Reno Blues Fest Begins

News release

James Ingram, The Emotions, Lil’ Dave Thompson Headline the Festival

Reno Tahoe Blues FestivalKnown for sharing the culture and spirit of the blues, the 5th annual Reno-Tahoe Blues Fest returns to Rancho San Rafael Park in Reno, Nev., Aug. 14 -16. This year offers an unforgettable experience with headliners including James Ingram, The Emotions and Lil’ Dave Thompson to entertain audiences from near and far. Tickets are now available online at

“This year, as in years past, we’re continuing to provide one of the best blues experiences on the West Coast bringing both veteran musicians as well as relative newcomers to entertain and delight Reno-Tahoe audiences,” Charles McNeely, president of the Reno-Tahoe Blues Fest and former Reno city manager, said. “Each year the Reno-Tahoe Blues Fest continues to grow, showcasing different artists, more amenities and exciting new opportunities for blues fans to really immerse themselves in music.”

The festival opened Friday, Aug. 14, with Lil’ Dave Thompson, who after two successful CDs and nominations for two Handy awards in 1996, has come full circle with the blues. In 1995 he burst onto the scene with his Fat Possum debut, “Little Dave and Big Love.” He re-emerged in 2001 with “Big Love,” a 14-song slab of modern, original soulblues that are remarkably mature for a player under 35. He has continued to record with 2008’s “Deep in the Night,” his latest album.

The Emotions, who released album after successful album from 1969 through the ’90s with hits including “So I Can Love You,” “Show Me How,” “Flowers,” “I Don’t Wanna Lose Your Love,” “You’ve Got The Right To Know” and “Best Of My Love” and appeared on soundtracks such as “Summer Of Sam” and “Boogie Nights,” will headline Saturday, Aug. 15.

Music icon, multi-Grammy Award-winner and back-to-back Oscar nominee, James Ingram will close the festival Sunday, Aug. 16. Ingram, who is a singer, performer, songwriter, composer, arranger and producer, is known for his legendary, Grammy Award-winning 1983 collaboration with Michael McDonald for “Yah Mo Be There.” From funk to soul to R&B to pop to adult contemporary to inspirational, Ingram’s multi-faceted talents have dazzled the American music scene since the early ’80s to the present. Ingram also made Grammy history when — in his first live performance ever as a singer — he performed “Just Once” as the telecast’s opening act and became the first artist to open a Grammy ceremony with a ballad and the only artist to win a Grammy without having his own album in release.

The festival draws more than 10,000 attendees annually to Reno’s Rancho San Rafael Park for a kickoff concert and two full days of musical performances beginning at 12 p.m. and continuing into the evening. The ongoing entertainment is complemented by a variety of dining options including classic Southern specialties and ice-cold beverages that combine to provide a first-class blues experience.

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