Dedicated to the perpetuation of blues, jazz and gospel as an art form indigenous to America
Blues and it's Jazz counterpart, are the only true American music form. It's beginnings are rooted in the work songs of the West African slaves in the South. During their back-breaking work in the fields of Southern plantations slaves developed a "call and response" way of singing to give rhythm to the drudgery of their servitude. The "field hollers" served as the foundation of all blues music and eventually much of the popular American music that we know today.
There is no exact date blues was founded, however, W. C Handy documented its unusual sound in 1903, and later wrote Memphis Blues" in 1909. Throughout the early 20th century, blues evolved and became more popular. As Blacks migrated from rural to urban centers, blues followed. It was ever changing, influenced and developed into other types of musical forms such as country, rock and roll, soul and rockabilly. Blues is often overlooked as the foundation for much of today’s music. The Rolling Stones, Michael Jackson, The Temptations, and Lady Gaga's music is all rooted in blues.
Most people associate blues with Chicago, Memphis, St. Louis, Mississippi and Kansas City and often overlook the West Coast as a center for blues. People fail to recognize the contribution and impact the West Coast had on the development of blues, jazz, rhythm and blues and gospel music. Many West Coast Communities in California such as Oakland, Hayward-Russell City, Pittsburg, Richmond, Vallejo and Los Angeles, as well as Seattle, Washington all have deep roots in the music idiom.
The West Coast Blues Society recognizes blues music and it's cultural value as an indigenous American art form. We are dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Blues, Jazz, Rhythm and Blues and Gospel music as American folk music. We will raise awareness and ensure these art forms will not be lost through workshops, lectures, public performances and educational programs and activities.