|BLUES IN THE SCHOOLS (BITS)
Blues in the Schools (BITS) was originated in 1972 by Maxine Howard, a blues and gospel vocalist. She was very
concerned about the large number of school age students who did not know or understand that blues, jazz and
gospel was America’s only contribution to the world of culture. This music was more than just the music that
their parents listened to. She set out to teach the community youth the history of blues, jazz and gospel, to
increase their understanding of the music and realize that it was the basis of what they listen to on a daily basis.
Our Blues in the Schools Presentation
The Blues in the Schools (BITS) presentation brings accomplished as well as unsung bay area blues musicians
into local schools to educate students about the history and significance of blues music. The presentation can be
performed in an auditorium, a classroom, or any space large enough to accommodate the audience, musicians
and their instruments. The presentation usually begins with a song followed by musicians discussion on what
makes the music—the chords, the progressions of 12-bar Blues music, and the musicians who created the art
form. A question and answer time is provided. The BITS program has been presented to inner city schools,
suburban private schools, rural public schools, vocational institutions, community colleges, University of
California Berkeley, Stanford University and other educational establishments that request the program in
order to reach a wide spectrum of students.
Some of our Blues in the School Sites
Hoover Elementary . Livermore High School, Havenscourt Middle School, McClymonds High School, Crocker
Highlands Elementary, West Oakland Library, UC Berkeley, Stanford University, UC Davis, Merced High, Prescott
Elementary, and Lowell Middle School just to name a few.
Please contact Ronnie Stewart, Executive Director for booking presentation considerations at 707-647-3962 or