The all-star tribute event Icon: The Life and Legacy of B.B. King, honouring one of the greatest names in blues history, will be staged by the Grammy Foundation and Grammy Museum on 1 September. It will take place at the Wallis Annenberg Centre for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, California.
Among those taking part are Slash, Joe Bonamassa, Keb’ Mo,’ Jimmie Vaughan, Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Joe Louis Walker. The evening will be hosted by Scott Goldman, vice president of the Grammy Foundation; the organisation will share all proceeds with the Grammy Museum. All of the participants, apart from Walker, are multiple or individual Grammy winners or nominees. Slash, Trucks and Tedeschi were all guest performers at King’s London show at the Royal Albert Hall in 2011.
King, who died in May last year, has 15 Grammy Awards to his name, a collection that began in 1971 with Best Male R&B Performance for ‘The Thrill Is Gone’ and ended in 2009 with Best Traditional Blues Album for One Kind Favour. Released the year before and produced by T-Bone Burnett, it turned out to be King’s final studio album.
In February, the 58th annual Grammys ceremony included a tribute performance of ‘The Thrill Is Gone’ by B.B. admirers Bonnie Raitt, Chris Stapleton and Gary Clark Jr. Stapleton was chosen for the event after after Grammy telecast executive producer Ken Ehrlich saw a clip of him covering the track on YouTube.
The music director for September’s gala will be Jimmy Vivino, who will be joined by his Basic Cable Band, the longtime house band the Conan late-night talk show on US television. There will also be a pre-event VIP reception, and a small selection of auction items signed by participating artists will be available exclusively to attendees for silent bidding. Ticketing information can be found here.
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