Curtis Salgado

Curtis Salgado born on February 4, 1954 in Everett, Washington. His family moved to Eugene, Oregon when he was one and he grew up there listening to jazz, and to his father, an aspiring singer of classical music. 
His ambitions coalesced when, at age 12, he saw Count Basie’s band perform in Eugene. Curtis became a part of the burgeoning Northwest blues scene starting in 1972 with a band called Three-Fingered Jack. 
Eventually he hooked up with up-and-coming guitarist/vocalist Robert Cray, and recorded the album “Who’s Been Talking.” 
In six years with Robert, the higher level of visibility enabled Salgado to sit in with the likes of Muddy Waters, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Albert Collins and Bonnie Raitt. 
Aside from being a tremendous vocalist, Curtis is one of the finest blues harmonica players in the country. Salgado was the inspiration behind John Belushi's creation of the Blues Brothers characters in 1979. They met and became friends while Belushi was in Eugene, Oregon filming the movie Animal House. The Blues Brother's debut album Briefcase Full of Blues is dedicated to Salgado and Cab Calloway's character in The Blues Brothers film is named after Curtis. Curtis took the actor under his wing and schooled him on blues and R & B history, which Belushi soaked up like a sponge, and used a good portion of Curtis’ show as the basis for the Blues Brothers act he and Dan Akroyd put together. The first Blues Brothers album was dedicated to Curtis. For six years he performed with Robert Cray's band, and sang lead on Cray's debut album. Later in 1995 he spent a short stint as the lead vocalist with the latin rock band, Santana.

Salgado was diagnosed with liver cancer in 2005 and underwent a successful liver transplant in 2006. He continues to record and perform his music. On June 13, 2006 a benefit concert was held in his honor in Portland to raise funds for his medical treatment. Among those who performed were Little Charlie and the Nightcats, the alternative rock band Everclear, Taj Mahal, The Robert Cray Band, and Steve Miller. Also in attendance was the widow of John Belushi who spoke of Salgado's part in the development of The Blues Brothers. On April 29, 2007 another benefit was held in Curtis' honor, bringing Steve Miller and Little Charlie and the boys back, and adding Jimmie Vaughan, and harp players Charlie Musselwhite and Kim Wilson.

Salgado has been nominated for four of the Blues Foundation's 2009 National Blues Awards, including Soul Blues Male Artist of the Year and Soul Blues Album of the year for his album, Clean Getaway. In 2010 Salgado finally won the Blues Foundations Soul Blues Male Artist of the Year award.

In the Blues award he said “I’m playing music with the most incredible people, he says. I've got everything to be grateful for. To me, I’ve won the lottery, I’ve won all the Grammys.  It makes me humble. So I’m just trying to stick to my guns, perfect my craft and make great music!”

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