Tina Truax

Bob Stesheltz Photography

Tina Truax, an organizer of the Kalamazoo Blues Festival and an 11-year member of the Kalamazoo Valley Blues Association, says she became a blues convert as an adult. She went to hear a live band at a club in Grand Rapids, and and as she listened to more and more blues, she realized how much rock & roll and pop music had borrowed from the blues, a music that started as a response to slavery. Truax tells Cara Lieurance that there are signs a new generation is returning to the roots of blues, and the Kalamazoo Blues Festival is a way to hear a range of music from west Michigan, from national acts, and styles that range from New Orleans to Chicago to New York and beyond. It runs Friday and Saturday, July 12 and 13, at the Arcadia Festival Site in dowtown Kalamazoo.