Bronze, Blues and Brews

Norcia

The event that combines locally sculpted bronzes, internationally celebrated blues music and regionally crafted micro-brews will return to Joseph on Aug. 12.

Advance tickets cost $35 and can be purchased at several locations:

  • Joseph: Joseph Hardware; Sports Corral
  • Enterprise: The Bookloft
  • Baker City: Bella’s Main Street Market
  • La Grande: La Grande Stereo and Music; Bella’s Main Street Market

They can also be purchased at the gate before Friday’s showcase for the same rate. Tickets at the gate Aug. 12 cost $40.


Bronze

In addition to the many bronzes available for viewing along main street in Joseph, the event features a raffle of a bronze piece for a good cause.

Parks Bronze, a foundry in Enterprise, donates $1,000 of the raffle proceeds to the Joseph Charter School.

President of the board and this year’s event coordinator, Mike Straw, said the bronze is always a surprise. He couldn’t describe the piece that will be up for raffle, but said he is consistently impressed with the works brought to the event.

Additionally, other bronzes from multiple artists will be for sale throughout the event.


Blues

After 21 years, the Bronze, Blues and Brews has built up a reputation with blues performers.

Although some acts are asked back, Straw said the organizers try to change up the headliners from year to year.

He said audiences can feel assured that this is an exclusive show.

“We’ve got (performers) who fly out specifically for this show, then fly back to wherever they came from,” Straw said. “They aren’t playing another concert down the road.”

Some of the musicians, such as Victor Wainwright and the Wildroots, are making their first visit to the Pacific Northwest. Straw said this also contributes to the exclusivity of the music festival,
guaranteeing that locals haven’t seen the performers play in the area.

A musical showcase takes place 6 p.m. Aug. 11, previewing the full day of acts on Aug. 12. The showcase features the Rae Gordon Band from Memphis, Tennessee. Rae Gordon, who has performed at Bronze, Blues and Brews before as part of a
different group, fronts the seven-piece
ensemble.

Several of the Aug. 12 performers will join Rae Gordon on stage during the showcase.

The next day, gates open at 11:30 a.m. and music begins at noon.

Straw said he considers the show to have more than just one headliner. Here are the artists slated to perform:

Brody Buster’s One Man Band, Noon-1:30 p.m. Aug. 12

The opening act hails from Kansas City, Kansas. Brody Buster’s One Man Band features Brody Buster on guitar, harp, drums and vocals.

Buster has played with some of the best in blues and jazz, including BB King, Keb Mo and Quincy Jones. He received “Best Harmonica Player,” and 2nd place for Solo/Duo acts awards at the 2017 International Blues Challenge.

Anni Piper, 2 p.m.-3:30 p.m. Aug. 12

Australian songwriter, singer and bassist Anni Piper has been pleasing audiences since she was 14 years old.

“Coming now to Joseph she is her own proof that the blues is an international art form, and indeed alive and well in the world,” according to the Bronze Blues and Brews website.

Piper has produced six albums, and her other achievements include nomination as a top five finalist in the 2010 MusicOz Awards in the Blues / Roots category, and finalist in the 2009 APRA Professional Development Awards.

Albert Castiglia & the Portland Allstars, 4 p.m.-5:30 p.m. Aug. 12

Contemporary blues star Albert Castiglia was discovered in 1996 by Junior Wells. Since then, Castiglia has performed in many other bands and produced seven of his own albums.

Portland musicians AC Porter on guitar, John Moore on percussion, Timmer Blakely on bass, and Franco Paletta on harp make up the Portland Allstars.

Victor Wainwright and the Wildroots, 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Aug. 12

Award winning pianist Victor Wainwright brings his band, the Wildroots, to Joseph.

The group will “reintroduce the Bronze, Blues & Brews audience to honky-tonk and boogie,” according to the event’s website.

With multiple international tours, three albums with the Wildroots and one with Southern Hospitality, Wainwright has established himself as a “still rising star of blues piano stylings,” the website reads.

Sugar Ray and the Bluetones, 8 p.m.-10 p.m. Aug. 12

Headlining act Sugar Ray Norcia has enjoyed a long and illustrious career. The musician has appeared on albums and on stage with such musicians as Ronnie Earl, James Cotton, Billy Branch, Charlie Musselwhite and Roomful of Blues.

This year he is up for seven Blues Foundation BMAs, including the prestigious ‘BB King Entertainer’ award.

The singer and harp player brings  “genuine Chicago Blues” to the festival in Joseph.


Brews

More than 20 micro-brews will be available for purchase, along with several regional wines.

Straw said the event and subsequent community aid would not be possible without the sponsors, volunteers and board of directors. He said that the musicians are paid, and some of the staff members receive stipends, but “it’s not worth what those individuals bring to the table.”

Straw said Bronze, Blues and Brews receives lots of community support, and he hopes to see that continue for many more years.

“A lot of us (organizers) have been doing it for years, and we’re getting old and worn out,” he said. “We need some younger people to come in and bring in a new energy.”

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