Our 11th Annual Heritage Month Festival is dedicated to the soulful ladies who sing the blues. Music by the R&B Preservation Hall Band under the direction of Paul Williams, you'll hear the sounds of Becky Bass & Michelle Cruz.
August 17, 2006, Mayor David M. Cicilline declared by Proclamation that this date will be RI Rhythm & Blues Heritage Day.
On August 20, 2007 the RI House of Representatives proclaimed the month of August in perpetuity to be "Rhythm & Blues Heritage Month" in the State of Rhode Island.
RIRBPS features Instruments for Children Program school performers and we showcase them for a community event. The Trinity Academy for the Performing Arts and other member schools have headlined this Annual event.
Interview oral histories have been conducted since 2004 with many of the greats of the greater Rhode Island R&B music scene. Interviews, recordings and other memorabilia are housed at the Rhode Island Historical Society Library, 121 Hope Street, Providence, RI 02906 and is available for review both on-site and on their website.
The Castaleers formed in the mid-50s when members of various groups settled into a permanent lineup: Richard Jones (lead baritone, tenor), George Smith (Baritone), Dell Padgett (bass), and Ron Henries and Benny Barros (Tenor). They scored a record deal with Felsted Records in Los Angeles for release in 1957. The tune "Comeback" charted in Providence, Philadelphia, Detroit and Montreal. All working and still in school, the group decided to tour only in the Northeast, limiting their exposure. Two more releases also fared well, but without national recognition, the were dropped. Henries left and was replaced by Joe Hill. After another deal with the LA label Donna/Del-Fi, there was some interest but never a major hit. In 1961 the group ended. The Castaleers are recognized as trailblazers for RI artists who paved the way for national releases by Freddie Scott, The Del Rios (Tavares) and Dipsy & The Doddles. Their 45s are considered some of the greatest group records of the pre-Soul R&B era.
Dave Keller is one of the finest soul and blues men of his generation. Nominated by RIRPBS he was the 2012 winner of the Best Self-Produced CD of the Year Award at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN. His award-winning CD, Where I'm Coming From, reached #2 on B.B. King's Bluesville on Sirius/XM Radio in May 2012.
Combining the danceability of old school soul music, and the intensity of blues, Keller has earned a reputation for exciting live shows from Memphis to Maine. His honest soul singing and gritty guitar slinging have drawn comparisons with Curtis Mayfield and Boz Scaggs, as well as more modern soul exponents such as James Hunter. Like the best blues and soul men before him, Keller learned his art firsthand from the masters: Mighty Sam McClain, Paul Rishell, Fontella Bass, and the late great Robert Ward. He appeared as a singer and co-writer on legendary guitarist Ronnie Earl's 2010 Blues Music Award-nominated CD, Living In the Light. Keller also makes regular appearances backing Mississippi soul/blues man Johnny Rawls on the East coast.
Tavares (also known as The Tavares Brothers) is an American R&B, funk and soul music group, composed of five Cape Verdean-American brothers. Born and raised in Providence, Rhode Island, they would later move to New Bedford, Massachusetts. The five-brother singing group Tavares, best known for such uptempo disco-era singles as the million-selling "Heaven Must Be Missing an Angel," "More Than a Woman," and "Whodunit," first came to national attention with a pair of hit ballads released.