Mel Brown B-3 Organ Group with Andy Stokes

Day 01

Main Stage

2:00 PM

An Oregon icon, Mel Brown has been labeled the “Gentleman of Jazz,” with a career spanning over sixty years. The city of Portland proclaimed June 22, 1989, Mel Brown Day in recognition of Mel’s achievements as a musician and educator. He received the Governor’s Arts Award in 2002, and he is also a member of the Oregon Music Hall of Fame.

Mel first made his mark as a Motown staff drummer, recording and touring with Martha Reeves, The Temptations, Smokey Robinson, and others. He subsequently spent ten years working with Diana Ross and other pop acts before giving up the road in 1991 and returning home to his first love: jazz.

Mel has been a fixture in Portland ever since. He led different groups six nights each week for 20 years at Portland’s Jimmy Mak’s and other venues. These days, he still gigs twice a month with his “B-3 Organ Group” at the Jack London Revue and every Friday at Salty’s with his piano trio. Mel has also stayed busy recording, playing big band gigs, and backing top visiting artists. And somehow, Mel has kept up this busy musical schedule while maintaining a day job as a tax accountant!

Andy Stokes is “The Northwest King Of Soul Music,” but he’d never sung with another NW legend — former Motown drummer Mel Brown — until a Portland club gig back in December.   Cross one item off of Andy’s bucket list! The two had so much fun together that they decided to team up again at this year’s Waterfront Blues Festival. Making the festival set extra special is that Mel will be celebrating his 80th birthday!

As at their earlier meeting, Mel and Andy will be joined by Mel’s “B-3 Organ Group” — organist “King Louie” Pain, guitarist Dan Balmer, and Renato Caranto. But for this very special WBF performance, Mel’s son Christopher Brown will join the group on sax and drums alongside his dad. You won’t want to miss this set!

Jul 01
Jul 04