Greg Williamson presented Jimmy Vivino’s NYC Blues Revue, a benefit concert for the Blues Foundation, at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill on Sept. 9. Vivino – a New Jersey native best known as a member of the Fab Faux Bealtes tribute band, and as the music director and bandleader for Conan O’ Brien’s various late night talk shows – brought together some of the finest locally-based blues vocalists and musicians to pay tribute to the blues. The program consisted largely of songs by Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Robert Johnson, Howlin’ Wolf, Albert King, Eric Clapton and other blues giants.
Vivino led a house band consisting of Will Lee, Danny Louis, Leon Pendarvis, Shawn Pelton, Bette Sussman, Jerry Vivino, Erik Lawrence, and Earl Gardner. Guest performers included Dion DiMucci, Sam Moore, William Bell, Shemekia Copeland, John Sebastian, Ruthie Foster, Eric Krasno, Bill Sims, Bob Margolin, Scott Sharrard, Joe Louis Walker, Marcus King, Tash Neal, King Solomon Hicks, Danny Clinch, Chris Scianni, Catherine Russell and Chris Barnes.
Founded in 1980 and based in Memphis, Tenn., the Blues Foundation is an organization with a mission to preserve blues heritage, celebrate blues recording and performance, expand worldwide awareness of the blues, and ensure the future of this American art form. Its signature honors and events – the Blues Music Awards, Blues Hall of Fame, International Blues Challenge and Keeping the Blues Alive Awards – make it the international center of blues music. Its HART Fund provides the blues community with medical assistance for musicians in need, while Blues in the Schools programs, and Generation Blues scholarships, expose new generations to blues music. In 2015, the Blues Foundation opened the Blues Hall of Fame Museum, in Memphis, Tenn.