The Pacific Northwest Blues Societies have developed a strong tradition of sending some of the finest acts to Memphis each year to take part in the International Blues Challenge. Though this is a competition being held in Memphis, the competitors are all supportive of one another, cheering for one another at the IBC as well as helping each other out to help raise the needed funds for everybody to be able to get to Tennessee beforehand.

This year, five Northwest Blues Societies will be sending a total of nine acts and one youth band. Two huge fundraising events have been scheduled in December, featuring several of these winning acts at both.

The first will be held in Portland at Duff’s Garage on Friday, December 12th, starting at 7:30 pm. This show will feature the Cascade Blues Association’s representatives The Rae Gordon Band and David Pinsky & Phil Newton, Washington Blues Society’s solo entry Nick Vigarino, South Sound Blues Association’s CD Woodbury Band, Rainy Day Blues Society’s Randy Oxford Band and Walker T. Ryan, and the Ashland Blues Society’s solo/duo entry Ben Rice & Lucy Hammond. Admission to this event is $15.00 and a silent auction and raffle will also be held to raise extra funds. Duff’s Garage is located at 2530 NE 82nd.

Then on Sunday, December 14th, Highway 99 Blues Club in Seattle, 1414 Alaskan Way, will host another IBC fundraiser featuring many of these same acts, with the Washington Blues Society’s band winners The Rafael Tranquilino Band and Ashland Blues Society’s Tracey Fordice & The 8 Balls joining in.

Please support all of the Northwest IBC acts as they continue to raise the money to cover their travel, hotel and meal expenses to get back to Memphis. These two events are a great way to help out.