The 2022 JSJBF IBC Challenge

By John Dammacco

Before reviewing the 2022 IBC competition, I would like to recognize Gene Iadanza for his near decade of commitment to this storied event. Gene’s efforts saw many of our best and bluesiest head to Memphis for their shot at the title. Gene’s dedication to the JSJBF, the IBC and the live blues genre are to be applauded and respected, Bravo Gene.

2022 saw the appointment of a new IBC chair, this year we welcomed Mike Feniello. Mike’s career in music encompassed a gamut of professional involvement. From performance to studio to live music recording and engineering, Mike, a JSJBF member, was the logical choice to head the IBC going forward.  Mike’s first order of business was to secure the best judging panel available. His countless industry contacts yielded three judges: professional performers, engineers and industry experts, rounded out the lineup of decision makers.

The Judges:

Marc Swerzky

Deb Callahan

Jack Daley

**Tracy Graves, alt judge

The IBC Event kicked off with our MC Hosts Danny Coleman and Producer Claire Henwood.  Danny and Claire kept the event moving and the guests informed as the talent took the stage and gave it their best.

Added to those ranks was the “first time” Member Voting Ballot. All active members in attendance had the opportunity to vote for their favorite artist and band. Those votes were calculated in the final decision.

From the date of the IBC announcement eager artists signed up for a slot. Nine signed up, with an early drop out.  In the end there were eight artists/bands at the ready to do the JSJBF proud. The performers took the stage in the order they signed up: 

First Up Solo Duo’s

James Dalton

Peabody and Hotbox

Gary Cavico

Jonathan Kalb

Followed by the Bands

The Mark Margolies Band

**The Robert Hill Band


The SlideWinder Blues Band

** The Robert Hill Band was sidelined due to an illness. All is well again in the band, we hope to see them again next year.

Weather aside (side swipe from Hurricane Ian) the show went on, on time, without a hitch. For those in attendance it was a great day of live music as all the artists brought their ‘A’ game. The judges lined up in front and the members and fans filled the room and cheered them all on. In the end the two artist/bands going to Memphis are:


Jonathan Kalb – Solo Duo

The SlideWinder Blues Band – Band

Every event is only as good as its volunteers and this year’s event was outstanding thanks to the JSJBF Volunteers:

Tom Baldino – JSJBF President – Reception/Membership Table

Gary Neuwirth – JSJBF Board Membership Chair – Reception/Membership Table

Wayne Kessler – JSJBF Board PR/Marketing Co-Chair – Timekeeper

Jack Piccolomini – JSJBF Band Member – Penalty Recorder

Christine/Bob Chaplinski – JSJBF Members – 50/50 Raffle

Jim Henry – JSJBF Member – Security

Mike Caruso – JSJBF member – Stage Crew

Bob Chaplinski – JSJBF member – Stage Crew

John Dammacco – JSJBF Board PR/Marketing Co-Chair – JSJBF Event Coordinator

A special Shout Out to Salty’s, Lake Como and soundman Bob, they were ready for us and their attention to detail made the whole event a success. We hope to see you all next year for the 2023 IBC Challenge.

No IBC Challenge would be complete without the CD Competition. This year’s 3 judges DJ Danny Coleman, DJ Stu Coogan and DJ Christine Vitale faced the music as 5 JSJBF members submitted their new music for 2022.

They are:

Seba– Album ‘Seba’

Mark Margolies Band-Album ‘Can’t You See’

Peter V and Blues Train- Album ‘So Far So Good’

Fish Eyed Blues– Album-‘It’s Not You It’s Me’

Robert Hill Band– Album ‘Revelation’

The judges pick for this years IBC CD Challenge is Peter V and Blues Train, with ‘So Far So Good’.  We sent Peter V’s CD off to Memphis.  Let’s keep our ears out for the winner in Memphis.  Congrats to Peter V and Blue, much success in the competition and on to victory.