The spirit of Basil''s Bar has always been, ''Why not have fun?''. The answer to that question is, to have fun, be yourself and just do it!
That is how the Blues Festival was born more than nearly fifteen years ago. An old friend of Basil''s, London blues singer Dana Gillespie, was visiting Basil on Mustique. It was Jump Up night and as the reggae band played on, Dana was inspired to sing. It was clear that blues sung with reggae did not work, so she sang accapella. The crowd loved the blues, and with her final encore, Dana promised Basil a true blues festival, if he would only get a proper piano.
Never challenge Basil! On his next visit to New York City, he sought and bought the perfect piano for the bar. The following January, Dana true to her word, arrived with musicians in tow, and for two weeks, Basil''s Bar rocked with the sounds of the blues. The Mustique Blues Festival exist today because of the dedication of many especially Dana Gillespie.
Around that time, Basil was formalizing his Basil Charles Educational Foundation. While it was hopeful the blues festival would be profitable, it was agreed that it would be used as a vehicle to promote the new charity and to attract sponsors and contributors.
The first festival was in 1995, and CD''s have been produced each year. There have been two ''Best Of'' CD''s released by Milan Records in Paris.
The next Mustique Blues Festival will be held January 23 - February 6, 2013. The 2012 festival featured: Veronica Darling, Lewis Cohen, Zach Prather, Paddy Milner, and Dana Gillespie and The London Blues Band with Julien Brunetaud, Enrico Morena, Jeff Walker, Michael Paice, Jacek Zaitz, Dino Baptiste, and Jamie Little. The live recording of the festival is currently available on this website.
Each Sunday the festival begins early with a Sunset blues performance...a perfect venue for families and children to gather and enjoy the blues, a cocktail and an early supper.
Dinner reservations recommended but not always necessary during the Blues Festival. Every Wednesday there is a sumptuous Caribbean buffet. If you can''t make the festival, visit our on line shopping page for the entire Blues Festival collection of CD''s and more. The money from the CD sales benefits the Basil Charles Educational Foundation.