaguaazul.com