Iowa bluesman Kevin Burt will be the resident artist for the final 2022 Mississippi Valley Blues Society “Blues in the Schools” program on May 16-19th.

Since 1990, this educational community outreach program has introduced the history and cultural significance of American Blues music to QC area K-12 students. It has become an integral part of the area music teacher’s curriculum, according to the MVBS.

“We are fortunate to have the Mississippi Valley Blues Society in our community. The artists they bring into our schools/community are not just outstanding performers. These artists are great educators who teach about their music genre and their craft,” Mara Goodvin, General Music Teacher, Ridgewood Elementary, Rock Island, said in a Thursday release.

Kevin Burt

Burt (who lives in Coralville and originally hails from Waterloo) will also appear for an MVBS fundraising event on May 17th at 7:30 p.m. at the historic Hauberg Estate, 1300 24th St., Rock Island. Admission is free but donations are welcome.

Blues music was created within African-American culture and became the rootstock of all popular American music. “Very simply, the blues is African-American folk music,” Kevin Burt said in the MVBS release.

Burt was the 2019 Blues Music Award nominee and International Blues Challenge winner in three categories (vocals, harmonica, and guitar). Influences like Bill Withers and Aaron Neville gave him the ability to build a rapport with audiences with his soul-inspired presentation and stage presence, the release said.

“Kevin is also one of the most tireless Blues educators having presented Blues history and music to thousands of K-12 students across the U.S.,” the blues society said.

Davenport-based MVBS is one of the oldest blues-music organizations in the U.S., which was started in 1984. The mission of the Mississippi Valley Blues Society is to ensure the future of a uniquely American art form by fostering greater public appreciation through performance, education, and preservation of blues heritage.

For more information, visit its website.