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Sioux Falls JazzFest 25: Day One Lineup

Danny V/Townsquare Media

What started as a small gathering for a few friends in Sioux Falls, has now morphed into a music festival that is known throughout the Untied States and beyond.

And this year JazzFest is celebrating a milestone – 25 years.

The 2016 event features three big days of some of the finest blues musicians anywhere. Here’s a look inside the lineup for opening night, Thursday, July 14:

Main Stage

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6:00 PM – Brian Masek & Friends

This local group features bassist Brian Masek, guitarist Jesse Christen, drummer Al Berven (who doubles with Kory and the Fireflies), and sax player Tyler Pridey.

The band is known for their creative interpretations artists like Jeff Beck, Miles Davis, Billy Cobham, and many others.  Over the past year they started focusing on their own music and have just released their debut CD.

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7:30 PM – Janiva Magness

Magness is one of the most decorated artists in blues history. She is a seven-time Blues Music Award winner, 25-time nominee and 2015 Contemporary Blues Female Artist of the Year, and a B.B. King Entertainer of the Year.

Originally from Detroit, Magness’ path to the JazzFest stage has had it’s share of heartache.

Magness lost both of her parents to suicide as a young girl, and ended up in a dozen foster homes. Her inspiration comes from her final foster mother and the stability and salvation she says she found in in music.

She has 11 studio albums to her credit. He latest album is Love Wins Again.

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9:00 PM – Tab Benoit

The Louisiana native is a GRAMMY Nominee, a two-time Blues Music Awards B.B. King Entertainer of the Year winner, and a member of the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.

Benoit has been playing guitar since he was a teenager and formed a trio of his own in 1987. Since 1993, he’s released 18 albums.

When he’s not on stage, Benoit is a conservationist. In 2003, he formed “Voice of the Wetlands,” an organization promoting awareness of coastal wetlands preservation. He was featured in the 2006 documentary Hurricane on the Bayou, which focused on the wetlands of Louisiana before and after Hurricane Katrina.

Second Stage

6:30 PM – Andrew Billion

Andrew Billion is a singer, songwriter, guitarist, and recording artist from Sioux Falls.

8:15 PM – Burlap Wolf King

AKA South Dakota singer/songwriter Thomas Hentges. He performs solo as well as with a band, both under the Burlap Wolf King moniker.

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