Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Curtis Salgado is seriously ill.

Curtis Salgado, the fine Northwest harp player and vocalist, has been diagnosed with liver cancer. The following is a press release from his web site ( regarding his illness:

April 17, 2006


Singer Curtis Salgado has been diagnosed with liver cancer and has begun preparations for treatment according to his longtime friend and manager Shane Tappendorf.

Salgado who is battling a chronic liver condition will receive treatments next month with the hope of a liver transplant surgery in the future.

"I am fortunate to be under the care of an incredible team of doctors and nurses and am inspired by the courageous people that have faced this fight before me," the 52-year-old performer said from his home this week. "I am also extremely grateful for the overwhelming support from my family and friends."

A concert performance in Spokane, WA has been rescheduled for June 3rd and doctors are confident that Curtis and his band will be able to continue to perform this year.

The singer-songwriter and harmonica idol was raised in Eugene, OR where he is best known as the inspiration for John Belushi's character of Joliet Jake in the Blues Brothers as well as his six year involvement with the Robert Cray Band. Salgado went on to become a member of the Grammy Award winning band Roomful of Blues and enjoyed a short stint as vocalist for Santana. The former Handy Award nominee has currently been working in Nashville, TN on new material for his next album as a follow-up to his last three critically acclaimed CDs for Shanachie Entertainment.

In the Pacific Northwest, Salgado is also highly respected for his 17 year commitment to sobriety and for his continued dedication and countless speaking engagements in educating young people on the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse.

A special account has been created for donations to help Salgado with medical costs and an all-star benefit concert is also being planned.

Donations can be made for the "Curtis Salgado Fund" at any US Bank or can be mailed to: US Bancorp, 2550 NW 188th Avenue, Hillsboro, OR 97124.

I remember the first time I saw Curtis. I saw him with the Robert Cray Band at the old Hibble & Hyde's nightclub in Seattle's Pioneer Square in the early '80s. This was a friggin' great band, which also include Dave Stewart on vocals and piano, and Richard Cousins on bass. These guys could do it all, from gritty blues, to Southern soul, to Charlie Rich's "Mohair Sam."

Curtis Salgado and Lloyd Jones at the Waterfront Blues Festival - Portland, OR 1988

The Curtis Salgado Band at the Owl cafe - Seattle, WA 1989

Later on I saw Curtis perform many times at the Jolly Roger Roadhouse in Lake City with In Yo' Face (which included guitarists Lloyd Jones and Joel Foy), and also at the Owl Cafe in Ballard with his own band. Sometimes members of In Yo' Face would flop at my house during the Jolly Roger gigs, and I received a couple of impromptu harp lessons from Curtis during that time.

Keep a good thought for Curtis' recovery, and keep an eye out for the all-star benefits that are sure to occur in the Portland, OR area in the near future.


Anonymous said...


I sent you an e-mail with a Curtis update for the blog.


Tall Cool One said...

My favorite memory of Curtis was a gig at the Ballard Firehouse - we sat through an opening band that was just okay, and then Curtis' crack band got up there and played a little, sounding real nice, and then Curtis came gliding out on the stage in these leopard skin bedroom slippers, moving like James Brown in slow motion, and slid over to the microphone, and said "Well now, looks like we got you all simmering along pretty good, but now it's time to turn up the gas, and bring things to a BOIL! And that's just what he did!