“HEALING THE HEALTHCARE BLUES”
“IN THE GROOVE OF LOVE”
SATURDAY APRIL 13th ~ 6 pm-12 am
615 SE Alder St. Portland, or 97214
*7:00-7:40 Richard Arnold “Tribute to the Crooners”
*7:40-7:50 Health Care for All -Oregon introduction
*7:50-8:30 Portland’s Blues Legend Lloyd Allen
*8:30-8:55 Shoehorn “Tapping Sax man”
*8:55-9:55 DK Stewart Band’s Etta James Tribute “Tell Mama”
* 9:55-10:05 Mad as Hell Doctors “Mad Minutes”
*10:05-10:50 Norman Sylvester w/Ben Rice “Blues Stain’s on my Hands”
*10:50-11:10 Chatta Addy & friends African Drum Processi
Honoring the late Obo Addy”
*11:10-12:00 Andy Stoke & LaRhonda Steele “Motown Songbook
Celebrity MC’s Renee Mitchell & Paul Knauls
in our Community Village of tables & raffle items
*6:00pm- 9:00pm Steve Cheseborough
SEE PHOTOS BELOW
Norman Sylvester's health care story
Norman “Boogie Cat” Sylvester always has made sure he has Health Insurance. As a young man, playing Music full time was never an option because of the need to carry Health Insurance for his 5 children. When his career in the Trucking Industry ended from his Company’s Bankruptcy, he finally decided to pursue his love for Music now that the kids were grown and fate gave him “nothing to lose”. This was the beginning of the successful 25-plus years of The Norman Sylvester Band!
Remarried in 1994, the Boogie Cat’s family grew now to eight children, and he was almost “too happy to sing the blues.” Then in 2000 Norman was told that the pain he had been living with the past years was due to both of his hips being worn down, and he was experiencing “bone on bone” pain. Norman spent the next year-and-a-half replacing both hips and recovering from the surgeries. With over $20,000 in debt from their portion of the surgeries and shortage of income from time away from playing music and their other income of a janitorial business, his wife. Paula, went to work for a corporation full-time to catch up financially and pay for the Insurance coverage. The next four years Norman played music, managed the janitorial company and ran the house with a teenager and pre-schooler still home. Not a lot of rest, but like many families… they did what was needed.
Next came two very bad car accidents nine months apart, resulting in new hip replacements and therapy. Paula had to leave her job to take over his many “hats” and to wear one more, a “nurse hat”! Thank God they always made sure they had Insurance or they would not have been able to recover from the $100,000 for each surgery. The problem at this point was that they had to stay with the very inflated Insurance company’s premium, due to “pre-existing conditions.” Norman’s family health insurance cost had blown up to $1,200 a month. With some help from the Musician’s Union and Music Cares (aid to performers), they kept afloat. The day that Norman turned 65 could not have come any sooner, as it saved a slipping situation. They made it to Medicare!!!
The family volunteers in the community, plays many music benefits, and lends support to many individuals. The number of illnesses and, sadly. deaths from lack of health care resources are multiplying. Norman is attending more and more funerals of fellow musicians who have died from not being able to afford health care.
Norman Sylvester was inducted into the Oregon Music Hall of Fame in 2011, and he feels so blessed that his situation had a happy ending. That is why he is working with Health Care for All- Oregon and booking the Second Annual “Healing the Health Care Blues Festival” on Saturday, April 13th at the Melody Ballroom in Portland. Tickets are $15 HERE. And sample Norman's music HERE.