Find a Branch
Bedford Branch Library (734) 847-6747
Blue Bush Branch Library (734) 242-4085
Carleton Branch Library (734) 654-2180
Dorsch Memorial Branch Library (734) 241-7878
Dundee Branch Library (734) 529-3310
Ellis Library & Reference Center (734) 241-5277
Erie Branch Library (734) 848-4420
Frenchtown-Dixie Branch Library (734) 289-1035
Ida Branch Library (734) 269-2191
L.S. Navarre Branch Library (734) 241-5577
Maybee Branch Library (734) 587-3680
Newport Branch Library (734) 586-2117
Rasey Memorial Branch Library (734) 848-4572
Robert A. Vivian Branch Library (734)241-1430
Senior Outreach (734) 241-5770
South Rockwood Branch Library (734) 379-3333
Summerfield-Petersburg Branch Library (734) 279-1025
Bedford Branch Library
8575 Jackman Rd. Temperance, MI 48182 Phone: (734) 847-6747
Fax: (734) 847-6591
Mon - Thu: 9:00 am-9:00 pm
Fri - Sat: 9:00 am-5:00 pm
more information
Blue Bush Branch Library
Blue Bush Branch Library
2210 Blue Bush Road Monroe, MI 48162-9643 Phone: (734) 242-4085
Fax: (734) 242-4085
Mon - Tue: 1:00 pm-5:00 pm
Wed: 1:00 pm-8:00 pm
Thu: 1:00 pm-5:00 pm
Fri: 10:00 am-5:00 pm
Sat: 10:00 am-2:00 pm
more information
Carleton Branch Library
Carleton Branch Library
1444 Kent Street Carleton, MI 48117-0267 Phone: (734) 654-2180
Fax: (734) 654-8767
Mon: 12:00 pm-8:00 pm
Tue - Wed: 9:00 am-8:00 pm
Thu: 12:00 pm-8:00 pm
Fri - Sat: 9:00 am-5:00 pm
more information
Dorsch Memorial Branch Library
Dorsch Memorial Branch Library
18 East First Street Monroe, MI 48161-2227 Phone: (734) 241-7878
Fax: (734) 241-7879
Mon - Tue: 9:00 am-8:00 pm
Wed: 9:00 am-5:00 pm
Thu: 9:00 am-8:00 pm
Fri - Sat: 9:00 am-5:00 pm
more information
Dundee Branch Library
Dundee Branch Library
144 East Main Street Dundee, MI 48131-1202 Phone: (734) 529-3310
Fax: (734) 529-7415
Mon: 9:00 am-6:00 pm
Tue: 10:00 am-8:00 pm
Wed: 9:00 am-6:00 pm
Thu: 10:00 am-8:00 pm
Fri: 9:00 am-5:00 pm
Sat: 10:00 am-2:00 pm
more information
Ellis Library & Reference Center
Ellis Library & Reference Center
3700 South Custer Rd. Monroe 48161-9716 Phone: (734) 241-5277
Toll Free: (800) 462-2050
Fax: (734) 242-9037
Mon - Thu: 9:00 am-9:00 pm
Fri - Sat: 9:00 am-5:00 pm
more information
Erie Branch Library
Erie Branch Library
2065 Erie Rd. Erie, MI 48133-9757 Phone: (734) 848-4420
Mon: 1:00 pm-8:00 pm
Tue: 1:00 pm-5:00 pm
Wed: 9:00 am-5:00 pm
Thu - Fri: 1:00 pm-5:00 pm
more information
Frenchtown-Dixie Branch Library
Frenchtown-Dixie Branch Library
2881 Nadeau Road Monroe, MI 48162-9355 Phone: (734) 289-1035
Fax: (734) 289-3867
Mon - Tue: 9:00 am-8:00 pm
Wed: 9:00 am-5:00 pm
Thu: 12:00 pm-8:00 pm
Fri - Sat: 9:00 am-5:00 pm
more information
Ida Branch Library
Ida Branch Library
3016 Lewis Ave. Ida, MI 48140-0056 Phone: (734) 269-2191
Fax: (734) 269-3315
Mon: 10:00 am-8:00 pm
Tue: 10:00 am-6:00 pm
Wed - Fri: 10:00 am-5:00 pm
Sat: 10:00 am-1:00 pm
more information
L.S. Navarre Branch Library
Navarre Branch Library
1135 East Second Street Monroe, MI 48161-1920 Phone: (734) 241-5577
Fax: (734) 241-5577
Mon: 1:00 pm-7:00 pm
Tue: 10:00 am-7:00 pm
Wed - Thu: 1:00 pm-7:00 pm
Fri: 1:00 pm-5:00 pm
Sat: 10:00 am-2:00 pm
more information
Maybee Branch Library
Maybee Branch Library
9060 Raisin St. Maybee, MI 48159-0165 Phone: (734) 587-3680
Fax: (734) 587-3680
Mon: 12:00 pm-8:00 pm
Tue: 12:00 pm-5:00 pm
Thu: 9:00 am-1:00 pm
Fri: 9:00 am-5:00 pm
Sat: 9:00 am-2:00 pm
more information
Newport Branch Library
8120 N. Dixie Hwy. Newport, MI 48166-9703 Phone: (734) 586-2117
Fax: (734) 586-1116
Mon: 12:00 pm-6:00 pm
Tue: 10:00 am-8:00 pm
Wed: 10:00 am-6:00 pm
Thu: 12:00 pm-8:00 pm
Fri: 10:00 am-5:00 pm
Sat: 10:00 am-2:00 pm
more information
Rasey Memorial Branch Library
Rasey Memorial Branch Library
4349 Oak, Box 416 Luna Pier, MI 48157-4572 Phone: (734) 848-4572
Fax: (734) 848-4572
Mon: 9:00 am-1:00 pm
Tue - Wed: 2:00 pm-8:00 pm
Thu: 9:00 am-1:00 pm
Fri: 1:00 pm-5:00 pm
Sat: 9:00 am-1:00 pm
more information
Robert A. Vivian Branch Library
2664 Vivian Road Monroe, MI 48162-9212 Phone: (734)241-1430
Fax: (734)241-1430
Mon: 12:00 pm-8:00 pm
Wed: 12:00 pm-8:00 pm
Thu: 9:00 am-2:00 pm
Fri: 12:00 pm-5:00 pm
more information
Senior Outreach
South Rockwood Branch Library
5676 Carleton Rockwood Road S. Rockwood, MI 48179 Phone: (734) 379-3333
Fax: (734) 749-7485
Mon: 10:00 am-5:00 pm
Tue: 1:00 pm-6:00 pm
Wed: 1:00 pm-8:00 pm
Thu: 1:00 pm-6:00 pm
Fri: 1:00 pm-5:00 pm
Sat: 9:00 am-1:00 pm
more information
Summerfield-Petersburg Branch Library
Summerfield-Petersburg Branch Library
60 East Center St. Petersburg, MI 49270 Phone: (734) 279-1025
Fax: (734) 279-2328
Mon - Tue: 10:00 am-7:00 pm
Wed - Thu: 12:00 pm-8:00 pm
Fri: 10:00 am-5:00 pm
Sat: 10:00 am-1:00 pm
more information
Jul
25
6:00 PM
BUILD A BETTER WORLD - BEDFORD - SRP FINALE
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7:00 PM
Crafting Night Out!
6:30 PM
BUILD A BETTER WORLD - ELLIS
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6:00 PM
Knit Night @ Luna Pier Branch Library
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The Monroe County Library System’s award-winning history lesson with a backbeat.

 

About the Blues Series

Since 1988, when Detroiter Robert Jones brought the blues, “the roots of all American music,” to our Navarre Branch, the Monroe County Library System’s annual Black History Month Blues Series has thrilled tens of thousands of music lovers of all ages with free entertaining, educational concerts performed by local, regional, national and international blues and roots music artists.  Legends like Willie Dixon, Pinetop Perkins and Robert Jr. Lockwood have been joined by legends-in-the-making like Saffire-The Uppity Blues Women, Billy Branch and Victor Wainwright.  

Black History Month Blues Series Alumni 1988 - 2016

With awards from the Public and Michigan Library Associations, the Rhythm & Blues Foundation and The Blues Foundation’s 2009 Keeping the Blues Alive Award for Education (the blues world’s most prestigious honor available to non-musicians), the series is now the state’s longest running annual blues celebration. 

 

Blues 2017 - Celebrating 30 Years

To mark its 30th Anniversary, the Blues Series brings back a slate of fan-favorite alumni, with a “greatest hits” schedule of weeknight concerts building up to The Big Gig! on Saturday, February 25.  That only-in-Monroe lineup stars familiar faces to Big Gig! crowds like Robert Jones, Andra Faye and Bob Margolin as well as a few Blues Series acts who’ve yet to play The Big Gig! like guitarists Toronzo Cannon and JW-Jones and Americana music legend Jason Ringenberg. 

 


 

Tuesday, January 31, 2017  

An Evening with Rev. Robert B. Jones & Davy Knowles

Ellis Library & Reference Center - 7:00 pm

Two artists, two very different lives, one common denominator: the music.  There’s no better way to open the 2017 Blues Series than to pair up the man who began the story of Black History Month Blues in Monroe County, Rev. Robert B. Jones, and one of the bright, shining stars in the blues world, Davy Knowles, who electrified the 2016 Big Gig!  Rev. Jones and Knowles will swap stories and songs, compare National steel guitars, and get to know one another “on stage” in this unique acoustic collaborative concert. 

3700 S. Custer Rd. Monroe, Michigan


 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Madcat Midnight Blues Journey in Concert

Ellis Library & Reference Center - 7:00 pm

Since his first Blues Series appearance in 1991, Ann Arbor-based harmonica legend Peter Madcat Ruth has appeared here numerous times, but only once (thus far) with his powerhouse eclectic electric quartet, the Madcat Midnight Blues Journey.  With Madcat’s harp leading the charge, guitarist Drew “Captain Midnight” Howard, bassist Mark “Papa” Shrock and drummer Michael “Kid” Shimmin take an audience on a rocking journey through familiar blues destinations...but with this bunch, you’ve gotta be buckled up and ready to take a trip down the musical fork in the road.

3700 S. Custer Rd. Monroe, Michigan


 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

An Evening with Jerron "Blind Boy" Paxton

Dorsch Memorial Branch Library - 7:00 pm

"Easily the most talented young acoustic bluesman to come along in many, many years" said Living Blues about Jerron "Blind Boy" Paxton. This young musician, who'll be making his Blues Series return after an unforgettable 2014 debut, sings and plays banjo, guitar, piano, fiddle, harmonica, Cajun accordion, and the bones. Paxton has an eerie ability to transform traditional jazz, blues, folk, and country into the here and now, and make it real. In addition, he mesmerizes audiences with his humor and storytelling.   Paxton's sound is influenced by the likes of Fats Waller and "Blind" Lemon Jefferson. According to Will Friedwald in the Wall Street Journal, Paxton is "virtually the only music-maker of his generation—playing guitar, banjo, piano and violin, among other implements—to fully assimilate the blues idiom of the 1920s and ‘30s.

18 E. First Street, Monroe, Michigan


 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Daryl Davis in Concert with very special guest George Bedard

Carleton Branch Library - 7:00 pm

The Blues Series is proud to have featured two of the blues world’s finest pianists, Pinetop Perkins and Johnnie Johnson.  Those men have gone on to rock that great juke joint in the sky, but their legacy lives on in Daryl Davis, the artist both men called a “godson.”  Born in Chicago, Davis served as Chuck Berry’s longtime sideman, and has also played with Bo Diddley, Percy Sledge and The Platters.  A composer, guitarist and vocalist, Davis is also an actor (HBO’s The Wire) and author.   For this 2017 Ann Rabson Concert, named in honor of another legendary pianist and late, great friend of the Blues Series, Davis will be joined by his very special guest, Ann Arbor guitarist George Bedard.

1444 Kent Street, Carleton, MI


 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

An Evening with Samuel James

Ida Branch Library - 7:00 pm

With a voice of grit and gravel, Samuel James sings with an authenticity lost in time. A modern guitar master, James' skill has a depth and range that seems impossible for a man with only two hands. An award-winning songwriter, one of the world's most innovative guitar players, and a Moth-featured storyteller, a Samuel James live performance is part theatre concert, part stomping-on-the-porch dance party and part stand-up comedy.  He was born the last in a long line of performers including dancers, story tellers, choir singers, jazz pianists, and porch-stomping guitar thumpers dating back to the 1800s.  Samuel James' songwriting has been compared to Leonard Cohen's, and his virtuosity on the guitar to that of Jimi Hendrix.

3016 Lewis Avenue, Ida, Michigan


 

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Farmer Jason in Concert

Ellis Library & Reference Center - 1:00 pm

It’s “anarchy in the pre-k” for the single-digits when Farmer Jason leaves his Tennessee farm for the Ellis riverside expansion and its temporary “mosh pit.” This Emmy and Americana Music Association Lifetime Achievement Award-winning entertainer’s shows are joyful firework displays of singalongs, dancing and entertaining discussion of nature, ecology and (of course) farm animals—from his “Punk Rock Skunk” to a “Guitar Pickin’ Chicken,” Farmer Jason’s songs about his barnyard buddies inspire “kids of all ages” to grab a pitchfork, get on the tractor and chug chug chug along with the spontaneous, high energy fun. 

3700 S. Custer Rd. Monroe, Michigan


 

Saturday, February 25, 2017

The Big Gig! Monroe County’s 30th Annual Black History Month Blues Concert starring Andra Faye, Arthur Migliazza, Sister Bernice Jones, Bob Margolin, Jason Ringenberg, JW-Jones, Phil Wiggins, Rich Delgrosso, Rev. Robert B. Jones, Sr, Samuel James, Scott Ballantine, Thornetta Davis and Toronzo Cannon
Meyer Theater - Monroe County Community College -  Early start time: 6:30 pm sharp

1555 S. Raisinville Rd.  Monroe, MI  48161‚Äč

An all-star, all-alumni lineup of your Blues Series favorites mark 30 years of the Black History Month Blues Series with this once-in-a-lifetime concert.    Rev. Jones extends his perfect attendance record by hosting and kicking off the show, and he’ll be joined by a number of his friends, like mandolin master Rich Delgrosso, harmonica virtuoso Phil Wiggins, multi-instrumentalists Andra Faye & Scott Ballantine, guitarist Samuel James, pianist Arthur Migliazza and vocalist Sr. Bernice Jones.  Guitarists Bob Margolin, JW-Jones and Toronzo Cannon will electrify the Meyer in more ways than one, and Detroit’s Queen of the Blues, Thornetta Davis, and cowpunk pioneer Jason Ringenberg will also crash the anniversary party.  (We’d mention a couple of surprises may be in the works, but then they wouldn’t be surprises, would they?)

The Big Gig! is an extremely popular event--no tickets are required, but seating is general admission, first-come, first-served, and limited to theater capacity.  Doors will open at 5:30 pm.


 

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

An Evening with Guy Davis

Bedford Branch Library - 7:00 pm

Blues 2017 concludes with the return of Guy Davis, a blues musician, first and foremost, but also a true multi-hyphenate: author, music teacher and a film, television and Broadway actor.  His deft acoustic playing style, his well-traveled voice and his literate, yet highly accessible songwriting have all been showcased on the Conan and Letterman shows, "A Prairie Home Companion" and "Mountain Stage" radio programs and on a string of acclaimed albums, including the recent Kokomo Kidd.  Davis is reluctant to define himself simply as a bluesman.  As he puts it, "I call myself a blues musician, and to me the blues is a broad title.  I include some ragtime, I make a nod to New Orleans, and a nod to the fife and drum players.  And I always include things that make you want to dance."  This is Guy's first Blues Series visit since 2006.

8575 Jackman Road, Temperance, MI

 


 

Thanks to Our Sponsors

Monroe County’s 30th Annual Black History Month Blues Series is presented by the Monroe County Library System and the 2017 Blues Coalition of community co-sponsors: Monroe County Community College, DTE Energy Foundation, the Detroit Blues Society, Friends of Bedford, Friends of Carleton, Friends of the Dorsch Memorial Branch Library, Friends of Ellis and Friends of Ida and the Woodlands Library Cooperative.

This event is made possible with support from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.

 

Past Blues Series Events

Enjoy video from the 2016 Big Gig!