BRADENTON -- There are hundreds of blues festivals around the world every year. One source lists more than 350 in the United States and Canada alone.
But when the blues411.com recently released its annual list of nominees in various award categories, the Bradenton Blues Festival was listed as a contender for the Festival of the Year Award. Only four other festivals made the cut.
The website is run by a blues aficionado by the name Chef Jimi. The awards, now in their second year, are called the Jimi Awards.
The other nominees for Festival of the Year were the Daytona Blues Festival, the Pennsylvania Blues Festival, the European Blues Cruise and the Otis Taylor Trance Blues Festival & Workshop.
Unfortunately, Bradenton Blues Festival organizers will have to adopt the traditional "it's an honor just to be nominated" attitude. The website announced the Jimi winners Thursday afternoon, and Bradenton lost out to the Otis Taylor Trance Blues Festival & Workshop in Boulder, Colo.
There will be at least one Jimi Award winner at the festival. Dennis Gruenling, who won the Harmonica Player Jimi Award last year, will perform with Doug Deming and the Jewel Tones, the opening band this year. They'll take to the stage on the Riverwalk at 11 a.m. Saturday.
-- Marty Clear