ESPLANADE PARK - Fort Lauderdale, Fort Lauderdale, FL, US
Bio: "The Original" Riverwalk Blues Festival Established in 1987 by The Musicians Exchange™ Don Cohen (1952-2007) founded the Musicians Exchange as a Referral Service for South Florida musicians, and a complete complex of musical services for the public and musicians on June 1, 1976. Outdoor concerts in the back parking lot of the 'original' Musicians Exchange Complex on Sunrise Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale were some of the first outdoor shows in Ft Lauderdale to give original music bands a stage to play on. It also gave national touring recording artists a final stop on their tours in the SE United State. The Musicians Exchange Café was opened in November of 1981, and from 1981-1996, 5 different Musicians Exchanges locations in Broward and Palm Beach Counties played host to over 1500 name musical acts. Don Cohen was also the founder of the Riverwalk Blues Festival, The So. Florida Music Expo, the brainchild behind the Ft. Lauderdale Cajun and Zydeco Festival, and has consulted with 100's of bars, corporate organizations, concert venues and private event planners to help make the events successful. From 1997-2000 Don Cohen was the musical entertainment buyer for both Toni Bishop's in Ft. Lauderdale, and Alligator Alley in Sunrise. The Original Musicians Exchange Complex 1976 1996- Building was condemned by the City of Ft Lauderdale in 1996 and torn down. The blight of the neighborhood brought the end of a Musical South Florida Institution.723-735 W. Sunrise Blvd., Ft. Lauderdale, Florida It's been a long musical road since the original "South Florida Blues Festival" took place on Sunday, November 22, 1987. The Original Festival was held in the back parking lot and inside the Musicians Exchange Cafe at the Musicians Exchange(TM) Complex on Sunrise Blvd. in Ft. Lauderdale. 1st Blues Fest Original Headliners 1987 BUDDY GUY JOHN LEE HOOKER JOHN MAYALL After Don's Passing a group of his closest friends decide tu fullfil his wish of continuing with the production of the event. After a couple years of hiatus, The Creation of The Don Cohen Memorial Foundation made possible the return of the Riverwalk Blues and Music Festival. 2010 was an emotional time, filled with music lovers and pleanty of old friends. 2011 brought us back to the Riverwalk where Don always wnated the Fest to be, this past 2 years our host was The Downtowner Saloon, a traditional partner with the festival. 2014 brings us to a new venue, Esplanade Park in the beautiful Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale. Today The RBMF is produced by Blueatheart Productions Company with the help of the Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale for The Don Cohen Memorial Foundation a Non-profit Organization dedicated to preserve live music by educating and serving those who desire to have a career in music, creative or technical. Promoting, encouraging and advancing the performance of live music through networking with Fans and Musicians, clubs, promoters and other organizatrions.