The Bands

Local 362 ALL STARS - 1:00PM

Since 2010, musical members of the South Bend Fire Department have come together to create an all-firefighter band specifically for the South Bend Firefighter's Local 362 Bluesfest. They call themselves the 362 All Stars. Although the line-up changes from year to year, a core group of individuals provide a solid foundation.

Because members work on opposing shifts, practice time comes at a premium. The band compiles a set list and is able to rehearse only about a half dozen times before taking the stage as the first act at the Bluesfest. In the past, they've played everything from Buddy Guy and The Beatles to B.B King, Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones.

"It's for a great cause and we have a lot of fun. It's something I look forward to every year," says core drummer, Mark Mammon. "Our goals are pretty simple," added keyboardist, Todd Skwarcan. "Give about an hour of entertainment, have fun and try not to lay an egg."

G-Money Band - 3:00PM

When you speak about the blues in Fort Wayne, the name G-Money inevitably comes up. A fixture in the Fort Wayne music scene for years, G-Money continues to carry the torch for the blues in Fort Wayne, never giving up on his personal crusade to bring the music he loves so much to the people who love good live blues . To hear G tell it, his start in music came innocently enough, but had a lasting effect. “When I was younger, my family would have what we called ‘company’ over to the house. Basically, family and friends would come over to talk, play records, let the kids run in and out of the house and have a good time.

G-Money began playing the guitar around the age of 14 after hearing Ernie Isley play on The Isley Brothers hit “Who’s That Lady.” “He’s by far the greatest influence on me,” Then there’s Jimi Hendrix who actually played in The Isley Brothers band for a time.

G-Money played shows in the area for quite some time as a member of the Fabulous Rhythm Kids, a band that also featured Dave Zych on guitar, Mark Stein on bass and Scott Byler on drums. That particular group fell apart a few years ago, so now he plays as G-Money & Fabulous Rhythm. Though the group bears his name, G is quick to point out his bandmates are an extremely talented bunch of musicians themselves. Currently playing drummer Mark Glanemann, bassist Geo Conner and guitarist/saxophonist Stevie Lunn. G-Money and The Fabulous Rhythm can whip out any number of blues, soul, R&B or dance favorites at the drop of a hat. -ReverbNation

David Gerald - 5:00PM

David Gerald, the son of Rural Mississippi born and raised parents, grew up to the sounds of the blues and R&B music in his hometown, Detroit. "Because segregation and racial discrimination were so bad in Mississippi at the time, my dad moved the family north to Detroit when he was 33, so we'd have a better chance at the American dream. Gerald started playing guitar at the age of 15, influenced by Prince and 80's rock guitarists. He rediscovered the blues and listened to the music of Albert King, ZZ Hill, B.B. King, and Stevie Ray Vaughan, to name just a few.

Gerald performed in many local blues, R&B, and rock bands cutting his guitar and vocal chops live and in person. Finding it hard to keep a band together, Gerald learned to play guitar, bass, keys, and drums. Using two antiquated cassette recorders he would overdub each part individually until the song was complete. "The end result sounded horrible, and the songs would not end up in the same key they started in. But it got my songs recorded," says Gerald. This was the beginning of his songwriting, most of which were pop and rock tunes during the 80's. Around the age of 24, he began experimenting with computers to write and compose music, which he has done to this day.

Gerald's blues have been receiving widespread radio play, along with recognition in the Blues and Rock communities. Recently Gerald was listed as #1 on the ReverbNation blues charts for Michigan Blues artists. His debut album "Hell and Back" reached #1 on Roots Music Report's Blues Chart for Michigan based artists and remained in the top 20 for many weeks in a row.

Wayne Baker Brooks - 7:00PM

Wayne Baker Brooks is considered one of today's top guitarists who's signature style combines powerful vocals with liquid fire guitar playing that honors his rich blues heritage yet effortlessly expands the boundaries of the genre. Born and raised in Chicago, IL amongst the most prolific blues legends and blues masters in the world, Wayne Baker Brook's blues roots may run deeper and wider than the Great Lakes themselves.

Chicago Blues laid the foundation to Wayne's innovative style. Growing up Brooks was a regular visitor to such historic places as Chess Studios, Checkerboard Lounge, Wisefools, and many other blues landmarks at which he witnessed many live performances by blues masters like Buddy Guy, Jr. Wells, Luther Allison, KoKo Taylor, the great Muddy Waters and his father. The youngest son of blues master Lonnie Brooks - Wayne Brooks was literally born into the blues!

In 2004 Brooks released his debut CD "Mystery", an album that brilliantly draws on blues, rock, soul, funk and beyond. "Mystery" received multiple awards and praise from the music world. Wayne Baker Brooks and his Band continue to play the world over with WBB's signature top shelf brand of guitar playing and a live show that should not be missed.

Dwayne Dopsie - 9:00PM

“America’s Hottest Accordion” winner, Dwayne Dopsie plays a unique, high energy style of Zydeco. Dwayne hails from one of the most influential Zydeco families in the world. Although inspired by tradition, he has developed his own high energy style that defies existing stereotypes and blazes a refreshingly distinct path for 21st century Zydeco music. This singer/songwriter and accordionist has performed all over the world since debuting his band, Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers, at age 19.

Dwayne attributes his musical ablilities to his father, Rockin' Dopise, Sr., a pioneer of Zydeco music. As a small child, Dwayne was interested in the washboard, but quickly realized he had incredible talent with an accordion. He has played the accordion since age seven and states, "This is my calling - Zydeco music is in my blood and it is my heart and soul." As a tribute to his late father, the most influential person in his life, Dwayne plans to record an album of his Dad's greatest Zydeco hits.

Dwayne Dopsie and his Hellraisers have performed in 20 different countries and in hundreds of cities. Because of the energy and power of the music they play, he was nominated for a Grammy award in 2007 and also nominated for the last 7 years for best accordion and artist from Off Beat Magazine Awards. In September 2016, he was on "Louisiana Rising" with Harry Connick Jr. and Randy Jackson, performing their song for the flood victims called "Rollercoaster" which is one of the songs on their new cd, soon to be released in 2017.