bergenPAC's Rock'n'Blues Festival to Feature Johnny Winter, Edgar Winter & More Tonight, 8/14

bergenPAC's Rock'n'Blues Festival to Feature Johnny Winter, Edgar Winter & More Tonight, 8/14

Coming to bergenPAC in Englewood, New Jersey today, August 14th is the Rock'n'Blues Festival which will debut featuring five well-known players who were initially inspired to pick up their instruments due to their love for rock and blues: Johnny Winter, Edgar Winter, Rick Derringer, Leslie West and Kim Simmonds. The concert is set for 8PM. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster.com, bergenPAC.org or by calling the box office at 201 227 1030.

"I think the blues will always be around," says legendary blues guitarist Johnny Winter, who will be performing as part of the Johnny Winter Band and headlining the Rock'n'Blues Fest tour. "People need it."

As the story goes, at the age of 17, Johnny went to see B.B. King in his home state of Texas, and requested a turn at the mic. King eventually gave in and handed his guitar to Johnny, who ended up getting a standing ovation for his performance. Needless to say, it wouldn't be long before Johnny had his own legion of followers.

Johnny released his first solo album, The Progressive Blues Experiment, and themusic world took notice, leading to his historic performance at Woodstock. Twenty years and several successful solo albums later, he was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame. In the late 70's, he collaborated with another blues legend, Muddy Waters, on three separate albums of Waters', including the Grammy-winning Hard Again (1977). Over the years, he put out approximately two dozen solo albums including his most recent highly-acclaimed recording entitled, Roots, which he and his band recently performed a track from on Late Show with David Letterman. Named as one of Rolling Stone magazine's 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time, Johnny Winter still remains one of the top blues/rock guitarists touring today.

Joining Johnny for the Rock'n'Blues Fest "ride" will be his younger brother, Edgar Winter, who has certainly met with considerable acclaim in his own right with such monster hits as "Free Ride" and the chart-topping rocker, "Frankenstein."

"As far as I'm concerned, blues and jazz are the great American contributions to music," comments Edgar, who will be bringing the Edgar Winter Band along for the almost two-month trek.

A multi-instrumentalist (keyboards/sax/percussion) whose music encompasses many different genres including rock, blues, jazz and pop, Edgar first hit the national spotlight with his early recording of "Tobacco Road," featured on his 1970 debut album, Entrance. Edgar would soon form the band White Trash and release two hit albums in '71 and '72 titled, Edgar Winter's White Trash and Roadwork. Hot on the heels of the certified gold album, Roadwork, Edgar would put together an entirely new outfit called The Edgar Winter Group that would originally feature guitarist Ronnie Montrose. The band's first effort, They Only Come Out at Night, would spawn both the hit singles, "Free Ride" and "Frankenstein," and remain on the charts for an incredible 80 consecutive weeks. The pivotal album would eventually reach double-platinum status, selling more than 2 million copies. More recently, Edgar achieved chart success in 2003 with the song, "Dying To Live" -- featured as "Runnin" (Dying to Live) in the film Tupac Resurrection -- as the Eminem-produced song hit #5 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip Hop Singles sales chart. With over 20 albums and numerous collaborative efforts to his credit, Edgar Winter has not been satisfied toride the wave of popular music stardom. His music has been featured in several major national television and radio and advertising campaigns. In addition, his music can be heard in no fewer than fifteen film and television projects.

Next on the bill is rock guitarist Rick Derringer, who's had an illustrious career as both a solo artist and critical band member.

Air guitarists will surely be out in force when Rick breaks into his well-known rock anthem, "Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo." The song continues to be a staple on rock radio and was featured in several movies including The Spirit of '76, Rush, Stag, What A Girl Wants and the cult classic, Dazed and Confused. It's a little known fact that years before his success as a solo artist, Rick had a band at the age of 17 called The McCoys that had a #1 hit in 1965 called, "Hang on Sloopy." The song would eventually be knocked out of the top spot by The Beatles' "Yesterday." A year after its release, The McCoys would find themselves as the openers for the entireRolling Stones American tour. Although written and recorded a few years earlier, Rick released his most famous version of the song in 1974 andnever looked back... In 1977, he would appear on the last Led Zeppelin North American Tour. In the years to follow, Rick would perform with such artists as Alice Cooper ("Under My Wheels"), Steely Dan ("Show Biz Kids" and "Chained Lightning"), KISS, Todd Rundgren and Weird Al Yankovic among others including both Johnny and Edgar Winter. From 1986 to 1992, Rick would tour with Cindy Lauper and co-write a song from her True Colors album titled, "Calm Inside The Storm." Before embarking on last year's Hippiefest tour, Rick toured Europe with Ringo Starr as a member of Ringo's All-Starr Band.

Although perhaps best known as a founding member of the band Mountain, guitarist LeslieWest began his musical career with an R&B/Blue-eyed soul rock outfit called The Vagrants, who would quickly enjoy a few hits. Shortly after the formation of Mountain with bass guitarist/producer Felix Pappalardi, keyboardist Steve Knight and drummer N.D. Smart in 1969, the band would find themselves performing on day two of the legendary Woodstockfestival in August of that year. Not too long after the event, new drummer Corky Laing would join the fold and the band would release their first Billboard Top 40 single, "Mississippi Queen." The rest is rock history as the song would be played on rock radio for years to come. Mountain would follow-up that hit with the Jack Bruce-penned, "Theme for an Imaginary Western," one of the eleven songs they performed at Woodstock. Considered one of the pioneers of heavy metal, Rolling Stone magazine once identified them as a "louder version of Cream." In the early seventies, Mountain would temporarily disband with Leslie and Corky collaborating with Creem bassist Jack Bruce for a cutting-edge group calledWest, Bruce and Laing. In 1976, West would play guitar for the track, "Bo Diddley Jam" on Diddley's 20th Anniversary of Rock'n'Roll all-star album. In 2005, he contributed to Ozzy Osbourne's Under Cover album,performing guitar on a remake of "Mississippi Queen." The following year, he immersed himself in the blues, once again, with his latest solo album titled, Blue Me, on the Blues Bureau Internationallabel. Later that year (2006), he would be honored by being inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame. In addition to fronting Mountain, Leslie continues to record and perform on his own.

Considered one of the architects of British blues, Kim Simmonds began performing professionally in London in the mid-60's after learning how to play guitar by listening to his brother's blues records as a teenager. As leader and founder of the legendary blues rock band, Savoy Brown, he has 49 album releases currently available and continues to tour all over the world with the band as well as a solo acoustic act. In 1967, the band would help propel the UK blues boom movement that brought blues music back to the United States, invigorating the style forever. In the process, Savoy Brown became part of the framework that launched the rock and roll music of the 1970's, with their vast influence stretching into modern rock as we know it today. In 2011, the band celebrated its 45th anniversary by releasing a new CD titled, Voodoo Moon. Later in the year, Kim would release his most recent effort, Out Of The Blue, a collection of varied material that placed him in a new setting as both singer and songwriter. Among the most loved, most respected and longest running of its genre, Savoy Brown is one of the magical names in blues rock. Kim Simmonds will be performing the best of the best at this year's Rock'n'Blues Fest.

Due to their close involvement with each other throughout their careers, it's likely that various artists on the forthcoming Rock'n'Blues Fest will unite on stage to perform some unexpected classic songs together.

For more about Johnny Winter, visit www.johnnywinter.net/backstage_press. For more about Edgar, visit www.edgarwinter.com. For more about Rick, www.rickderringer.com. For more abount Mountain Rock, visit www.mountainrockband.com. And for more about Kim, visit www.kimsimmonds.com.

bergenPAC is located at 30 North Van Brunt Street in Englewood, NJ. Call (201) 227-1030 or visit www.bergenpac.org for more information. Tickets are also available at www.ticketmaster.com or in person at the box office, open 11 am to 4 pm: Monday to Friday and 12 pm to 4 pm: Saturday. Box office opens 2 hours prior to all performances.

About Bergen Performing Arts Center: Known as The John Harms Center for 27 years, this cultural hub in Englewood, has been reborn as Bergen Performing Arts Center or bergenPAC. This 1367- seat theater, currently in its eighth season, is a landmark and remains one of the finest acoustic halls in the United States. The legendary Tony Bennett and Canadian crooner k.d. lang recorded their 2003 Grammy award-winning CD live on bergenPAC’s own stage through a broadband fiber-optic connection with Bennett Studios. bergenPAC is the home of a media production system that is unparalleled, upholding its reputation as a venue for outstanding music, dance and theater. As a non-profit corporation, bergenPAC has thrived thanks to the aid and generosity of sponsors, donors and patrons.