Statement of Solidarity
As with many Americans, we at Bubbaville looked on in horror and disgust at the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. We condemn not only the racism and injustice inherent in that act, but also the entrenched systems within our culture that enable and sustain these injustices.
As primarily white supporters of traditional American music and dance, we feel it’s important to acknowledge the role that the music and traditions we love play in upholding those systems of injustice, from song lyrics and origins that denigrate people of color to the erasure of contributions by people of color to the music we hold dear. We also understand that these quieter manifestations of racism and white supremacy contribute directly to a culture that devalues black and brown lives and allows such acts as the brutal murders of George Floyd, Amaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and so many others.
We can, and must, do better. We pledge to do the following, and we invite our fellow white supporters of traditional music to do the same:
- We will acknowledge our privilege and step back, listen, and help to elevate diverse voices.
- We will strive to be more critical of our history and traditions, while listening to, learning from, and supporting Black, Indigenous, and People of Color in our community.
- We will strive to be more inclusive in both our organization and our events, and work to make our spaces more welcoming to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.
- We will acknowledge the vital contributions made by people of color to our music and dance traditions.
- We will make it a priority to support the people of color who are working to carry our musical traditions forward; we will amplify their work and their voices.
- We will call out instances of racism in our community, even when it is uncomfortable and inconvenient.
- We will do everything we can as an organization to work for justice and equity.
Portland Old Time Music Gathering 2020
The 21st Annual Portland Old Time Music Gathering has come and gone and it was a blast. Along with visiting Artist in Residence Bruce Molsky and so many more wonderful performers it was a wonderful time. Many thanks to all the hardworking volunteers and musicians who made it all happen. You can still see all the info for the 2020 Gathering at the Gathering Page.
Congratulations to our Bubba Award winner Tony Mates!
The Bubba Award strives to honor a special person in the Northwest old-time community who has committed a good portion of his/her life to making it a fun, inspiring group to be a part of. The ideal person is someone who may often not be noticed or rewarded – perhaps because he/she serves behind the scenes and does not tend to gravitate towards the spotlight – but who has contributed something unique to the community over the years. Click here to check out past Bubba Award winners.
In vetting nominations for this award, we consider the following criteria – tenure, service, community building, a wicked sense of humor and a unique sense of style.
The 2020 Bubba Award winner Tony Mates is someone who has made consistent contributions to our community for decades, with the good humor, welcoming spirit, energizing leadership, dedication, and style that exemplify “bubbaness.”
Tony is an excellent musician, playing fiddle tunes, singing out of the way songs, and providing thoughtful backup on guitar and bass, even setting up the sound system if necessary. He has branched out to explore many kinds of traditional music, and cheerfully leads regular open old-time jams in the community.
Tony is even better known for teaching and spreading the joy of square dance calling and dancing. Through his efforts organizing community groups and events, as well as leading workshops and providing mentorship, Tony has made sure that a new generation of square dance callers is ready to take the stage.
Tony’s overall kindness and gentle spirit permeates the inclusive approach he takes to leading jams and social dances. People feel good about being in a square dance the is calling, and he naturally gravitates toward letting new and young people have opportunities.
Tony is very funny, with a special emphasis on word play. As for personal style, folks have described it as “not pretentious,” and “You won’t mistake him for an investment banker.”
Finally, Tony is resourceful and inventive: making whipped cream at Weiser with a beater attached to a battery-powered drill!
The CD created in 2018 from Gathering recordings met a enthusiastic response at the Gathering, and has been a steady seller across the country this past year. You can order your own copy or pick one up for a gift by contacting the committee at PortlandGatheringMerch@gmail.com. It will also be available at the next Gathering at the merch table.