Waterfront Blues Festival
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News Release
Waterfront Blues Festival 2018 -crowd shot
Waterfront Blues Festival 2018 -crowd shot
Celebrate 32 years of Waterfront Blues during the July 4th holiday weekend Preliminary line-up announced, passes on sale February 15 for the award-winning event July 4 - 7 at Waterfront Park in Portland, Ore. (Photo) - 02/15/19

Celebrate 32 years of Waterfront Blues during the 

July 4thholiday weekend

Preliminary line-up announced, passes on sale February 15 for the award-winning event
 July 4 - 7 at Waterfront Park in Portland, Ore.


Portland, Ore. (February 15, 2019)– Join blues legends, up-and-comers and regional favorites to mark the 32nd  Annual Waterfront Blues Festival July 4-7, 2019 at Tom McCall Waterfront Park. 4-Day passes go on-sale Friday, February 15

This year’s festival will feature more than 100 acts on four stages. Highlights include:

Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue • St. Paul & the Broken Bones • Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe • Vintage Trouble • California Honeydrops • Shemekia Copeland  • Cyril Neville • Roy Rogers & the Delta Rhythm Kings with special guest & Carlos Reyes 
Christone “Kingfish” Ingram  • Chubby Carrier & the Bayou Swamp Band • Sugaray Rayford • Songhoy Blues • Southern Avenue • Brother Yusef • Lucious Spiller • Kevin Burt • Feu Follet • Curley Taylor • Vanessa Collier • Sarah Grace of The Voice


…and many more to be announced, including additional headliners!

This year’s lineup includes new, as well as some festival favorites from years past. Closing headliner TroyTrombone Shorty” Andrewsmade his first public Northwest appearance at Waterfront Blues Festival more than a decade ago, playing on the festival’s Front Porch Stage and on a late-night cruise. “We’ve been trying to get Shorty back to our main stage ever since,” said festival Artistic Director Peter Dammann, who first encountered a scrawny Shorty, then in his mid-teens, busking on a street corner more than 15 years ago in New Orleans’ French Quarter. “Even in those days, playing for tips on the sidewalk, Shorty was already considered by those-in-the-know to be one of the major up-and-coming horn players on the planet.” In the interim Shorty has headlined major stages all over the world, including five appearances at the White House. The festival is thrilled to welcome him back this year.  

Joining Shorty on the Festival’s Sunday salute to the Crescent City will be legendary vocalist/percussionist Cyril Neville and his Uptown Rulers; and ‘zydeco junkie’ Chubby Carrier & the Bayou Swamp Band who headline two-days of Cajun/zydeco dancing on the festival’s Front Porch Stage. 

Newcomers this year include the high voltage, horn-driven soul-rock of Alabama-based St. Paul & the Broken Bones; the swaggering rock-soul of Vintage Trouble; North Africa desert grooves of Songhoy Blues; the powerful Oakland bluesman Kevin Burt,winner of the 2018 International Blues Challenge in threecategories; Arkansas/Mississippi Delta bluesman Lucious Spiller; the masterful, up-and-coming vocalist/saxophonist Vanessa Collier (“Amazing!” – Buddy Guy); Louisiana’s ‘future of Cajun music’, Feufollet; and Houston’s 16-year-old “pint-sized powerhouse,” Sarah Grace, whose soulful vocals carried her into the final 10 on this season’s The Voice.

Returning are some of the festival’s favorites from years past, including: the bluesy soul/funk of Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe; the California Honeydrops (“the most refreshing act to roll down the blues highway in some time.” – Living Blues); the searing vocalist Shemekia Copeland (“A powerhouse, a superstar, she can do no wrong,” Rolling Stone); slide guitar virtuoso Roy Rogers(“One of the rare guitar heroes who values feeling over flash” - Rolling Stone) in a collaboration with Parguayan violinist/harpist Carlos Reyes; young Mississippi guitar phenom Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, about to release a debut album produced by Buddy Guy (festival fans may remember Guy brought Kingfish on stage for his headlining WBF set four years ago); ‘Fatback Blues’ master, Brother Yusef,a favorite of swing/blues dancers.

“Stay tuned, we have some more announcements to come,” said Dammann, “including of course our world-class soul and blues acts from the Northwest.”

“This is the concert deal of the summer,” continues Dammann. “Four days, four stages, more than 100 eclectic performances, starting at just $50 for a 4-day pass—that’s only $12.50 a day!”

The following four-day passes offered this year: 

4-Day Fan Pass($50—just $12.50 a day!) — Four-day pass, priority re-entry.

Blues Buddy Pass($75 early bird discount) — Four-day pass, EARLY entry, priority re-entry, and discounted admission to Waterfront After-Hours Concerts in the Marriott Ballroom (just $5 each, these after hours shows are otherwise $20 advance; first-come, first-served).

Gold Pass($350) — Four-day EARLY entry and priority re-entry, access to Main Stage shaded seating, access to central stage shaded seating, admission to After-Hours concerts, four meal and drink vendor coupons, festival T-shirt and poster, parking pass & more! SOLD OUT LAST FEW YEARS!

Platinum Pass($1,250) — Four-day EARLY entry & priority re-entry, priority access to on-stage seating at Main Stage and Blues Stage, access to central stage shaded seating, access to VIP Hospitality Pavilion with catered buffets and VIP restrooms, admission to After-Hours concerts, parking passand many other VIP perks. SOLD OUT LAST FEW YEARS!

Also on sale now are tickets to the Festival’s exciting After-Hours Shows in the Marriott Ballroomacross Naito Parkway from the festival site. Featured this year:

Friday, July 5: California Honeydrops • Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe presents “Eat Lots of Peaches” Allman Brothers tribute

Saturday, July 6: Southern Avenue with special guest Christone “Kingfish” Ingram • Vintage Trouble.

Tickets and lineup information for the popular Blues Cruisesaboard the Portland Spirit, will be available in early April

For artist bios, preliminary schedule, videos and music samples, visit the newly updated: waterfrontbluesfest.com.    


About Waterfront Blues Festival:

Since 1988, the Waterfront Blues Fest has raised funds and awareness to fight hunger in our region. Since its inception, the festival has raised nearly $11 million and more than 1,000 tons of food to fight hunger in Oregon. Last year Oregon Food Bank, producer of the event since its inception, turned over ownership and production responsibilities to its long time production company, Waterfront Blues Production LLC, so the agency could refocus on its core hunger mission. The 2018 festival featuring George Thorogood, The Revivalists and Beth Hart was the first under the management/ownership of WBP. The Festival again this year welcomes as its Community Partner, the Portland Sunshine Division, which will run the event’s food drive to help stock its two emergency food pantries.

This Portland flagship festival has become a treasured tradition for locals and visitors alike, and has served as downtown Portland’s signature Fourth of July Celebration. It is the largest blues festival west of the Mississippi, the second-largest blues festival in the nation, and one of the most revered festivals of its kind in the world. It is a recipient of numerous awards, including the Memphis-based Blues Foundation’s coveted Keeping the Blues Alive Award for ‘Best Festival.’ Since its inception, the festival has been committed to elevating the presence of local non-profits through fundraising and exposure. 

Major sponsors: Buick GMC of Beaverton, KGON radio, KOIN-TV, The Oregonian.

More information: waterfrontbluesfest.com 



Peter Dammann, Festival Artistic Director
503-283-3225, 503-341-2068 c