Two powerhouses of the blues tradition are traveling to Portland for the PDX Jazz Festival, making a stop in Pendleton along the way to play a show at the Pendleton Center for the Arts.
True Blues: Corey Harris & Cedric Watson will be presented on Tuesday, Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. Tickets are just $15, thanks to underwriting by WESTAF, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Drs. Dan and Connie Marier. PCA expects this show to sell out, so early ticket purchases online at PendletonArts.org or in person at 214 N. Main St. are recommended.
True Blues chronicles the extraordinary living culture of the blues in an evening of music and conversation, vividly bringing to life this crucial wellspring of American music.
Corey Harris was featured in Martin Scorsese’s The Blues: A Musical Journey, which followed Harris to West Africa, where he explored his familial and musical roots. Harris is a powerful singer, accomplished guitarist, songwriter and band leader who has carved out his own niche in blues. He has appeared at venues throughout the North America, Europe, Brazil, The Caribbean, West Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
He began his career as a New Orleans street singer, travelling throughout the southern U.S. In his early twenties he lived in Cameroon, West Africa for a year, which had a profound effect on his later work. He has recorded many old songs of the blues tradition while also creating an original vision of the blues by adding influences from reggae, soul, rock and West African music. Some of his imaginative compositions are marked by a deliberate eclecticism; other works stay true to the traditional blues formula of compelling vocals and down-home guitar. With one foot in tradition and the other in contemporary experimentation, Harris is a truly unique voice in contemporary music.
Cedric Watson is one of the brightest young talents to emerge in Cajun, Creole and Zydeco (Louisiana French) music over the last decade. He is a four-time Grammy-nominated fiddler, singer, accordionist & songwriter with seemingly unlimited potential.
Originally from San Felipe, Texas (population 868), Watson made his first appearance at the age of 19 at the Zydeco Jam at The Big Easy in Houston. Just two years later, he moved to south Louisiana, quickly immersing himself in French music and language. Over the next several years, Watson performed French music in 17 countries and on seven full-length albums with various groups, including the Pine Leaf Boys, Corey Ledet, Les Amis Creole with Ed Poullard and J.B. Adams, and with his own group, Bijou Creole.
Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole resurrect the ancient sounds of the French and Spanish contra dance and bourré alongside the spiritual rhythms of the Congo tribes of West Africa, who were sold as slaves in the Caribbean and Louisiana by the French and Spanish.
Watson’s songs channel his diverse ancestry (African, French, Native American and Spanish) to create his own brand of sounds.
More information about the performance is available by calling 541-310-7413 or online at PendletonArts.org.