About ECBF

The Emerald City Blues Festival Mission


We create spaces to connect with the joy and sorrow of the Blues through dance, music, and community engagement.


Cultural candor — The Blues is rooted in the Black American experience. We hold its history and future with respect, appreciation, and humility.

Inclusion and accessibility — we aim to include everybody who appreciates the blues.

Sustainability — our currency is community energy. We take care of each other so we can keep showing up.

Party — we’re here to have a good time, and hope you are too!

A little bit of our history ....

Emerald City Blues Festival first started when Martin Beally took Seattle dancers from the steamy house parties of the early 2000's and brought us to a sophisticated and swanky event. He curated a festival that showed blues was a dance deserving of national attention. People came from miles around … many thousands of miles, that is. Musicians such as Solomon Douglas, Carsie Blanton, Brother Yusef "the fattback bluesman", and blues legend Kim Massie played and sang at ECBF over the years. Teachers made their careers throwing down at the competitions. Without losing any of our style or swagger, ECBF made us classy. And it had some damn fine food.

ECBF was begun in partnership with Solomon Douglas and the Washington Blues Society. As time went on, Topher Haven became a partner and was integral in the growth and success of the event. Together, Martin, Solomon, Topher, and the original ECBF showcased what blues dance could be even before we dancers knew it ourselves.

Emerald City Blues Festival ran from 2005-2011. Martin hung his hat after 7 years of event management, and since then the national and international scene has grown in ways we never could have imagined. There have been many Seattle organizers who carried on annual blues dance events like Rain City Blues, House Wars, and Seattle Social Dance Weekend.

In 2019, Martin Beally gave the rights of the Emerald City Blues Festival trademark to Burn Blue. Burn Blue is a not-for-profit organization in Washington state, founded in 2007, aimed toward education and experience of blues dance, blues music, and the history behind them both. ECBF 2019 was a blast, with over 200 dancers coming from all over to learn from the best-in-class instructors and compete against some of the most skilled dancers in blues dance. In 2020, we're continuing the tradition and raising the bar for an event better than ever before!

The current directors of Burn Blue are Emily Smith and Michael J Smith. The core staff team includes Brecca Smith, Rory Brennan, Sean Marushia, and Haven Sundstrom.

Contact us via any of these channels:

Main Organizers: emeraldcityblues@gmail.com

Volunteer Coordinator: ecbf-volunteers@burnblue.org

Scholarship Applications: scholarships@burnblue.org

Facebook: emeraldcitybluesfestival

Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/315451555993333/

Twitter: emeraldcityblue

Instagram: emeraldcitybluesfestival


Remembering years past:

ECBF 2005 - 2011