Playa Zancudo Lodge on the country’s southern Pacific coast will play host to the sixth annual Fishin’ Blues Tournament set for Feb. 10-16 in aid of the U.S.-based Music Maker Relief Foundation.
As part of the week’s events, a free concert will be held at the lodge’s dry dock at 8 p.m. on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14. U.S. blues musicians Mudcat, Albert White and Adolphus Bell, along with local group Tres Amigos, will be performing blues and jazz music at the concert, which last year drew more than 1,500 people.
Unfortunately, legendary blues man Taj Mahal, a tournament regular, is unable to attend this year due to a prior commitment.
“Taj had a conflicting schedule this year so he couldn’t make it, but we’re still putting on a big show for Valentine’s Day,” Tim Duffy, president of the Music Maker Relief Foundation, told The Tico Times.
The 30 competitors will spend the three days prior to the concert catch-and-release fishing for marlin and sailfish.
Prizes will be awarded for the most fish caught, the biggest fish caught and sportsmanship.
The event is organized by the Music Maker Relief Foundation, which was founded in 1994 and now helps almost 200 musicians from across the United States, all of whom are over 55 years old and live on less than $18,000 a year.
According to its mission statement, the charity “strives to help the true pioneers and forgotten heroes of Southern U.S.music gain recognition and meet their day-to-day needs.” In addition, the organization “presents these musical traditions to the world so American culture will flourish and be preserved for future generations.”
To these ends, the organization runs four different programs: “Musician Sustenance” to help artists meet their basic living costs; “Musical Development” to allow musicians to further their careers; “Cultural Access” to preserve U.S. musical traditions; and the “New Orleans Musician’s Fund” to help those artists affected by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Duffy said the tournament was very important to the foundation and invaluable to those musicians who benefit from it.
“Most people don’t think about America and poverty together, but poverty in America is very real,” he said.
The organization hopes to raise $30,000 to $40,000 from the event.
All available fishing spaces are sold out; however, everyone is encouraged to attend the free concert Feb. 14. For more information on the tournament, visit www.fishinblues.com. To learn more about the work of the Music Maker Relief Foundation, go to www.musicmaker.org.