Are You The King of the Blues?
King of the Blues is part of Guitar Center's ongoing mission to provide emerging artists and musicians with career-altering opportunities and vehicles to achieve success. Other Guitar Center programs include Drum-Off and On-Stage. Now in its 21st year, Guitar Center's Drum-Off has been a launching pad for numerous professional drummers, including Cora "CC" Dunham (Prince), Eric Moore II (Suicidal Tendencies), Tony Royster Jr. (Jay Z) and Thomas Pridgen (The Mars Volta). In 2008 Guitar Center also added On-Stage, a search for America's next great rock band, with close to 8,000 bands vying for an opening slot on Mötley Crüe's 30+ city North American arena tour. The winning band, The Last Vegas, not only toured with Mötley Crüe, but was also awarded a record deal with Eleven Seven Music and a management contract with Tenth Street Entertainment (Mötley's management company).
Introduced in 2006, Guitar Center's King of the Blues is designed to offer similar life-changing opportunities for unsigned guitarists. More than just a competition to find the most technically skilled players, King of the Blues is designed to seek out the most passionate, innovative and authentic undiscovered guitar players and give them a shot at stardom. Some of today's most iconic and groundbreaking artists, including BB King, John Mayer, The Black Crowes and Kenny Wayne Shepherd have participated at past King of the Blues events, and the winner of Guitar Center's 2007 King of the Blues, Aaron Loesch, was invited to perform at Eric Clapton's Crossroads Festival in front of over 25,000 attendees.
With "the Blues" being the foundation for nearly all of today's popular music, the search for the nation's greatest undiscovered blues guitarist is expected to unearth a goldmine of unsigned talent, some of whom are destined to become tomorrow's legends. "The Blues defines today's music—from Robert Johnson to Jack White and B.B. King to John Mayer," notes Dustin Hinz, Manager of Event Marketing and Promotions for Guitar Center. "By tapping into this rich and deep musical art form, our goal is to find true original talent—not clones of great guitarists, but rather great guitarists in their own right who deserve a place alongside the legends."
Guitar Center's King of the Blues champion will win an impressive package of prizes, including $25,000 cash, a featured spot in a Guitar Center ad campaign, along with a Gibson '59 Les Paul reissue guitar, a $2,500 Levis shopping spree, a Marshall Vintage Modern 50 watt half stack, a Boss GT-10 Guitar Multi Effects Pedal, a feature in Guitar World magazine, worldwide distribution of their music in iTunes and more, plus endorsement deals from Ernie Ball, Marshall, Vox and Gibson.
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