Conference Information


SAVE THE DATE for next year's conference

September 30 - October 2, 2018

(see below for the 2017 lineup. 2018 information will be updated as soon as it is available)

The International Conference on the Blues consists of three days of intense academic and scholarly activity and music. As part of the Bridging the Blues project, this conference falls in-between the Mighty Mississippi Music Festival in Greenville, MS and the King Biscuit Blues Festival in Helena, AR. Topics of interest to scholars and enthusiasts will include the African American musical tradition and its influence on American music and culture, the Blues musical genre, folklore, history, ethnicity, and the Mississippi Delta. The conference program also includes academic papers and presentations, solicited from young and emerging scholars, and Blues performances to add appeal for all audiences.

This year's conference will have a dual focus on John Lee Hooker and Alan Lomax.

Cleveland, Mississippi, recently named by Smithsonian Magazine as #2 of the top 20 small cities to visit in the country, is located 45 minutes from the Greenville (MS) Airport and approximately two hours from the Memphis (TN) and Jackson (MS) airports. Cleveland is the home of the GRAMMY Museum® Mississippi, opened in 2016.

This conference is made possible by the support of the Robert M. Hearin Foundation. For more information, please contact Don Allan Mitchell and Shelley Collins at