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The Blues Foundation

CBMA Road to Memphis Blues Challenge

Rules and Regulations

Calgary Blues Music Association (CBMA) will be hosting its local Road to Memphis Blues Challenge to select Southern Alberta's top blues acts, who will go on to participate in the Blues Foundation's 33rd annual International Blues Challenge (IBC), to be held January 31 to February 4, 2017 in Memphis, Tennessee.

Qualifying rounds are slated to take place October 30th and November 6th, with the final rounds in November 13th. Acts will perform a 25 minute set each.


CBMA defines a Band as any act with three (3) or more musicians. Solo/Duo acts are any act with one or two musicians. Vocalists are considered as musicians. Both electric and acoustic instruments are allowed.

Band members must be residents of Alberta, south of Red Deer and from border to border to border, in 2016. All musicians must be 18 years of age or older, available for all qualifying and final rounds, and must be able to travel to Memphis, TN, January 31 - February 4, 2017. All songs presented must be Blues (acoustic/electric), Rock/Blues, Jazz/Blues, Country Blues or Rhythm & Blues.

CBMA reserves the right to limit the number of entrants in the competition. Should it be necessary to exercise this right, a pre-screening of applications received will be conducted based on the sample music provided. The results of pre-screening process are final. Acts may participate for two years concurrent, then must take at least one year off before participating again.


Entrants will be evaluated using the same criteria and scoring system used in Memphis. Each band will have 25 minutes to perform in the First Qualifying Round. Points given are based on Blues Content, Vocals, Talent, Originality and Stage Presence. Scoring details can be viewed on the Blues Foundation website

click here to see official rules and scoring

CBMA will help defray costs, however we cannot guarantee that all expenses for Memphis will be covered.

For more information, click to email