Portland Blues Experience (PBEx)

Portland Blues Experience’s mission is to bring live music and dance back together again as they were in their origins.  To educate musicians and dancers about each other’s craft and how they can work together to further inspire and develop their art forms.  To bring Blues, Jazz, and American Heritage music and Dance to future generations.  To welcome future generations to The Portland Waterfront Blues Festival targeting the participants under 50.  To develop the next generation of participants, innovators, volunteers, patrons, and community leaders for the Waterfront Blues Festival and Portland Blues Scene.  To educate participants about the importance of feeding the hungry through the Oregon Food Bank, and the Festival’s role in that.

The organization and their community offer Dance lessons and demonstrations throughout the Waterfront Blues Festival at the Front Porch Stage.  Additionally they put on three annual ‘Bring The Heat’ dance contests taking place July 4th this year.   They also run an ‘Ask Me Where to Dance’ Booth in the Louisiana Hospitality Pavilion that provides information about where to find live music and dance in the Greater Portland Area.  For the families and children attending the festival they provide a ‘Kids Booth’ featuring music related crafts, sing a longs, dance lessons, activities, and more.  The ‘Kids Booth’ is also located in the Louisiana Pavilion near the Front Porch Stage.

The Portland Blues Experience ‘PBEx’ is a dancer run exchange event where dancers from Portland invite dancers from all over the world to join them for the Portland Waterfront Blues Festival.  They offer hospitality in the form of hosting in their homes, transportation, excursions to experience Portland, meet-ups at the festival, primarily at the Front Porch Stage, DME Boat Cruise and After Hours events, and all night ‘Late Night’ dance parties nightly.

Brenda Russell

Portland Blues Experience founder Brenda Russell believes that the Blues has the power to heal through movement and meditation inspired by the trance inducing rhythms of the Blues, which allow people to connect with and release a wide range of emotions expressed through the music, and embodied in the dance.  In addition Brenda believes our culture is suffering from a lack of organic sensual experiences, including sight, sound, touch, and movement, all of which are provided by the Blues.

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