National Blues Museum

Blues musician Bobby Rush, museum leaders and Mayor Francis Slay celebrate the opening of the National Blues Museum on Saturday, April 2, 2016.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

The National Blues Museum — a sensory rich, colorful homage to blues music — is now open in downtown St. Louis.

A crowd of people attended the long-awaited grand opening Saturday, lining up down the 600 block of Washington Avenue to be the first to see the new exhibits.

National Blues Museum

Rob Endicott is a classically trained trumpeter and blues musician in his own right. For the forseeable future, however, he has donned a different hat: Board Chairman of the National Blues Museum, which has its grand opening on Saturday.

“It touches something deep in the American soul, this music,” Endicott told St. Louis on the Air contributor Steve Potter.

St. Louisan Big George Brock has performed at past Bluesweek festivals.
File Photo | Bluesweek

The National Blues Museum has set April 2, 2016, as its opening day. The project intends to tell the history of blues music through exhibits and community outreach.

National Blues Museum Director Dion Brown
Courtesy of The National Blues Museum

The National Blues Museum continues the march toward its late 2015 opening with the hiring of its first executive director, Dion Brown. Brown says the role carries an obligation to maintain the link between blues originators and contemporary music.

Chesterfield and St. Louis
(Brent Jones | St. Louis Public Radio)

The St. Louis Bluesweek Festival and the Budweiser Taste of St. Louis are on the move, and people throughout the metro area have been quick to share their reactions.

Taste of St. Louis and Bluesweek left many regulars reeling after organizers announced that this year both will be held in Central Park and the Chesterfield amphitheater.

Provided by National Blues Museum

In December 2013, the National Blues Museum project in St. Louis took a giant step forward with the announcement that Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. and Lumiere Place Casino had pledged $6 million in funding for the museum as part of its agreement St. Louis to invest in downtown projects.

The fourth annual St. Louis Bluesweek Festival takes place Friday, May 24 – Sunday, May 26 at Soldiers Memorial in downtown St. Louis.

The headliners include Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Mavis Staples and Big George Brock, however, the Festival will highlight several artists with significant ties to St. Louis including Marquis Knox and Rich McDonough & Rough Groves.