The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Treasure in the Heartland

db Conard, Quill Reporter

The Stars Were Out Friday In Burlington, IA

In Burlington, Iowa Friday night, at "The Washington" on Washington Street, was one of those nights, for some very lucky people not to forget.

It was music at its best in every regards performed by two of the classiest blues musicians in the business, Janiva Magness and Patrick Hazel.

Janiva and her band are from Los Angeles, California. In 2006, 2007, and 2009, she won the Blues Foundation Award, then was selected as Best Contemporary Female Blues Artist, plus she won the 2009 BB King Entertainer of the Year Award.

On Friday, Janiva's performance did not disappoint her responsive audience as she truly proved she was the best of the best, as recognized by her peers.

Patrick Hazel and his wife Pam live in Washington, Iowa, but Patrick began making music at the age of 13 in his hometown of Burlington.

He has been true to his passion ever since-a "Virtuoso" on both the harmonica and the piano. Patrick has had a major effect on the music in our region and is internationally recognized for his talents, a story in itself.

It is a special privilege for Patrick to be singing along side Janiva and to be doing it on stage at "The Washington," a Blues nightclub opened up by his son David Hazel.

Inspired by his father's excellent music and love of the Blues, David saw the possibilities for showcasing his love when he bought one of Burlington's old run down building on Washington Street for a dollar.

He then turned a negative to the community into one of the top premier Blues showcase rooms in the country, a popular site for those who love and feel the blues. The best bands will all want to say they've played at "The Washington" in Burlington, Iowa.

Shortly after eight p.m. Friday, Patrick sat at the piano and opened the evening with his moving and unique style of the Blues.

He brought song after song, sitting at an old upright piano, blowing on his old familiar harmonica, dazzling his audience, singing the blues.

Patrick was the Blues in a Sinatra kind of way. Like old burnished brass and fine wood, Patrick's craft polished over so many years was as always, a special Hazel experience for everyone.

When it was time for Patrick to introduce Janiva and her band, I don't think anyone wanted to hear him stop. But then as her band started to settle in and warm up, the anticipation grew.

Being the best of professional musicians, her band had everything balanced and were making music right off the bat. It took her four master musicians no time at all to warm up the house for the star.

When Janiva hit the stage, she didn't hold back one bit all night long. Janiva gave her audience two sets of some of the best blues music they would ever hear.

Towards the end of the second set, Janiva brought Patrick up to join her. It was obvious to see that he was every bit the star that she was. Friends and fans, just hadn't noticed, because he was ours.

Together, Patrick and Janiva seemed to lift each other to even more powerful performances. Patrick and his harmonica were an automatic fit with the other four musicians as he and Janiva fed off of each other's music

For those of us in the house, it was a night of privilege to be there to see not only one star, but two real stars. They were just doing what they do, enjoying making music, and we all got to sit back and relax, and just be a part of it.

It was the best of the blues and is truly a treasure in the heartland.


Janiva Magness and Patrick Hazel sing the Blues at "The Washington" in Burlington, IA.