PORT TOWNSEND — “A big part of American history plays out in our music,” Centrum Acoustic Blues Festival artistic director Jerron Paxton proclaimed at the start of this week.
Performers, teachers and students have gathered here for six days of workshops and jam sessions, and now they’re primed to share all kinds of blues with the public. Paxton, talent scout, brought them together: singers, dancers, players of instruments from the big bass to the slim fife.
“What we aim to extract this year,” he wrote in his welcome letter, “is joy all around.”
Here are the shows — including two free events and two nights of all-ages club-style gigs — at Fort Worden State Park, 200 Battery Way. For information and tickets, see Centrum.org or call 800-746-1982.
• Noon: Free Fridays at the Fort presents the Acoustic Blues Festival showcase, an hour-long concert on the Commons lawn.
• 8 p.m. to midnight: Blues in the Clubs spreads across the Fort Worden campus with country blues, Cajun, zydeco, jug-band music and other rootsy sounds.
Each venue — the USO Hall, the Chapel, Wheeler Theater, Building 204 and the Commons — hosts three sets of music, with food and drink for sale throughout.
Wristbands are $25 per night.
• 11 a.m.: Detroit’s Shirley Smith leads the Port Townsend Gospel Choir in a free concert at the Wheeler Theater.
• 1:30 p.m.: The Acoustic Blues Showcase and barbecue stir together music from north, south, east and west: Bruce “Sunpie” Barnes, Guy Davis, Jontavious Willis, Phil Wiggins, the Rev. Robert Jones, Valerie and Ben Turner, Terry “Harmonica” Bean, Jim Kweskin and Suzy Thompson and many others. McCurdy Pavilion and Littlefield Green are the destination; tickets are $27, $40 and $48.