THE BLUES FOUNDATION BOARD VOTES TO INTEGRATE WITH BLUES MUSIC ASSOCIATION

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Two Organizations Unite to Promote Blues Education, Preservation and Commerce

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 21, 2003

THE BLUES FOUNDATION BOARD VOTES TO INTEGRATE

WITH BLUES MUSIC ASSOCIATION

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- On Saturday, February 1, 2003, the Board of Directors of The Blues Foundation, the national organization of blues societies and blues fans, unanimously approved a series of motions designed to integrate the Blues Music Association, the trade alliance of blues professionals, into the Foundation. The Blues Music Association (BMA) will become an arm of the Blues Foundation and its assets will be transferred to The Blues Foundation. The process is expected to be completed quickly to maximize joint efforts surrounding the 25th anniversary of the W.C. Handy Awards in May, 2004 and the "Year of the Blues" initiative proclaimed for 2003 by the United States Senate.

The Blues Music Association was established in 1998 as a 501(c)6 trade association to support and promote the professional efforts of those involved in the blues music industry. The Blues Foundation is a 501(c)3 chartered in 1980 with a mission of blues music education and preservation. This current move to integrate the two organizations reflects a desire on both groups’ parts to unify their efforts to further develop and preserve what is an essential cultural underpinning of all American music.

Changes to the Blues Foundation bylaws include instituting a professional outreach committee, and employing a director of professional services to assume the tasks presently undertaken by the executive director of the Blues Music Association. The professional outreach committee will be responsible for the development, implementation and management of professional development programs, effective outreach initiatives, cultivating professional relationships with critical groups and fostering the dissemination of blues music around the world. This committee will consist of Blues Foundation members from professional membership constituencies nominated and elected to 3-year terms by board members representing those constituencies.

"The efforts of the Blues Music Association and The Blues Foundation are so closely parallel that working together can only lead to more success and visibility for the blues, says Bruce Iglauer, president of the Blues Music Association. "We want to emulate the structure of the other genre-specific music organizations by creating a strong working relationship between blues professionals, including blues musicians, and the fans and educators. We look forward to working with our friends in the Blues Foundation to benefit everyone in the blues community."

"The opportunities with the Blues Music Association and the Blues Foundation being one will allow our efforts to reach new heights," says Kevin Kane, president of the Blues Foundation. "As we approach the 25th anniversary of the Handy's in 2004 a multi-focussed but single organization makes the most sense. The future is very exciting for the Blues Foundation. As we pursue our dream of a Blues Music Hall of Fame and Handy Museum the synergy of what merging the Blues Music Association and Blues Foundation can accomplish is limitless."

ABOUT THE BLUES FOUNDATION

The Blues Foundation is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion and preservation blues Music. It is the umbrella organization for a worldwide network of 109 affiliated Blues Societies and has individual memberships in twenty-four countries. In addition to the W.C. Handy Blues Awards, the Foundation produces the Lifetime Achievement Award, Blues Hall of Fame Induction and the International Blues Challenge.

ABOUT THE BLUES MUSIC ASSOCIATION

The Blues Music Association was founded in 1998 by a group of 19 blues professionals, who conceived of it as an organization to expand the business of blues by expanding the marketplace for blues music. It has grown to more than 200 member companies and individuals, representing artists, labels, agents, managers, festival and club promoters, publicists, publications, journalists, photographers, songwriters, publishers, producers and radio programmers. Maggie Mortensen serves as Executive Director of the Blues Music Association. Bruce Iglauer, president and founder of Alligator Records, is this year’s BMA president.

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For media information regarding the Blues Foundation, contact:

Pat Mitchell / The Blues Foundation

901.527.2583        queenb@blues.org

For media information regarding the Blues Music Association, contact:

Cary Baker    The Baker/Northrop Media Group

818.986.5200        cary@bakernorthrop.com

Betsie Brown    Crows Feet Productions

901.278.6850        betsie@crowsfeet.biz

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