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The series of events at Hotel Rose, 50 SW Morrison (across from the Waterfront Blues Festival site), has grown into a bit of a destination for festival goers looking for a place to cool off, while still being entertained and informed. It is a microcosmic representation of the festival, itself, in that this series offers a glimpse into programs, talents, and the spirit of community that makes the WBF such a compelling and successful event. The two key programs, anchoring this series are United By Music North America (UBMNA) “Blues Brunch” (11am – 1pm, July 4, 5, and 6) and “Midnight Rose: Hotel Rose After Dark” (10pm – 1:30am, July 4-7).

UBMNA is a unique program, using the therapeutic benefits of music to assist developmentally and physically challenged young people in overcoming disabilities by instilling teamwork, self-confidence, and social skills, with the immediate objective of creating a memorable experience, a featured performance at the festival. The strategic outcome is one that impacts and influences the lives of its participants, their families, and everyone else who is touched by this fine organization. “Blues Brunch” affords the opportunity for audience members to witness the workings of the program and its results in an intimate setting.

“Midnight Rose: Hotel Rose After Dark” is an after-hours bill, hosted by the Allstar lineup of local musicians known as the Bayou Boyz. The best description of this feature is that it is a “musical welcome wagon”, strong enough to stand on its own, while welcoming other artists – local and touring – to join in on the festivities. Portland, Oregon is well known for its abundance of Blues talent – national and international touring artists, BMA award winners, and, on any given night, a broad display of what players and tourists acknowledge as world-class musicianship. In such a rich environment, drawing attention can be difficult, but the buzz around the Bayou Boyz hasn’t just established them as a force. It has grown into something that has drawn a powerfully eclectic array of performers into the family, a tribe that brings complexity of character to the bandstand, a flavorful mix of tastes that are focused in a Louisiana and Blues-based center.

Things kick off in high gear on July 4th, the pyrotechnic display on the waterfront being followed by musical fireworks at Hotel Rose. July 5th follows suit. On July 6th and 7th, things mellow out a bit, a more acoustic and lower volume approach to the same program. The Bayou Boyz, the host band – including Steve Kerin (keyboards/vocals), Brian Foxworth or Carlton Jackson (drums/vocals), Dan Berkery (guitar/vocals), and David Kahl or Greg Hyatt (bass/vocals) – is known for its ability to play to the room and this one is no different. Whatever the audience demands, they’re prepared to please.

It should be noted that, as in the past, other musical offerings may be added during other points in the day. It’s as simple as making a call to Hotel Rose, 503-221-0711, to find out.