Port Townsend Acoustic Blues Workshop


Honoring the Legacy of Delta Blues Singer Son House

July 29-August 5, 2018
Fort Worden State Park, Port Townsend, WA

The downhome, back-porch vibe of this early acoustic blues program make this week feel like a family gathering. Over thirty of the country’s best acoustic blues musicians take participants on a journey through history and tradition with classes designed to honor traditions as well as build skills and inspire new traditions. Jam sessions stretch from the afternoons until dawn.

This generous community shares your passion and energy, and we can almost guarantee that by the end of the week you AND your playing will be heading in new directions. Daily classes are offered in Delta, Piedmont, Hill Country, and Ragtime styles; blues guitar, finger-picking, slide guitar, harmonica, violin, mandolin, banjo, piano, bass, accordion, ukulele, singing, washboard, gospel choir and history, all taught by masters of early traditions. The faculty concerts at the end of the week are the grand finale to a blues experience you can’t find anywhere else.

The Port Townsend Acoustic Blues workshop is held at Fort Worden State Park, one of the Pacific Northwest’s most stunning and inspiring landscapes. Participants can stay in dorms and eat in the Commons (a gathering place at the center of campus where local, sustainable foods are prepared by artisan chefs). The teaching artist-faculty also stay in housing on the Fort Worden campus, lending that family gathering feeling that makes this week more than just a workshop.



The schedule is still under development but here’s a general idea of what to expect:

Sunday, July 29, 2018

  • 4 p.m.: Arrival
  • 6 p.m.: Dinner
  • 8 p.m.: Orientation followed by informal jam session

Monday, July 30 – Friday, August 3, 2018

  • Morning: Breakfast, workshops
  • Afternoon: Lunch; workshops, band lab, Gospel choir, porch jams
  • Evening: Dinner, faculty presents, open jams, focused jams and house parties

Wednesday, July 1, 2018

  • Evening: Blues Dance in the McCurdy Pavilion (open to the public)*

Friday, August 3, 2018

  • “Blues in the Clubs” Evening Faculty Performances in Multiple Venues (open to the public)*

Saturday, August 4, 2018

  • Gospel Choir performance (open to the public)*
  • Faculty Performances in the McCurdy Pavilion (open to the public)*
  • “Blues in the Clubs” Evening Faculty Performances in Multiple Venues (open to the public)*

Sunday August 5, 2018

  • Morning: Farewell Breakfast, room check-out by 11 a.m.

* Your workshop registration entitles you to entrance to all shows.

Contact: Mary Hilts, Program Manager at mhilts@centrum.org, or call 360.385.3102 x 116

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