Joe Bonamassa: king of the blues

Guitar Center Announces District Final

Winners of World’s Largest Blues Guitar Contest

Winners Move on to Regional Finals on October 21 in Brooklyn, Nashville, Arlington Heights, Dallas, and Hollywood!

Grand Finals in Hollywood on November 12


Joe Bonamassa, Pete Anderson, and the

Top Five Undiscovered Blues Guitar Players in the Country!

October 4, 2009 - Westlake Village, CA – Last Wednesday, the top 24 undiscovered blues guitarists in the nation were selected to move on to the King of the Blues Regional Finals, moving one step closer to being crowned Guitar Center’s King of the Blues and $25,000 cash. On Oct 21, these winners will once again go head-to-head, competing to move on to The King of the Blues Grand Finals scheduled for November 12th in Hollywood.

Tickets are currently on sale for the King of the Blues Grand Finals, which are scheduled for November 12 at the House of Blues Sunset in Hollywood, CA. In addition to showcasing the top five finalists as they compete for the King of the Blues crown and $25,000 cash, the King of the Blues Grand Finals will also feature performances by renowned blues guitarist and Gibson artist Joe Bonamassa, who has been awarded “Best Blues Guitarist” by Guitar Player Magazine for the past three years, as well as Grammy Award winner Pete Anderson. Tickets for this very special event are just $20, and are available at or the HOB box office.

Like Guitar Center’s other talent search competitions – the legendary Drum-Off (now in its 21st year), and the recently launched On-Stage – 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. Introduced in 2006, King of the Blues is 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 guitar players and give them a shot at stardom. For example, 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.

How It Works:

Each contestant must perform live to 1 of 25 original backing tracks, developed by Grammy Award winning producer, Pete Anderson, which have been made available for free download at Contestants may bring and use any 6, 7, or 12 string acoustic or electric guitar, lap steel or pedal steel guitar, plus any audio pedal effects that can be set-up in a 5 minute time limit, all of which will be plugged into a selection of amplifiers provided by Guitar Center.

District competitions took place on September 30 where one winner was chosen from each of 24 districts. Those winners now move up to regionally hosted semi-finals (5 locations), culminating in the final King of the Blues Grand Finals competition in Los Angeles on November 12th.

Guitar Center’s King of the Blues champion will win an impressive package of prizes, including $25,000 cash, along with a Gibson Guitar ’59 Les Paul reissue guitar, a $2,500 Levi’s® 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 Amplification, VOX Amplification and Gibson. Additional regional, district and local prize packages will also be awarded, thanks to the generous support of Gibson Guitar, Levi’s®, Ernie Ball, Marshall, Boss, VOX, Guitar World Magazine and TuneCore, all of whom are proud partners of Guitar Center’s King of the Blues.


Regional finals: October 21st

Grand Finals: November 12th

Locations for Regional Finals (Oct 21):

          • Arlington Heights
          • Brooklyn, NY
          • Dallas, TX
          • Hollywood
          • Nashville, TN

Some of today’s most iconic and groundbreaking artists, including BB King, John Mayer, The Black Crowes, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Hubert Sumlin have participated at past King of the Blues events. 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.

For more info on Guitar Center’s King of the Blues contact Girlie Action:

Pam Leto 212-989-2222, x111

Kabeer Malhotra 212-989-2222, x123

David Marek 212-989-2222, x136