Curtis Salgado

Baker Electric stage

3:30 p.m.

Take a listen!

 From early adolescence, Curtis Salgado had his mind set on being a blues performer.

Inspired by after first seeing Count Basie’s orchestra and later hearing Little Walter’s harmonica, Salgado was off and running on his career at the age of 16.

Only a handful of years later, a chance meeting with John Belushi in Eugene, Ore., and it was Salgado himself who would prove the inspiration of Belushi and Dan Aykroyd’s Blues Brothers show.

From there he was a journeyman blues and R&B singer and harmonica player for first-rate acts such as the Robert Cray Band, Roomful of Blues and Santana, while also running his own bands in between.

And, then he was diagnosed with liver cancer in 2005 and needed a liver replacement. For a lifelong musician with no medical insurance, this was a bleak moment. His musician friends rallied, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for his surgery, but it still wasn’t enough. And, then an unknown male fan in the Midwest cashed in part of his retirement account to fund singer’s surgery.

Recuperating from his 2007 operation might have been the real start of the bluesman’s career.  Months later, he stood before an adoring crowd on the Legendary Rhythm & Blues cruise and said that “the blues literally saved my life. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for my blues friends.”

 Since then, Salgado has been a man possessed. He’s battled lung cancer twice, but his passion and his musical acuity have never been as sharp. He sings with conviction every time out of the box.

Seventeen of his 18 Blues Music Award nominations have come since his first surgery, including all nine wins. He’s won best Soul Blues Male Artist of the Year four times and the coveted B.B. King Entertainer of the Year Award in 2013.

 It’s safe to say, that Salgado has hit a high point in his career.

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