Saturday, January 27 at 7:30PM

We love a good reunion!

And this will certainly be one!  Wear a South Orange International Blues Festival t-shirt from years past and receive a Free Concessions Voucher at the Box Office when you check in.  We can’t wait to see you there!


New York City-based Blues guitarist Popa Chubby joins forces with Asbury Park Music Awards winner Billy Hector and North Jersey’s 2023 International Blues Challenge winners Blues People for three hours of Blues on the SOPAC Mainstage.

Throughout his almost 30-year career, Popa Chubby has developed a unique style that he describes as “the Stooges meets Buddy Guy, Motorhead meets Muddy Waters, and Jimi Hendrix meets Robert Johnson.”  Billy Hector has 14 albums to his name and has been praised as “A New Jersey state treasure” by New Jersey Stage.  Blues People, led by SOPAC Creative Community Brain Trust Music member Mike Griot, is a SOMA staple perfecting the New York Blues’ edgy, honest, and one-of-a-kind sound.

I am happy to announce the return of “the greatest Blues reunion in NJ”—and invite you all to a historic music event celebrating our beloved South Orange International Blues Festival— in its first Winter Edition!

It’s truly exciting for me to team up with SOPAC and (once again) present world-class Blues artists…connect with friends and family… and meet at a beautiful venue in the town where it all started 13 years ago!

Mike Griot, SOPAC Creative Community Brain Trust Member, Music

Don’t miss this historic reunion concert featuring the best of Mike Griot’s legendary South Orange International Blues Festival at SOPAC!


About the Artists

Popa Chubby

Born Ted Horowitz, Popa Chubby’s career has always been about moving forward and carving out a place for himself in the imposing terrain of the music business.  Popa Chubby’s first gigs were in the New York City Punk scene as a guitarist for what he reflects was a “crazy Japanese special effects performance artist in a kimono called Screaming Mad George who had a horror movie inspired show.”  Finding his home in Blues music and Blues clubs throughout New York City, Popa Chubby seeks to make Blues music just as “dangerous” and exciting as Punk and Rock n’ Roll.

Popa Chubby performing “Sympathy for the Devil” at Don Odells’ studio


Billy Hector

At the beginning of his career, Billy Hector identified himself as a “deeply-grounded and versatile player” drawing his influences from important predecessors such as T-Bone Walker, Freddie King, Jimi Hendrix, Roy Buchanan and others.  Hector began his career in the late 70s as the guitarist for The Shots, a horn-driven R&B group that took over the house band role from Southside Johnny and The Asbury Jukes at the renowned Stone Pony in Asbury Park.  His next stop was as lead guitarist for Hot Romance, a band based at the infamous Mrs. Jay’s Biker Bar in Asbury Park.  In the mid-80s, Hector put together his own five-piece Blues-Rock Band, The Fairlanes, and co-wrote and released three independent albums with them.  By 1993, Hector had put together a power trio called The Billy Hector Band that includes Billy Hector on guitars and lead vocals, Sim Cain on drums, and Tim Tindall on bass.

Billy Hector performing “Hit The Road” at The Saint in Asbury Park


Blues People

North Jersey’s 2023 International Blues Challenge winners, Blues People is a New York/New Jersey band featuring Kelton Cooper on guitar, Mike Griot on bass, Ron Thompson on keyboard, and Gene Lake on drums.  Blues People are experts in the global phenomenon that is “New York Blues,” an edgy, honest, and one-of-a-kind Blues style.  From Lionel Hampton to Ruth Brown …from Michael Hill to King Solomon Hicks — New York is proud to claim its own unique Blues experience. Having released two promotional singles in 2022 (“The Skin I’m In” and “Troubled Times”), Blues People is busy in the studio finishing up their much-anticipated 2023 debut album Troubled Times.  These seasoned veterans have certainly paid their dues: as individual side men, they have supported a who’s-who of touring “A-listers”, including Sue Foley, Josh Smith, Kool & the Gang, Ruf’s Blues Caravan and Michael Hill’s Blues Mob… just to name a few.  Blues People musically explores the effects of the blues on modern American culture on many universal levels… and is a modern chronicle of four “real-life blues brothers” living in THIS time in America… while surviving the NY/NJ-Metro urban landscape.

Blues People performing at SOPAC’s Blues in the Loft


Accessibility & Accommodation

 For details, visit our Accessibility page.

If you or a member of your party needs assistance, please notify SOPAC at the time your tickets are purchased. Contact the SOPAC Box Office at (973) 313-2787 or