Norman Sylvester has made music since he was a young boy. Born in 1945 in Bonita, Louisiana, Norman and his family moved to the northwest in 1957 when he was 12 years old. Those first 12 years of his life in the south left their mark and his love of Blues, R&B, & Gospel never left him.
Norman started performing in the Portland Area in 1985 and since that time he, his band, and the music community he surrounds himself with have knitted themselves into the fabric of the Northwest music community. Norman has shared the stage with some of the greats. BB King, Buddy Guy, Otis Clay, Tower of Power, just to name a few but the artists that hold an extra special spot in his heart are local musicians that have created the rich music culture right here in Portland.
This love for local music artists is what first brought him to Marquis Piedmont almost a decade ago to offer a free concert on the lawn at the facility in honor of a musician friend of his who was a resident at the time. Even though his friend passed, he chooses to honor his friend every year by creating a concert with local music artists that volunteer their time for the concert. Norman organizes the entire concert.
When asked why he’s done it for so many years he explained that, ‘Music heals.’ Norman was forced to pause the concert at Marquis Piedmont in 2020 but brought it back in 2021 and again this year. He explained that this free concert on the lawn and the gift he gives to the residents is a highlight of his year.
A senior himself, Norman is celebrating his 77th birthday. When asked about his birthday he smiled and offered, ‘I’m telling everyone this is my double ‘O’ 7’s birthday.” Watch the Video above for an interview with Norman Sylvester.