Laith Al-Saadi, 2016 finalist on The Voice, replaces James Cotton as Saturday headliner of the Winnipeg BBQ & Blues Festival

Winnipeg, MB (July 11, 2016) – Laith Al-Saadi, The Voice season 10 finalist, has been confirmed as the 2016 Winnipeg BBQ & Blues Festival’s Saturday night headliner at Burton Cummings Theatre, replacing James Cotton who is unable to perform due to recent health issues.

Laith Al-Saadi has the perfect combination of Midwestern hustle and incredible musical chops – honed at the University of Michigan school of music in his hometown of Ann Arbor, and on stages across the United States working with legends like Taj Mahal, Luther Allison, Buddy Guy, Son Seals, Gregg Allman and B.B. King. “Laith is one of the most diverse talents we have,” said Maroon 5 front man and The Voice coach Adam Levine. “Incredible guitar player, incredible singer.” Entertainment Weekly called Laith Al-Saadi “a power performer who is so legitimate and memorable.”

Audiences have agreed, propelling Al-Saadi’s most recent release, REAL, to the top of the blues chart for five weeks and the top 20 album chart for two weeks. Laith also had four singles in the top ten iTunes singles charts, and his albums In The Round and Long Time Coming spent time at the top of the rock and album charts. Guitar World Magazine has called Laith Al-Saadi a cross between “Danny Gatton and Buddy Guy at their best,” and Guitar Center crowned him one of the top four blues guitarists in the United States.

“We send our best wishes to Mr. James Cotton for a speedy recovery,” said Kevin Donnelly, senior vice president of events and venues for True North Sports + Entertainment, “and although we are very disappointed that he won’t be part of this year’s Festival, we are extremely excited to have been able to book Laith Al-Saadi.”

Friday night’s headliner at the Burton Cummings Theatre is Creedence Clearwater Revisited. The outdoor Festival site will also feature a stage offering hours of entertainment on both days. Other acts include Doucette, Tinsley Ellis Band and Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar, Son of Dave featuring Ben Darville of the Crash Test Dummies, Cecile Doo-Kingue, Big Dave McLean and more!

The fifth annual Winnipeg BBQ & Blues Festival, presented by 97.5 BIG FM, will take over Smith Street in front of the Burton Cummings Theatre August 19 and 20, 2016 and will feature the best in international, national and local blues performers along with the “LUXE Barbeque Company Pit Master Championship” barbeque competition, food, beverage, and retail vendors. Saturday night’s “Manitoba Pork People’s Choice Awards” give the general public an opportunity to sample competitor products normally
reserved for judges only.

Concert passes, which include both outdoor festival site access and reserved seating for headlining concerts at Burton Cummings Theatre, are on sale now at Ticketmaster with an early-bird discount available for a limited time. Outdoor site access passes are also available.

For more information on Laith Al-Saadi, visit:

For more information on the Winnipeg BBQ & Blues Festival visit:

For more information, contact:

Rick Fenton                                             Perry Hopkins
Artistic Director                                       BBQ Competition                   
(204) 296-3821                                          (204) 832-0353

Alayne Nott                                             Christina Caligiuri
Marketing, True North                                   Publicist, True North                                              
(204) 926-5552                                         (204) 926-5531

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