Friends of Noise is a non-profit arts organization built on the values of collectivism and restorative justice. We seek to transform the culture of BIPOC and LGBTQ+ youth access to the music industry, by hosting all-ages concerts throughout Portland, providing professional development for teen sound engineers, and empowering youth to advocate for themselves. They are proud to present some truly gifted all-ages talent at this year’s Waterfront Blues Festival, with performances and stage crew support on Saturday and Sunday at the Crossroads Stage.
Saturday’s performances include Bass Pancake, Grace Griot, Teeth and Mei Anna. Bass Pancake is a group of college and high school students who met in a jazz lab, now exploring a mix of jazzed-up video game music and jazz standards. Grace Griot is a sing-out-loud, dance-in-the-rain kind of songstress, performing soul sounds (a mixture of R&B, hip-hop, blues and gospel). She was influenced by the old-school music her mother introduced her to as a child — music that would get her up on her chair, bellowing with the beat into a carrot. Teeth is an alternative hard-rock BIPOC band from Portland looking to express themselves creatively and make the world a better place. Mei Anna is a folk and blues acoustic singer, guitarist, and songwriter, as well as a full-time college student in Illinois studying Psychology and Music.
Sunday’s performances include RiverCity Rock Star Academy Royals, Serenity, Portland Jazz Collective and Veana Baby. The Royals are RiverCity Rock Star Academy’s audition-based program for teens and young adults. The Royals cover a wide range of genres, mostly within the “rock” umbrella, from ballads to blues, to heavy metal. Serenity is a young Afro-Latina woman performing R&B and soul. She loves to sing and create serene songs where her audience can feel lifted and healed. Portland Jazz Collective has been playing together since the summer of 2021, drawing inspiration from jazz legends Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, and Wynton Kelly. Veana Baby is a producer, and singer-songwriter from Minnesota, performing neo-soul and R&B. After moving to Portland to pursue music, Veana Baby dropped an EP, a multitude of singles, and has an album coming out in late May, Golden Hour.