The blues is one of the most important musical forms in pop and jazz. Besides being the foundation for both early rock and jazz, the blues has been called the only truly unique genre of music developed in America. From its roots in the late 19th century to the present day, the blues has performed a thousand different ways but it always speaks to something essential and emotionally truthful. On September 7 and 9, the CGOA Jazz Collective Big Band presents a pair of concerts called “Just the Blues,” featuring special guests Ernie Sterno and the Blind Drunks, a blues trio made up of Ben Bonham, Jeff Minnick and Don Campbell. Between the Jazz Collective and Ernie Sterno, the concert will highlight both powerful large ensemble versions of the blues -- made popular by such writers as Doc Severinsen, Sammy Nestico and Buddy Rich -- but more intimate blues by such artists as Eddy Clearwater and Little Walter. Now in its third year, the Jazz Collective Big Band is made up of local and regional music educators, professional musicians and highly experienced amateurs, and the focus is on playing the best and most challenging big band jazz. This season the Collective will be presenting an evening-long tribute to Duke Ellington as well as playing a pair of swing dances at the HR Elks and in The Dalles. Ben Bonham’s Ernie Sterno and the Blind Drunks was formed a few year ago to play the blues, one of Bonham’s favorite and formative genres of music, which he said “has always spoken to me louder than anything else I have heard or played.” Coming soon! "Write Your Own Blues" and have your lyrics performed at the concert! Watch your email inbox or CGOA Facebook page for information. Performances are September 7 at 7:30 PM, September 9 at 2 PM. Wy'east Middle School Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $20 Adults, $15 for CGOA Members, $5 kids 10-17 and free for kids under 10. Tickets and more info at gorgeorchestra.org.