What do B.B. King, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Big Mama Thornton, Jimi Hendrix, Big Joe Fitz, Willa Vincitore, Slam Allen, Bruce Katz, Murali Coryell, and Jeremy Baum all have in common with each other? They all play the Blues!
Joe Mack is a native “Newburghian”, born and bred. Joe worked with Safe Harbors of the Hudson back in 2016 – 2017 on a photography project. Recently retired, Joe decided he wanted to do something for Newburgh, the local music community (especially the Blues community) and Safe Harbors of the Hudson. He had a vision.
Safe Harbors of the Hudson is an award-winning, innovative, non-profit, redevelopment project in the City of Newburgh, with the mission of transforming lives and building community through housing and the arts. It is housing, visual and performing arts, urban green space, community building, economic development and a model for urban revitalization.
Joe’s vision was to bring live Blues music back to Broadway, create some buzz and get some foot traffic going again in lower Newburgh. Reaching out to the best Blues Bands in the Hudson Valley, Joe got six individuals to help out by performing in the Safe Harbors Lobby at the Ritz. A fundraiser for Safe Harbors and a friend-raiser for the Blues!
Big Joe Fitz, Willa Vincitore, Slam Allen, Bruce Katz, Murali Coryell, and Jeremy Baum were ready to jump at the chance to help, needing little persuasion. Most are local musicians that play the local music scene. Some are touring musicians, some do both. But the bottom line is, it’s all for “The Blues”; and Safe Harbors, of course!
Big Joe Fitz kicks off the Blues on Broadway series Friday, March 23 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door. The Ritz box office can be reached at (845) 784-1199. Box office and theater doors open one hour before show time. Secure and convenient free parking is available on Broadway directly in front of the Lobby at the Ritz, street parking on both Liberty and Ann Street and directly behind the theater in the Ann Street municipal parking lot.
The name Big Joe Fitz has been synonymous with soulful music in the Hudson Valley for more than 30 years and there’s a very good reason for that. Big Joe Fitz & The Lo-Fi’s have an eclectic playlist that ranges from Bobby Bland to Johnny Mercer to Ernest Tubb and beyond, but you will be entertained by a live show that is always warm, always engaging, and always fun.
Future shows will feature Slam Allen (April 27), Willa Vincitore (May 18), Murali Coryell (June 22), Burce Katz (July 20) and Jeremy Baum (August 17).
Check the Safe Harbors of the Hudson website, safe-harbors.org, for additional info on dates and to buy tickets in advance.