Beat the blues at Tacoma music festival

Tacoma music festival is an all-day tribute

Staff writerApril 4, 2014 

Cee Cee James is one of the artists playing the Gray Sky Blues Music Festival on Saturday.


Whatever color the sky outside is, the blues will go on inside Saturday at the Seventh Annual Gray Sky Blues Music Festival. The free music festival features 10 acts.

As in years past, the festival starts after the Tacoma Daffodil Parade. The all-ages event has shows at The Harmon Brewery & Eatery, The Swiss Restaurant & Pub and an after-festival party at The Stonegate Pizza and Rum Bar. A cover charge is added for the Arthur Migliazza trio and Cee Cee James performances at the Swiss.

In 2013, James, a Grants Pass, Ore. resident, won Song of the Year at Blues Blast Magazine for “I Got A Right To Sing The Blues” (with Rob “Slideboy” Andrews). She will be taking the stage at The Swiss at 6 p.m.

The Arthur Migliazza trio will open for James at 4 p.m. Migliazza represented the South Sound Blues Association at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis earlier this year and made it to the finals.

Also performing is Jack Gaffney, a young keyboard player from Boulder, Colo. Gaffney represented the Colorado Blues Society in the Youth Showcase at the International Blues Challenge. He will perform at the Harmon Brewery at 3:45 p.m.

The final performer at The Harmon will be Tacoma’s 16-year-old guitar sensation Nolan Garrett.

The after-party at Stonegate Pizza and Bar starts with blues in the loft with Steve Cooley and the Dangerfields. Music continues downstairs with Junction 61-49. Appearances will be made by other musicians who performed elsewhere during the day. The after-party is open to people 21 and older only.

The festival is produced by the Tacoma Events Commission and sponsored by the South Sound Blues Association.

Gray Sky Blues Music Festival

When: Saturday after Daffodil Parade

Where: The Swiss Restaurant & Pub, 1904 S. Jefferson Ave., Tacoma; The Harmon Brewery & Eatery, 1938 Pacific Ave. S., Tacoma; Stonegate Pizza and Rum Bar, 5419 South Tacoma Way, Tacoma

Tickets: Free except for after-party and headliners

Information: tacomaevents. com,


The Swiss ($10 cover charge starts at 3:30 p.m)

1-2 p.m.: The Cody Rentas Band

2:30-3:30 p.m.: Brian Lee and the Orbiters

4-5:30 p.m.: Arthur Migliazza trio

6-7:30 p.m.: Cee Cee James

The Harmon

Noon-12:45 p.m.: Fistful of Dollars

1-2 p.m.: The Mark Riley Trio

2:30-3:30 p.m.: Maia Santell and House Blend

3:45-4:15 p.m.: Jack Gaffney

4:30–5:30 p.m.: Nolan Garrett

Stonegate Pizza

8:30 p.m-midnight: Steve Cooley and the Dangerfields

10 p.m-1 a.m.: Junction 61-49

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