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LaRhonda  Steele,  a Blues and gospel singer and songwriter, is recognized as one the region’s best rhythm and blues vocalists. She has been dubbed “The First Lady of Portland Blues”—a title of leadership that she lives up to as she shares songs that carry forth directly from her soul and spiritual life-force.

LaRhonda Steele was born in Oklahoma and grew up singing traditional Black gospel from a very young age. She started directing the choir at the age of 15. She has led the Portland Interfaith Gospel Choir since 2013 where she teaches traditional Black gospel music, its history, and its reference to current socioeconomic states of Black people in America. She currently fronts the LaRhonda Steele band, is music director of the non-profit Portland Interfaith Gospel Choir, and is music director of Portland Center for Spiritual Living.

She is the 2021 Recipient of Oregon Folklife Networks Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program award, a 2020 inductee into the Oregon Music Hall of Fame and a 2018 inductee to the Cascade Blues Association Hall of Fame. She is the 2016-2018 Cascade Blues Association winner of the Best Female Vocalist Muddy Award. LaRhonda’s voice can be enjoyed on recordings of national and international artists; Gino Vannelli, Curtis Salgado, Lloyd Jones, Mary Flower, Norman Sylvester to name a few.


2020 Best Festival
Washington Blues Society


2015 Keeping The Blues Alive Recipient
The Blues Foundation


2022 Grand Summit Award
Washington Festival & Events Association


Proud Member
Washington Festival & Events Association

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