Bluesman Donald Ray Johnson and his band will ring down the curtain this Saturday night, August 9, to Kimberley’s 8-day arts & culture festival, Kimberley Kaleidoscope, with an outdoor Blues Party at Centre 64. Following hot on the heels of the enthusiastically received Celtic concert with Cod Gone Wild on the same stage last Saturday, Donald Ray Johnson and his band will bring to Kimberley the sounds of the deep south blues that Johnson grew up playing in Bryan, Texas, from the age of 14.
Donald Ray Johnson has had quite a career since his first professional gig as the drummer for legendary blues pianist Nat Dove. For many years he played with famous blues artists in San Diego and then Los Angeles where, in 1979, he won a Grammy with the popular American group, A Taste of Honey. Since moving to Calgary he was voted top Canadian male blues vocalist and drummer in 1997. Still going strong after a career spanning 50 years, Johnson is a headliner at this summer’s Calgary International Blues Fest.
The Saturday Night Downtown Blues Party on the outdoor stage at Centre 64 will feature Johnson and his 5-piece band in a 2-hour concert beginning at 7 p.m. Mark Creek Lions Club will be serving hot food, and a beer & wine bar will be open on site starting at 5 p.m. While there are plenty of covered picnic tables it is advisable to bring a lawn chair for your own comfort. The concert will be preceded by placing lanterns around the site, hand-made in a workshop led by Kimberley artist Helen Robertson, whose giant puppets will be welcoming you at the gate. Admission is by donation. Don’t forget your dancing shoes!