The 6th Annual Inner City Blues Festival, “Healing the Healthcare Blues,” returns April 22 to the North Portland Eagles Lodge, 7611 N. Exeter. (at Lombard). The event is a fundraiser for Healthcare for All-Oregon, an advocacy organization working to bring an equitable, affordable, comprehensive, publicly funded health care system to all Oregonians.

The uncertainties about access to health care in the current political climate means that Healthcare for All-Oregon’s work is now more important than ever and what better way to help a good organization help us all but to go hear some of Portland’s finest play live?

The music goes from 5 pm – midnight with an amazing lineup of talent. On the roster are the Norman Sylvester Band, Obo Addy Legacy Project “Okropong”, Mary Flower, Tevis Hodge Jr., Mic Crenshaw, Shoehorn, The Stangetones & Volcano Vixens, Bloco Alegria, Steve Cheseborough, Lloyd “Have Mercy” Jones, Tony Ozier “Doo Doo Funk”, the Mad as Hell Doctors, Nurses & Interns! and the celebrity MCs: Paul Knauls, Renee Mitchell & Ken Boddie.

If six hours of music isn’t enough, there will be a silent auction, two bars and dinner and dessert for purchase, as well as tabling by community organizations.

Portland guitarist Norman Sylvester says “I have played too many benefits for musicians who fell ill or, more tragically, played for their Celebration of Life. They didn’t have preventative care because of years of not being able to afford healthcare. Health Care is a Human Right!” (

Portland’s First Lady of the Blues LaRhonda Steel says “Universal health care means Freedom to me. Without the concerns of enormous debt, we are allowed to be fully who we are. Also the weight of concern for our brothers and sisters who can’t afford proper healthcare would be lifted and thus lifting all our hearts.” (

Admission $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Available at; Music Millennium, 3158 E Burnside; Geneva’s Shear Perfection, 5601 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd.; Peninsula Station, 8316 N. Lombard; Musician’s Union Hall, 325 NE 20th Ave.