The Costa Rica Blues Festival was the idea of Mauricio “Mo” Ledezma, leader of the local blues band Blues Devils. Mo, who missed the traditional summer blues festivals from the USA, which are characterized for being open air festivals, with a great variety of foods, child friendly and live blues all day. Mo, with a group of friends organized the first festival, which took place at the Club Cubano in Escazú, San Jose, Costa Rica on February 2008.
Mo, who was born in Chicago to Costa Rican parents, founded his band in the year 2001, and has been very active ever since, bringing blues music and rock and roll all over the country.
Since 2008, the Cosa Rica Blues festival has brought many great artists from the USA and other countries such as Smokin Joe Kubek, Texas Johnny Brown, Guitar Shorty, Donnie Walsh, Sonny Boy Terry, Chris Ruest, Gene Taylor, Diunna Greenleaf, Sparky Parker, Annika Chambers and Walter Trout.
The purpose of the festival is to promote culture and live music by helping keeping the blues alive, promote tourism in the area of Guanacaste and the country of Costa Rica and to support education by helping NGOs that work in the betterment of education among children and adults of this region.
The Costa Rica Blues Festival is a charitable event that benefits an organization called Abriendo Mentes. This local NGO works on empowering individuals from rural/underserved communities in Guanacaste, Costa Rica to develop the skills they need to seize educational and economic opportunities for themselves and their families by promoting culture and teaching English, computers, sports and arts. Since 2015, all proceeds from the festival have been donated to this organization
In 2002 the festival will also benefit the organization ADI Coco, (the Association for the Development of the community of Playas del Coco), town where the festival will take pace in this occasion.