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CTBS Challenge

The CTBS sponsors an annual Blues Challenge with the winners representing CT at the annual International Blues Challenge in Memphis TN. The CTBS holds three distinct competitions that match the IBC categories: band, solo/duo and best self-produced CD.  

The band challenge preliminaries are held in the late Spring over multiple weeks at Black Eyed Sally's in Hartford with the preliminary winners competing in a final session, usually sometime in June.  

The solo/duo competition is held in a similar fashion in September at The Pine Loft in Berlin CT with the finals completed by early October.  

Our judging teams consist of past winners, accomplished musicians, producers, Blues radio DJs, and media folks. Each of the Connecticut band and solo/duo winners receives prize money to help finance their trip to Memphis, as well as an opening slot for the band winner at The Black-Eyed & Blues Festival.

The 2023 Band Challenge registration is finished. 

The 2023 CTBS Challenge

2024 IBC Challenge



Band Challenge Winner

The 2022 CTBS Challenge/2023 IBC Challenge

Dr James Limerick Kerr

2022 Solo/Duo Winner

Carl Ricci & 706 Union Ave.

2022 Band Winner

The Mighty Soul Drivers

2022 Self-Produced CD Winner


The Connecticut Blues Society is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Hartford CT

Live blues music and blues shows in Connecticut and surrounding areas including (but not limited to): Ansonia, Berlin, Bridgeport, Bristol, Canton, Cheshire, Coventry, Danbury, Derby, Fairfield, Granby, Groton, Hartford, Manchester, Meriden, Middletown, Milford, New Britain, New Haven, New London, Norwalk, Norwich, Old Lyme, Putnum, Shelton, Simsbury, South Norwalk, Southington, Stamford, Torrington, Waterbury, West Haven, and Winsted.

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