BRADENTON -- Two new venues for blues artists to share their craft with a captive audience were added to the Realize Bradenton Blues in the Schools program this year, using funds raised at the annual Bradenton Blues Fest.
Students at Visible Men Academy and the Center Montessori School are also being added into the program, which brings different blues artists to schools to play for students and talk about blues music.
Local artists T.C. Carr and Josh Nelms played in front of the new schools Tuesday afternoon.
"It's really the proceeds from the Bradenton Blues Festival that enables us to do more," said Johnette Isham, executive director of Realize Bradenton.
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Realize Bradenton partnered with the Suncoast Blues Society to help expand the program.
In between playing songs, Carr and Nelms answered questions from the children, including 6-year-old An
tonio Soto, a student at Visible Men Academy, who wanted to know how Nelms' guitar made noise when Nelms plucked the strings.
"It's the vibration of the strings," Nelms said, as he unleashed a few chords for the students.
Carr played a number of different harmonicas for the students and after being asked, played the one around his neck, which he said was quite old.
For the last four years, blues artists have played for Manatee High School students before the Bradenton Blues Fest in December.
Adding Center Montessori and Visible Men is an extension of that program, Isham said.
"Realize Bradenton is interested in supporting and inspiring the next generation of blues music lovers and we're delighted that in 2016 we're partnering with the Suncoast Blues Society to expand Blues in the Schools," Isham said.
Meghin Delaney, education reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7081. Follow her on Twitter @Meghin Delaney.