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Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra

Baton Rouge’s Rich Culture of Blues

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Baton Rouge is the home of swamp pop music, which originated in the first half of the 1900s before gaining exposure in the 1950s. Hits from famous blues musicians like Lightnin’ Slim and Slim Harpo succeeded within the national music scene and crossed the Atlantic, helping blues find its place in Europe. Inspired by the novel genre, artists like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Van Morrison, The Kinks and Eric Clapton adapted early blues hits to suit their own style.

Today, Baton Rouge remains a thriving community for blues musicians. Legends Kenny Neal, Buddy Guy and Henry Gray have returned to Baton Rouge. The Baton Rouge Blues Foundation is a non-profit that promotes, celebrates and preserves the culture of blues – especially the region’s historic swamp blues – in Louisiana.

The Foundation sponsors a Blues Education program, the Blues Music History Project and the annual Baton Rouge Blues Festival, which is the oldest blues festival in the U.S. Together, these events with the Baton Rouge Blues Foundation preserve the region’s rich heritage that introduced the iconic genre to the world.