The Oregon Bluegrass Association is dedicated to the promotion, preservation, and performance of bluegrass and related music.
Founded in 1982, the Oregon Bluegrass Association (OBA), is a volunteer-run, 501(c) (3), non-profit arts organization consisting consists of both individual and band memberships. Based in Portland, Oregon, the OBA has chapters in both Salem and Roseburg, and is the umbrella organization for the Chick Rose School of Bluegrass.
The OBA is led by an elected Board of Directors who volunteer for two-year terms. Monthly meetings are open to all members and an Annual Meeting is held for the state-wide and regional members. Financial support for the OBA comes from membership dues, fundraising events, tax-deductible donations, merchandise sales and advertising revenue from the Bluegrass Express, the award-winning member newsletter.
Jams and Festivals
As far as we’re concerned, having fun picking together, is just about as good as it gets! The OBA sponsors four jams, including monthly Portland, Salem and Roseburg area jams, and a weekly “Off-Key, Easy Jam” in Portland. Newcomers are always welcome!
The OBA also participates in numerous festivals throughout the year; doing anything from sponsoring a hospitality suite, where Oregon bands are showcased and members gather to jam, to supporting performing bands by providing volunteers to sell CDs.
OBA Bluegrass and Old Time Picker’s Fest
We even have our own festival, the OBA Bluegrass and Old Time Picker’s Fest is a three-day, all-ages camp out featuring workshops, performances, and jams, in addition to square dances and communal meals. It has quite a reputation for being a good time, bringing folks from Washington, Idaho, California and even Canada. The event is entirely run by member volunteers.
OBA Streaming Radio Station
We host a 24 x7 streaming radio station that focuses on Northwest talent but also includes a healthy dose of everything going in the bluegrass scene.
The Annual Members Meeting
Similar to the Picker’s Fest is the Annual Members Meeting held every April. It’s like a mini-festival; with plentiful jamming, good eats and tons of fun, in addition to the business meeting.
Giving back to the community
The OBA also provides limited financial and logistical support for other musical endeavors that enrich of the bluegrass community. Such as helping to underwrite Music from the True Vine, the longest playing bluegrass radio program west of the Mississippi, on KBOO FM. Various educational workshops are also supported throughout the year, including a past banjo workshop with nationally-known musician and instructor, Murphy Henry.
Chick Rose School of Bluegrass and the Waller Grant
Cultivating the next generation of “pickers” is essential to the OBA mission. The Chick Rose School of Bluegrass, otherwise known as Chick’s Kids, is a program “dedicated to sharing the fun of bluegrass with youth.” Chick began the program in 1992, reaching over a thousand students before his death in 2011, after which CK officially became part of the OBA. Check out the School of Bluegrass page to learn more!
We also offer grants one a year to adults wishing to take their bluegrass skills to the next level. This is a needs based grant, applications are due by March 1 and awarded at our annual members meeting in April.