In cooperation with café Ome Ko, city brewery the Dikke and Bax Lederwaren, Blues in Wijk organizes a grand blues walk on Friday, April 15. The walk was already scheduled in 2020, but was cancelled due to the Corona pandemic.
During the walk, the link is made between the hard life of African-Americans in the south of the US and the impoverished Wijk bij Duurstede in the 20th century. Impoverished, on their own, collectively fighting for existence. A mixture of real Wijkse stories and blues music. Guides lead the participants through the city center, typical Wijk people tell their stories and musicians play the blues.At 7.30 pm, 8.00 pm and 8.30 pm the walks start from café Ome Ko. The walk is less suitable for persons with mobility problems. Around 10 p.m. everyone is back for a smashing afterparty with the Thomas Toussaint Band.
The blues walk is sold out. No more tickets available. Of course you can also enter the afterparty from around 22:30. The entrance fee is €7.50.
More pictures on our photo page.
The newspaper AD/UN from march 3, 2020 Wim van Amerongen wrote:
Blues bridges the poverty and beauty of Wijk bij Duurstede
During a blues walk, storytellers revive the past of the impoverished inner city of Wijk bij Duurstede. Along the way there is blues music. The blues builds a bridge between the shabby past and the present.
Anyone who now walks through the center of Wijk bij Duurstede and does not know its past, cannot imagine how dilapidated the town looked until the 1980s. Rows of houses with signs saying ‘house declared uninhabitable’, houses nailed shut to prevent people from living in them, poverty, unemployment.
raw and pure. Ruud Muis, one of the initiators of the blues walk: “I am crazy about the history of Wijk and about blues. In this beautiful little town everyone should know what kind of misery and poverty the people here used to live in. Sad. In blues music you hear that raw, pure, no frills. Straightforward. It is what it is. When you talk to old Wijksen you get the same thing. Opinionated, not polished, the beautiful Wijk dialect, humor, it is what it is. I enjoy that.” Etske Muis, his wife: ,,Wijk breathes the blues. Now it looks like a beautiful, thriving city. Houses have been fixed up, there is a lot of art, there are good restaurants. But everyone must realize that Wijk used to be rich in poverty. We want to show that by showing the other side of the city through stories. Happiness can best be appreciated when you have experienced how deep misery and sorrow can be.”
Café Ome Ko. It is no coincidence that the blues walk begins at café Ome Ko, the birthplace of Blues in Wijk. That’s where Arie Verheul sat at the bar with Frans Hoving and Anton Winkel eleven years ago. They dreamed aloud to bring the blues to Wijk. The Bintangs, Cuby and the Blizzards, Livin’ Blues. The rest is history. Blues in Wijk brought these and dozens of other bands to Wijk. Mostly they play in the Calypso Theatre, the favorite base for blues nights, sometimes called the Paradiso of Wijk. But also in pubs and at Castle Duurstede. Blues in Wijk knows itself supported by four hundred “friends of the blues. “That’s our foundation,” says Verheul. The guided walk starts and ends at café Ome Ko. At four locations storytellers will revive the raw past. With stories about brick kilns, factories, shopkeepers and legendary innkeepers and pubs. Along the way blues music can be heard and afterwards there is a blues party.