Work for Art announces line-up for Battle of the Bands competition on May 12

PORTLAND, ORE — Bankers, lawyers, surgeons and engineers will be among the unlikely musicians competing in Work for Art’s first annual Battle of the Bands on Thursday, May 12 at the Crystal Ballroom. Tickets are only $10, on sale now at the Crystal Ballroom box office and online. A limited number of VIP tickets are available for $100 each, including reserved seating, hosted food and beverage, and validated parking. All proceeds benefit Work for Art and its tenth anniversary campaign to raise $1 million for local arts and culture organizations.

Seven bands, made up of employees who play music on the side, will compete in front of family, friends, coworkers and a panel of celebrity judges. Several prizes will be awarded including the title of Best Company Band. Audiences will select an “Audience Favorite” as determined by the band that receives the most donations the night of the event.

Doors open at 6:00 p.m. Food and beverages are available for purchase, and guests will have an opportunity bid on 10 exciting silent auction packages to help raise money for the cause. As a warm-up act, Brothers Jam will perform at 6:45 p.m., featuring BodyVox artistic director Jamey Hampton and his brother David, both of whom work at Hampton Lumber.

The main event begins at 7:00 p.m., emceed by KPTV Fox 12 Oregon feature reporter Joe Vithayathil and local musical theater star Merideth Kaye Clark. The competing bands include:

  • Burgerville, Dystopia
  • Kaiser Permanente, Members Only
  • KeyBank, The Red Keys
  • Portland General Electric, Larry and the Lightbulbs
  • The Standard, Smoke Before Fire
  • Tonkon Torp, The Legal Limit
  • ZGF Architects, Pencil Skirt Paula and The Straight Edge Rulers

The judging panel includes three local music industry celebrities:

Dave Allen is founding member and bass player for Gang of Four and Shriekback, owner of the World Domination record label, and current Director of Artist Advocacy for Beats Music.

Christopher Brown is the drummer and bandleader for the Christopher Brown Jazz Quartet.  He has performed and/or recorded with Beyoncé, Esperanza Spalding, the Marsalis brothers and many others.

Rindy Ross is the lead singer and saxophonist of Quarterflash and The Trail Band. She was inducted into the Oregon Music Hall of Fame in 2007 and serves as a mentor of young artists.

At approximately 9:00 p.m., while the judges deliberate and the cash is counted, the Portland Timbers Army band Greenhorn will perform. Timber Joey and Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish will be on hand to help announce the winners at the end of the evening.

This is the first event of its kind for Work for Art, which is an annual campaign to raise money and awareness for local arts and culture organizations. Last year, the campaign raised $750,396, primarily through workplace giving. This year, in celebration of Work for Art’s tenth anniversary, organizers aspire to raise $1 million by June 30.

“This new event will help us take Work for Art to the next level,” said Mike Golub, president of business for the Portland Timbers and co-chair of this year’s Work for Art campaign. “Through our workplace giving campaigns over the last nine and a half years, we have raised more than $7 million and built Work for Art into a strong mechanism for employees to support arts and culture in our region. Now we get to put some of those same employees in the spotlight and we invite the community to come cheer them on.”

Battle of the Bands is sponsored by headliners Burgerville, KeyBank, Portland General Electric, The Portland Timbers and The Standard. Co-sponsors include Alpha Media/KINK 101.9 FM, NW Natural, The Oregon Cultural Trust, Portland Business Journal and Willamette Week.

“We are excited to sponsor this event because we know how important it is to support arts organizations and arts education in our community,” said David R. Lofland, president of KeyBank Oregon and SW Washington and co-chair of this year’s Work for Art campaign. “This is also proving a fun way to celebrate the creativity of our employees – even bankers have some amazing hidden artistic talents!”

In a related fundraiser, event goers and the public at large can purchase tickets to be entered into a raffle to win a handcrafted electric guitar, built by Burgerville president Jeff Harvey. The guitar is valued at $3,000 and the winning ticket will be drawn at approximately 9:00 p.m. on May 12. The winner need not be present to win. Raffle tickets are $20 each and are available at

Work for Art is a program of the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC), which distributes a full 100% of all Work for Art donations, including Battle of the Bands proceeds, to arts organizations in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties. For more information visit


The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) provides grants for artists, nonprofit organizations and schools in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties; manages an internationally acclaimed public art program; raises money and awareness for the arts through Work for Art; convenes forums, networking events and other community gatherings; provides workshops and other forms of technical assistance for artists; and oversees a program to integrate arts and culture into the standard curriculum in public schools through The Right Brain Initiative. RACC values a diversity of artistic and cultural experiences and is working to build a community in which everyone can participate in culture, creativity and the arts. For more information visit