Blues at the Arch: An Annual Phenomenon by the Gateway Arch Park Foundation
Presented by Emerson, the Blues at the Arch concerts are produced by the Gateway Arch Park Foundation in partnership with the National Park Service and the National Blues Museum. A popular end-of-summer celebration that pays tribute to the history of St. Louis Blues and showcases the musical talents of both national and local artists. Blues at the Arch has now been running every August for six years straight.
Some of the artists that have braced the Blues at the Arch include:
The Lady J Huston
Respected for being one of the most spectacular musicians, her captivating vocals are world renown, and her stage presence is described as mesmerizing. Popularly known as Lady J, Joyce A. Huston’s mother Loyce Huston who was a gospel singer and highly acclaimed jazz songstress inspired her to sing and dance. She started touring the United States at 18, worked with legends like Albert “Blues Boy” King, performed with legends like Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Etta James, many others and has never stopped since.
Known to be a blues master craftsman Jontavious Willis performed at the Blues at the Arch and is known to send a jolt through blues lovers and was called the wonder boy by Taj Mahal when he invited him to perform on stage. Also viewed as the great new acoustic blues voice of this century, Jontavious Willis who hails from Greenville, Ga grew up singing gospel music at the Mt. Pilgrim Baptist Church motivated by his grandfather. At the age of 14, he was inspired by legend Muddy Waters and the blues became his course.
Toronzo Cannon and the Chicago Way
Known to defy all expectations, Chicago bluesman Toronzo is an exceptional guitarist, singular songwriter, soulful vocalist, and a city bus driver renowned for fusing his original blues trail, detailed slice-of-life songs with rock-inspired blues guitar, and a touch of his masculinity. He broke onto the international scene in 2016 with the release of his debut The Chicago Way. Considered as one of the most electrifying bluesmen from Chicago, his live performances have earned him critical praise and a large number of highly enthusiastic fans. Some of his other releases are The Preacher, The Politician, or the Pimp.
Born Shandora Rice, Mz. Sha who has braced the Blues at the Arch and has been singing for over 20 years, is a loving mother and grandmother. A proud native of St. Louis, she has a strong entertainment business background and started singing in local bands like The Fellaz ft. Mz Sha and Young Brothers in Blues. She has opened for several notable blues musicians throughout her career including Theodis Ealey, Sir Charles, and has performed in venues from St. Louis to Arkansas. Her soul, R&B, Blues, and jazz standards are known to measure to those set by Aretha Franklin, Etta James, and Chaka Khan.
Blues at the Arch is an annual music celebration hosted every August to commemorate the history of Blues music in St. Louis. Hosted by the Gateway Arch Park Foundation, the event strives to present the very best in blues by including big names in the genre as well as inviting proven rising talent in the blues to share in the celebrations. The National Park Service and National Blues Museum are close stakeholders in the celebrations that see a roster with great blues music every year.