I recently participated in Ladies Rock Camp, a program of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp for Girls that’s held twice a year. This three-day event is unlike anything I’ve ever done before. You sign up to either learn or improve your skills on the instrument of your choice — drums, guitar, bass, keyboard or vocals. Once you’re at camp, you form a band, write a song, learn how to play your instrument and perform a show on the final day.
What struck me most when we were introducing ourselves on the first day is how many ladies were from places other than Portland. At one point, I started to think that the locals were in the minority. There were people from Tennessee, Michigan, a couple of different areas in California, Illinois and Australia. Some of these ladies were here for the first time, while others had been before.
I’ve always known that people visit town for music events like the Blues Festival, the Portland Jazz Festival and MusicfestNW, but this was a new way for me to look at Portland’s musical appeal. We all had a great time. The out-of-towners enjoyed themselves, and I heard several planning to come back and spend more time in the area, to which I give an approving thumbs-up. (more…)