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Blue Lion hosts Chris Cameron

<p>SUBMITTED PHOTO</p><p>Chris Cameron</p>

SUBMITTED PHOTO

Chris Cameron

The Chris Cameron Blues Band will bring its acclaimed and unique blend of rhythm and electric blues to Fort Smith for a 7:30 p.m. Jan. 31 show at The Blue Lion at UAFS Downtown, 101 N. 2nd St.

The performance, which is the second show of a new series sponsored by the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith in its downtown location, will feature a band that has performed across the nation and has released two albums to date.

Stacey Jones of Fort Smith, associate vice chancellor for campus and community events, said the musicians of The Chris Cameron Blues Band are “extremely talented” performers.

“We’re very excited to have them coming to The Blue Lion at UAFS Downtown to showcase their unique sound,” he said. “They’re going to put on a great show.”

Fronted by UAFS alumnus Chris Cameron, the Chris Cameron Blues Band features a group of seasoned musicians playing a variety of instruments that form the band’s distinct sound.

The band members include Dr. Michael Westbrook playing bass guitar, Jordan Lucas on drums, Deron Freeman and UAFS professor Chuck Booker playing trumpet, and UAFS students Scott Gann and Eric Matthews playing saxophone and guitar, respectively.

Cameron said the music at the show will be a “broad cross section of blues, R&B and jazz that will highlight the very talented local musicians.”

“The thing about having so many pieces in the band is that we’re able to do many different things,” he said. “We are a blues band, so everything is very rooted in that. But there are many things that are first cousin to the blues, like Dixie jazz, that we play as well.”

Cameron has played at the Blue Lion at UAFS Downtown several times when it was Second Street Live, and said the venue is “the best place to make music in the city of Fort Smith.”

“We have a storied history with the Second Street venue,” he said. “We’re very familiar with it, and we kind of feel that it’s home base in a way.”

Cameron, who is from Alma, won the 1997 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, beating out 37 bands and receiving the Albert King Award for Most Promising International Blues Guitarist. He furthered his music career while attending UAFS, graduating in 2001 with a degree in business.

Cameron said he is “very honored” to be asked to play as part of the new series sponsored by UAFS.

“It’s an amazing honor as an alumnus, a musician, and a member of the Fort Smith community,” he said.

The Blue Lion at UAFS Downtown was temporarily called UAFS at Second Street after UAFS acquired the building last year. The two-show series at the location is separate from Season of Entertainment, the annual entertainment extravaganza sponsored by UAFS that includes national touring productions and campus concerts and productions.

Admission is by a series ticket, or individual tickets are $20, available at www.uafs.universitytickets.com or by calling 479-788-7300.

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