Award-winning blues singer, pianist and saxophonist Deanna Bogart is returning to the region where she started her career to play at the Boogie Woogie Blues Blast, which kicks off the Tinner Hill Blues Festival this Friday at the State Theatre.
“[It feels] wonderful, like home,” said Bogart, who moved out of the area last year. “I get to come home to my other home for a little bit. It’s a wonderful feeling.”
Bogart has played at the Tinner Hill Blues Festival several times in the past and has also enjoyed the festival from an attendee perspective. She said she’s always enjoyed the festival.
“I like the vibe of it. I like the organic purity of the people who keep that festival going and living. It’s a labor of love,” she said.
“I’ve had some wonderful musical moments there…and I’ve just gone to hang out, so it’s just a really cool festival for the right reasons. It really wants to honor the blues and I have a lot of respect for that.”
One of the musical moments that Bogart talked about in her interview with the News-Press was when in 2013 she played alongside Sista Monica Parker, who passed away this year.
“She was a good friend of mine for a long time,” Bogart said. “It was before I moved and she asked if I was around and if I would do a show with her. And it was just a blast and it was special to play with her anyway, but to do it there where it was so comfortable and the crowd loved it and she was great…. It was one of the last times we played together so I’m glad to have that.”
Also, Bogart, a road musician, said that she doesn’t get the chance to take in a musical event as a spectator, so it was a treat to be able to do it at the Tinner Hill Blues Festival.
“I don’t often get to sit in a pair of shorts and just listen because usually I’m playing,” she said. “But the times that I have.I really like [Cherry Hill Park], and it’s really easy to get to and I like the food and drink and the sound is great and it’s an intimate setting. And people are real relaxed. They can dance, eat or drink or just lay low. It’s nice. Very comfy atmosphere.”
Bogart and her band are on the bill with Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne and Daryl Davis. She said that she, and the fans, should expect to have an experience that can’t be duplicated.
“[Wayne and Davis] are truly great and knowledgeable about the boogie woogie history and idiom and I come from a boogie woogie background as well,” Bogart said.
“So that usually means that everybody will play and do their thing and maybe we’ll cross-pollinate and end up playing together and there might six or eight hands on a piano, you never know.
“And with those kinds of folks, knowing them as I do, it’s going to be all about what moments are created on the spot when the spirit moves ya. I know Daryl’s going to play a set with his band. I think that he’s going to play with Kenny’s band and then we’ll do a set….And who knows what will happen at the end….[But] the audience will be a part of that. It will be unique to that night.”
• For more information about Deanna Bogart, visit deannabogart.com.