2024 Winter Music Festival @ Milwaukie Elks Lodge | 2 Stages, 2 Dance Floors, Drinks, Food, Featuring NW Women in Blues, Daniel Castro & More!
From our sponsors:
Winter Music Festival
March 9, 2024
Doors 2PM, Starts 3PM
$35-45 ADV, $50 Doors | All Ages
More info: winterbluesfest.net
Milwaukie Elks Lodge & Ballroom
13121 SE McLoughlin, Milwaukie
As a new year starts, visions of warm weather and music festivals dance in our heads. While that dream of elevated temperatures will have to wait until after winter, live music worthy of any well attended festival won’t have to. The Winter Music Festival will be celebrating its 12th season of bringing the best in local and national talent to an off-season event.
The 2024 festival is at the Milwaukie Elks Lodge & Ballroom, which offers two stages, large dance floors, 3 bars and food menu, on-site parking and is across the street from the MAX Orange line and bus stops.
The popular annual event had its humble beginnings over a kitchen table with a couple friends and a few glasses of wine during a particularly cold-cold snap. Festival founder and coordinator LeAnn Gibbons and her music loving friends found themselves commiserating about the lack of music festivals during winter. “Why do we always have to wait until summer to have festival music”, she pondered, “Let’s do something about it!” and she did just that. Every year the audiences have grown due to the event’s ability to deliver a bigger and better show each time. This year will be no different with chart topping bands and a new to the northwest guitar great.
Daniel Castro is a highly accomplished guitarist, singer/songwriter and is a recent transplant to the Northwest. His music is grounded in blues traditions and is combined with original blues-based material. Well-known for being a dynamic performer who “leaves it all on the stage” night after night, Daniel brings crowds to their feet with his blistering solos, soulful singing, and tight arrangements.
RB Stone is a man who has lived the life that Americana, country, and blues songs are made of. He has a genuine knack for grit and guts with an undeniable talent that keeps audiences electrified. A natural storyteller and songwriter, he is just as skilled at delighting engaged house-concert audiences with his country and folk-leaning songs as he is revving up festival goers with his band-backed blues and rock and roll.
Johnny Wheels & the Swamp Donkeys highlights a singer/songwriter and harmonica player that is inspired by the soul of the Pacific Northwest. The son of a traveling bass player and singer, Johnny “Wheels” Kennicott had music in his blood since birth, but expressing himself musically took on new importance when Johnny when a childhood accident left him paralyzed from the chest down. Johnny found, through determined trial and error, he could manipulate his paralyzed diaphragm to not only sing, but also blow the harmonica. Since that time, Johnny has been traveling the Pacific Northwest music scene with his dedicated band, spreading the gospel of the blues and garnering fans all over, including at the finals at the renowned International Blues Challenge in Memphis.
Billy D & The Hoodoos is heavily influenced by Chicago blues, Rock & Roll, and “Backbeat Roots” music of all types, Billy’s songs reflect the tough lessons of his past. Born on the south side of Chicago, Billy Desmond grew up surrounded by the Blues and early Rock & Roll— a powerful combination. He started playing professionally at the age of fourteen, primarily for teen dances and parties; and by eighteen, he was sneaking into the blues clubs of Chicago to hear such greats as Muddy Waters, Junior Wells, Buddy Guy, and James Cotton.
Sugar Roots featuring Chad Rupp is a Portland-based blues band formed by multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Chad Rupp and includes guitarist Jason “JT” Thomas, keyboardist Pat McDougall, bassist Timmer Blakely and drummer Chandler Bowerman. Their recent recording has been topping music charts.
The Northwest Women Rhythm & Blues group has performed specialty shows produced by Sonny Hess since the early 80s. These unique shows feature top female performers in the region and exposes newly found talent to the Portland blues scene, some have gone on to award winning careers.
Lance Kinnaird is an exceptionally talented singer-songwriter and guitarist, renowned for his captivating performances in the acoustic rock, soul, and blues genres. With a voice that ranges from intimate whispers to the deep, husky, and smoky bellowing of a seasoned troubadour, Lance mesmerizes audiences with his dynamic vocals and his innate ability to convey the raw emotions of a song. His approachability and ability to connect with an audience is well known.
The Winter Blues Festival has helped many charities throughout the years including C.H.A.P. (Children’s Healing Arts Project), the Oregon Food Bank and United By Music. Raffle and silent auction items from jewelry, wine to outdoor baskets this year will go to help Children and Veteran Charities. It also enjoys support from the local business and music communities and is held at the Milwaukie Elks Lodge & Ballroom. The venue offers two stages, large dance floors, a full service bar and food menu. Convenience location across the street from the MAX Orange line with a large parking lot. It is easily accessible from the 205 freeway and is less than 20 minutes from the Portland downtown area via McLoughlin/99E.
Lodging is available nearby at the Milwaukie Inn, and Kings Row in Milwaukie, Best Western Rivershore in Oregon City and Holiday Inn Express in Gladstone. There is also dry camping available at the Lodge and RV camping at Clackamette Park.