By now you have certainly heard of the success that Northwest musicians had representing our various blues societies at the 2014 International Blues Challenge in Memphis. If you’d like to have your chance to play on Beale Street at the 2015 IBC before multitudes of blues industry people, here is your first step. Every act competing in Memphis must win a regional competition sponsored by one of their affiliated organizations and the Cascade Blues Association has held such competitions and sent musicians every year to Memphis since 1999.

To apply for the Cascade Blues Association’s regional competition, following the instructions detailed here:

1.         First and foremost, all applicants must be a current member of the Cascade Blues Association. No act that has either won or has been nominated for The Blues Foundation’s Blues Music Awards may enter.

2.         Put together a promotional packet including:

•           A letter of intent

•           Band/Artist biography (including the names and ages of any members under 21 years)

•           A photograph for promotional use (must be a minimum of 300 dpi)

•           A CD sample of your music (please use full songs as your music may be used to promote the event on local radio)

•           Contact information including address, phone number and email address if available

•           $20 application fee. This fee will go toward the prize offered by the CBA to help defray travel expenses for the winning act. (Please make checks out to the Cascade Blues Association and note at the bottom “J2M” for our accounting purposes).

Depending on the number of applications received, one or two nights will be scheduled to hold preliminary competitions.  This year’s first round will be held at The Lehrer the first weekend in June, where judges will determine the final four entries to compete at the Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival on the Front Porch Stage on the 4th of July. The winning act selected at the Waterfront will have the honor of representing the CBA at The International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee. Also included as part of the prize is a guaranteed paid set at the following year’s Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival, a set at the 2014 Muddy Awards and a cash prize based on the amount of admissions sold during the first round of the competition.

Please send application packets to: Journey To Memphis, c/o Cascade Blues Association, PO Box 14493, Portland, OR 97293. Or you may deliver your applications at the CBA monthly meeting at The Melody Ballroom. All applications must be received no later than the April 2nd CBA Membership Meeting, so we may have appropriate time to set-up semi-final dates in early June and to promote the acts in the BluesNotes that month. Absolutely no late entries will be accepted.

All rules used for the Journey To Memphis follow those outlined by The Blues Foundation. These can be found at their website