November 21 2019
PORTLAND, Oregon - The Cascade Blues Association (CBA) has announced its nominations for the 2019 Muddy Awards. Among those nominated is the Lake Theater & Cafe in the category of "Best Blues Venues" for their Music Mondays series.
Music Mondays is the work of producer, recording artist, and musician Dean Mueller, and his partner, Julie Amici. The Lake Oswego residents began the series in 2014 booking top local talent. Music Mondays now attracts national touring acts that pass through the Northwest.
Early on they realized this was a special place and time, as they were filling a much needed musical experience that lacked in Lake Oswego. The Music Monday series has become a favorite among locals, selling out nearly all of the shows, and drawing in music lovers from beyond the Lake Oswego area.
Along with attracting the high level of performers, Mueller said he is most proud of "earning the support and recognition of the community."
The other two nominations in the category of "Best Blues Venue" are Blue Diamond and Catfish Lou's.
Dean Mueller and Julie Amici, have also been nominated for CBA's "George Page" award, "Back What You Believe In." The award is given to a group or individual who has gone above and beyond to demonstrate a commitment to the blues community.
The other two nominees for the "Back What you Believe In" award are Corey Burden of Cedar House Media and artist Chris Hamman.
The 2019 Cascade Blues Association's Muddy Awards event will take place on November 6 at the Alberta Rose Theater in Portland. _____
Both Mueller and Amici are deeply committed to bringing high-quality music to underserved populations around the state. Through their work as artists and producers, they have developed a network of outstanding musicians to reach those who would not otherwise have the opportunity to experience the joy of live music.
While maintaining a full performance schedule, Julie and Dean see their work as a way to foster a culture of excellence and support within the music community.
Fly Me To The Moon
In 2018, after experiencing first hand the powerful impact live music has on seniors, Mueller and Amici founded Fly Me To The Moon. The program offers enriching opportunities for seniors to enjoy professional live music at retirement communities, assisted living and memory care facilities, and adult community centers.
Since the start of the program, they have created more than 20 shows around the state, many of them at facilities with little or no budget to offer performances of this caliber. In association with Oregon Music Hall of Fame, the group raises funds to ensure the quality of the shows and provide fair wages for musicians. The growing list of artists who participate in the shows includes top musicians from the Blues community.
Fire Mountain Musicfest
In 2019, the couple organized and produced the first annual Fire Mountain Musicfest in cooperation with the Cannon Beach Arts Association (CBAA.) With events in Cannon Beach, Nehalem, and Manzanita, Fire Mountain Musicfest featured over ten performances and several guitar workshops.
The festival was created to help bridge the gap between the underserved coastal communities and some of Portland's top musical talent.
The 10-day festival served as a benefit to support arts and arts education on the north coast, specifically for Fly Me To The Moon and CBAA.
For the festival, Mueller and Amici drew from their network in the blues community, showcasing some of the finest performers in the area. The 2019 lineup included Curtis Salgado & Alan Hager, 3 Leg Torso, Dean & Julie, LaRhonda Steele, Carlton Jackson, Brooks Robertson, Doug Smith, and Mojo Holler.
United by Music North America (UBMNA)
In 2014 Julie and Dean began working with United By Music North America, a unified performance-based program and band for both neurodiverse and neuro-typical people with exceptional musical talent.
As a mentor with the Portland group, led by Amanda Gresham and Dave Fleschner, Amici rehearses and performs regularly with the UBMNA band.
Music Enrichment For Students
In 2019, Julie spearheaded a program with the Mudd-Nick Foundation to create a Musical Enrichment Program to serve students in the Neah-Kah-Nie School District on the Oregon coast.
Building upon the existing music program in the district, Julie's work with the foundation includes sourcing grants, offering workshops, and music clinics, and providing supplemental live music experiences for the students.
"There is no shortage of need," said Mueller, "and we are grateful to be part of this hard-working and generous family of musicians in the Pacific Northwest."
Cascade Blues Association: https://cascadebluesassociation.org/
Fly Me To The Moon: https://www.facebook.com/FlyMeToTheMoonMusic/
Photo: Julie Amici and partner Dean Mueller