Hunt for young talent to play at Rhythm & Blues Festival

The search is on again for young, aspiring Rhythm and Blues musicians to perform at this year’s Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival.

Jessica Foxley Unsigned (formerly The Jessica Foxley Stage) was set up in 2010 in memory of Jessica, who died the previous year in a car crash aged 21.

Its aim is to provide high profile performance opportunities for young musicians – and in particular to select outstanding young Blues acts to perform at Colne’s annual Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival.

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Unsigned, up-and-coming talent will be chosen to perform on stages alongside the main acts. Last year a total of eight were selected to play on three different stages, including the International Stage.

Some of the artistes have used the festival as a springboard to propel themselves into the music world.

Last year’s success stories include The 45’s from Carlisle, who appeared with Wilko Johnson at the festival and went on to perform with him in his home town of Canvey. Manchester’s Minor Blues have just released their second single since appearing on the British Stage.

Bright Shapes, who first played the British Stage in 2011, are currently recording their third EP. They have since become regular and popular performers at the festival’s roadhouse venues, alongside Mog Stanley – from the 2012 Acoustic Stage – who is about to release his debut album.

Tom Killner, featured live on Radio Lancashire during the 2012 festival, has since become a popular act at various Blues clubs and festivals.

In the same year, following their British Stage performance, The Blind Dead McJones Band was nominated for a British Blues Award.

Now Rhythm and Blues bands and solo artistes are invited to apply for one of the sought-after places at this year’s Festival.

Live auditions will take place in front of a panel of judges, including local talent Lucy Zirins, who has performed at the Festival on numerous occasions, and a representative from Organic Mountain Records, at The ACE Centre in Nelson, on June 22nd and 23rd.

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Festival organiser Alison Goode, said: “Jessica was a young, up-and-coming, talented artiste looking to carve out a musical career for herself and this is what we are aiming to do, to give other people just like her, a chance.

“We want to honour her talent and support other young people like her by giving them an opportunity to be heard and perform at such an established event.

“Over the last few years we have discovered some amazing talent and we are excited about what we might find this year to perform at the Blues Festival in August.”

Interested musicians can apply online by filling in a form and submitting a sound recording and video clip.

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The form is available on the festival website or via {hhhp://| The deadline for applications is June 8th. A shortlist will then be invited to audition.