This fall, aspiring musicians from around the country will gather for a five-day blues guitar camp to hone their skills and immerse themselves in the music. This year’s instructors include four of the world’s finest acoustic blues musicians: Ernie Hawkins (Pittsburgh), Steve James (Seattle), Suzy Thompson (Berkeley), and the camp’s artistic director (Portland’s own) Mary Flower. The event is held in the Columbia River Gorge at the beautiful Menucha Retreat Center in Corbett, OR, September 30 through October 2 . Due to the limited number of students accepted each year (only 46), this camp sells out quickly. All attending will receive intimate, close at hand classes, lectures, and a student concert.

maryFlower-LGjpg-855x500Mary Flower is a multiple Muddy Award recipient and Blues Music Award nominee who has also competed in the National Fingerpicking Championship. Steve James is considered one of the finest bottleneck slide players and storytellers in the blues scene. Ernie Hawkins is an internationally renowned virtuoso who plays and sings blues, ragtime, and gospel in the early 1900’s east coast Piedmont and Texas steel-string flattop fingerpicking styles. Suzy Thompson is a master of the blues violin and a powerful vocalist in the style of Memphis Minnie and Bessie Smith and is remarkably able to sing and play fiddle at the same time.

Following the workshop in the Gorge, the four instructors will appear in a special concert at The Secret Society Ballroom in Portland on Sunday, October 2. The Acoustic Blues Masters concert is open to the public and begins at 7:00 pm, doors open at 6:30 pm. Tickets can be purchased in advance for this show at for $25.00. Those wearing a Blues in the Gorge T-shirt will receive $5.00 off at the door. This is a 21 & over event. The Secret Society Ballroom is located at 116 NE Russell. This is a Cascade Blues Association co-sponsored event, so make sure to show your current membership card at the door to receive a $2.00 discount on admission. (Sorry, only one discount can be used, either the CBA or the Gorge T-Shirt)

For more information on the workshop and event, go to