Bluzapalooza Back from Iraq

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Island resident and music producer Steve Simon, center, returns from Iraq, where he and other musicians entertained U.S. military troops. See story on page 14 of this week’s Tradewinds.

Although island producer Steve Simon has had some amazing times in his life, nothing compared to the experience he recently had touring military bases in the Middle East as part of the historic Bluzapalooza.

“It was the most inspiring musical experience of my life,” said Simon, who returned home on April 10. “We performed for some of America’s greatest heroes. Everywhere we went, we were greeted by thousands and thousands of young men and women in uniform in all the branches of service.”

Bluzapalooza — the first blues concert to ever tour a war zone — was produced by Simon and John Hahn and presented by Armed Forces Entertainment. The show featured Bobby Rush, Janiva Magness, Billy Gibson and Tony Braunagel heading the All-Stars Blues Band.