May 20: Curtis Salgado

 “The original Blues Brother” and B.B. King Entertainer of the Year award-winner.

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Upstage presents Curtis Salgado at Studio Bob’s in Port Angeles WA (118 E Front Street), Friday May 20th, 8pm. Curtis’ voice & his performances are legendary – beginning to end, over the top. Studio Bob’s intimate arts venue is in downtown Port Angeles, minutes away from great dining and lodging.

With a career spanning forty years, award-winning soul, blues and R&B vocalist/harmonicist/songwriter Curtis Salgado is a one-of-a-kind talent whose music is as compelling as his story. From co-fronting The Robert Cray Band to leading his own band (and recording nine solo albums) to helping transform John Belushi into Joliet Jake Blues to touring the country with Steve Miller and Santana, he is a true musical giant. NPR calls him a blues icon with a huge voice and a reputation for high-intensity performances.

Curtis won the 2010 Blues Music Award (BMA) for Soul Blues Artist Of The Year and went on to win the award again in 2012 and 2013. In 2013 he won the coveted BMA for B.B. King Entertainer Of The Year, the highest honor the blues world has to offer, and he took the statue for Soul Blues Album Of The Year, Soul Shot. Blues Revue says Salgados music is triumphant, joyful, blues-soaked R&B and declared him to be one of the most soulful, honest singers ever.

In 1977, comedian/actor John Belushi, filming Animal House, caught a typically ferocious Salgado performance. Salgado started sharing his blues knowledge and a fast friendship grew. Salgado spent hours teaching Belushi about blues and R&B. Belushi used his new awareness to portray Joliet Jake Blues in The Blues Brothers, first as a skit on Saturday Night Live and then a best-selling record album (which was dedicated to Curtis) and finally as a major motion picture (Cab Calloway’s character was named Curtis as an homage).

May 24: Richard Smith

National Fingerstyle Guitar Champion

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Upstage presents guitar wizard Richard Smith at Studio Bob’s in Port Angeles WA (118 E Front Street), Tuesday, May 24th, 7pm. Smith’s repertoire includes a wide range of styles from country, bluegrass and folk to jazz, pop and classical music. It’s an amazing range and a virtuoso solo performance.

His flawless technique, quickly switching between fingerpicking and flatpicking, has not only earned him the admiration of his peers. Upon his only participation Smith won the National Fingerstyle Guitar Championship. The National Thumbpickers Hall of Fame named him Thumbpicker of the Year in 2008 and inducted him into the Hall of Fame in 2009. Smith also received the Golden Thumbpick Award by the Association of Fingerstyle Guitarists.

Born in Beckenham, England. He picked up the guitar when he was five years old, after watching his father playing an Atkins and Travis version of Down South Blues. Smith soon became a child prodigy on the guitar. At the age of 11 he finally shared the stage with his idol, when Chet Atkins invited Smith to play together with him at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London. Richard performed with the Richard Smith Guitar Trio before marrying American cellist Julie Adams and moving to Nashville, Tennessee in 1999. There he founded the Hot Club of Nashville, a jam band with a varying lineup, including high-profile session players such as John Jorgenson, Pat Bergeson, Bryan Sutton and Stuart Duncan, combining the European and American traditions of Gypsy Jazz and Western Swing. Smith performs as a solo act.