As a young man just starting out, Norman Sylvester was unable to pursue music as a full time occupation. With a new family he needed steady employment that offered health care insurance. Over time that insurance paid off for him with hip replacement surgeries and then two vehicle accidents that created the need to have those earlier surgeries repaired. Now he has reached the age where he can receive Medicare, allowing time to fulfill his desire to work as a musician.

Tevis Hodge Jr is a young Musician, just starting to try to make a name for himself by working in the music industry. And like most musicians pursuing this as their career, he will feel the pressures of trying to afford health insurance from his own pocket.

Inner City Blues Tevis and Norman - Photo by Greg JohnsonBoth Norman and Tevis will be featured in this year’s Third Annual Inner City Blues Festival: “Healing the Healthcare Blues.” As Norman describes it, they represent the seasoned Boogie Cat and the young cat, keeping the blues alive. Joining them will be a number of the Portland area’s finest musicians at The Melody Ballroom, 615 SE Alder St., on Saturday, April 5th, from 7:00 pm until midnight. Both the Grand Ballroom upstairs and the Blue Heart Bar downstairs will feature live entertainment. Food and drink will be available for sale and a no host bar. There will be a community information table, raffle prizes and a silent auction.

The Inner City Blues Festival: Healing the Healthcare Blues was created three years ago to help benefit the growing campaign for Health Care for All Oregon ( The mission is to provide no cost health care to all Oregonians, young and old. Everybody’s In, Nobody’s Out! This event is aimed at furthering the goal while at the same time being the party of the year to attend!

Performers this year will include:

In the Grand Ballroom: Too Loose Cajun/Zydeco Band w/ Reggie Houston; Duffy Bishop Band; Shoehorn; The Strange Tones w/ The Volcano Vixens, Mad As Hell Doctors, Norman Sylvester Band w/ LaRhonda Steele; The Boogie Cat Blues Guitar Explosion w/ Lloyd Jones & Jim Mesi; and Chata Addy & Friends Drum Procession.

Acoustic artists will perform In the Blue Heart Bar: Nico Wind Full Circle; Steve Cheseborough; and Tevis Hodge Jr.

Celebrity MC’s: Paul Knauls  &  Renee Mitchell