PORT TOWNSEND — Detroit blues legend Uncle Jessie White, Chicago stars Carey and Lurrie Bell, Mississippi’s Terry “Harmonica” Bean and dozens more of the most interesting players in blues are set to turn Port Townsend into a western blues outpost today and Saturday, Aug. 5 and 6, during Centrum’s Port Townsend Blues and Heritage Festival.
The largest gathering of its kind west of the Mississippi, the festival is led by artistic director Phil Wiggins, and features mainstage concerts at Fort Worden State Park, as well as blues in historic Port Townsend club venues.
“Phil Wiggins has assembled an amazing group of musicians for this year’s Festival, ” said Thatcher Bailey, Centrum’s executive director. “Audiences will hear performances by musicians who don’t normally get the chance to play with each other. Their trust in Phil, and love for the music will make this a special weekend.”
The 14th annual festival showcases mainstage concerts Saturday at 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. at McCurdy Pavilion at Fort Worden State Park. The concerts will feature National Heritage winner John Cephas and Wiggins; Daryl Davis and Orville Johnson; Mike Dowling and John Miller; Terry “Harmonica” Bean; Uncle Jesse White and Angelo Willis; Lightnin’ Wells; Rich DelGrosso; Gaye Adegbalola and Roddy Barnes; Carey and Lurrie Bell; Louisiana Red; Paul Geremia; and Del Rey, Steve James and Suzy Thompson.
The festival also features Blues in the Clubs tonight and Saturday starting at 10 p.m. and running until 1 a.m.
Artists include Eric “Two Scoops” Moore, The Eagle Ridin’ Papas, All-Star Jams led by Phil Wiggins, Terry Robb, Naby Camara and more.
Reserved seat tickets for the McCurdy Pavilion mainstage afternoon show are $20; the Saturday evening show is $16; seats for those age 18 and younger are $5.
Tickets to Blues in the Clubs are $15 and one arm band covers admission to all clubs that night.
Tickets are available at Quimper Sound, 901 Water St., or the Food Co-op, 414 Kearney St.Tickets, maps, additional information and merchandise will be available during the festival at Centrum’s Blues Information Center, located five doors down from the Rose Theatre at 213 Taylor St.