Newel Briggs

Harmonica Summit 2_200xIn 2004 Newel was diagnosed with stage 3 prostate cancer. It had spread outside capsule and almost to his lymph system. He then underwent 8 weeks of radiation treatments 5 days a week and started hormonal therapy a few days after the radiation started. The first doctor to diagnose Newel only gave him 5 years to survive. He is here today 12 years later thankfully, but still in a constant fight for his life.

Recently Newel had to go back into surgery for the aggressive prostate cancer that he has been fighting all of these years. He’s back to bed rest and recovery. Over the years the side effects of the medications and the other ongoing treatments have taken a toll on Newels body and quality of life.  We’re trying to raise fifteen thousand dollars worth of assistance to help he and his family get back on their feet.  A vital and beautiful member of our music community needs your help.

*Make your tax-deductible donation online to Newel Briggs Relief Fund


The Jeremy Wilson Foundation
ATT: Newel Briggs

Make checks payable to The Jeremy Wilson Foundation and put Newel Briggs in the note section of your check as a desired recipient.  Please include your email address so we may easily get you your donation receipt.

*PLEASE NOTE: (We are required to state this) Your contribution is made with the understanding that the Jeremy Wilson Foundation has complete control and administration over the use of your donated funds.


“Cancer doesn’t only create havoc on the body, it creates havoc on the pocketbook. Newel really needs our help right now. Please do whatever you can to help Newel and his family during this difficult time. If he was in better shape, he would do the same for his friends.” Terry Currier – owner Music Millennium

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Newel and his family have lived in their home for 18 years and dread the thought of becoming homeless.

Newel was employed at Open Meadow Schools for 10 years, but was laid off 3 years ago. Due to his illness, he’s been unemployed for the past 3 years. Newel says, “I would go to job interviews and suffer through having nausea and hot flashes while trying to interview for a job. Needless to say I did not have many call backs. I think the interviewers thought I was being untruthful because of the side effects of my medications and how they were making me feel.”

During the time that he’s been unemployed, Newel has used up all of his retirement savings, pawned what he doesn’t need for gigs and is now seriously behind on mortgage and will be in the process of foreclosure soon.

“Newel’s smile, sense of humor and family stories never fail to captivate but itOregon Cultural Trust Promo_200x is his sincere LOVE – of family, life, music, people – that opens hearts and changes lives. In his years working with youth at Open Meadow his sincerity was the foundation for relationships rarely experienced by some young people in our community. Newel showed them trust, respect, humor, and positive expression. Today there are young men and women who have built successful, self-sufficient, positive lives on this foundation touched by Newel.” Nanci Werts former coworker

“Newel has been our friend for over twenty-five years. He personifies music, love, joy and family. His contribution to the community through music has changed and improved many young lives with his teaching and mentoring over the years. He and his wife, Denise were generous beyond compare and always there, back in difficult years of single dadhood, to help with childcare and friendship. He was a great employee at Artichoke and a true friend. Newel is a delightful and talented human being – and a brilliant guitarist in all manner of blues and Island music. Newel is like family. Whatever Newel needs, come together and let’s make sure he gets it – with love and support.” Steve Einhorn & Kate Powers duo Quality Folk


Grandparent Pictures9_x300During the mid to late 70’s, while in college I performed with bands such as Ruben Ramos & the Mexican Revolution, Dan Del Santo, Umoja, and Skyway. Playing everything from Conjunto to Jazz fusion.

I came to Oregon the first time in 1979 with a Grad pic 1972_250xR&B/Reggae band called the Burners. In 1981 I met Bibbs Goff from Belize and started a Socca/Reggae band called arousing Spirit. In 1983 I went back to Texas to assist family, to check out friends and the scene in Austin. I stayed for 3 years and moved back to Eugene in the winter of “86” and co-founded the reggae band More Time. I also ran into an old friend,Curtis Salgado. After playing together at a few jam sessions we decided to start a band with some guys he knew in Portland. I worked with the Stilettos for 2 and a half years.


“Newel Briggs has been important part of the musical framework in the state of Oregon. From being the lead guitarist in Curtis Salgado & the Stilettos to co-founding Dub Squad to playing today with Bill Rhoades and the Party Kings, Newel’s musical contributions landed him into the Oregon Music Hall of Fame in 2015. He has been a music educator and advocate for at risk youth but most of all, Newel is a great soul. ” Terry Currier – Music Millennium

In summer of 1988 I co founded the band Dub Squad. We played all over the West Coast and toured with UB40, Third World and Ziggy Marley. In 1990 Dub Squad headlined a tour of Japan sponsored by the Suntory Corp and in 1994 we provided music and performed in the 20th Century Fox film “Hear No Evil.”

About that same time I began to do residences and performances through Young Audiences and the Regional Arts and Culture Council’s Neighborhood Arts and the Arts in Healing Consortium. I also served 2 years on the Linn-Benton Arts Council. I did residences and performances in towns all across Oregon, from Belfountain to Sweet Home.

I currently perform with Bill Rhoades, Madgesdiq, the Soultans, I&I, Instigators and numerous other projects. I also conduct workshops and performances with Multnomah Co. Libraries and performances at Doernboecker and Shriner’s Children Hospitals. I have recently been hired to teach 2 Music History classes at PCC Cascade.

Make your tax-deductible donation online now to Newel Briggs Relief Fund