PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Portland-based blues band, the TJ Wong Trio, is in Memphis, Tennessee representing the Cascade Blues Association at the 38th International Blues Challenge.

Timothy James, of the TJ Wong Trio, won the honor after competing with five other local bands and winning the final competition at the 2022 Waterfront Blues Festival.

This year, more than 200 acts from around the world are competing throughout clubs along Memphis’ historic Beale Street.

While the trio didn’t make it through Thursday night’s semi-finals, James said “it’s been awesome and the beautiful thing about the Blues community is that they’re super supportive and helpful. Even though we’re competition, we’re really companions.”

James said when he returns to Portland, he plans on finishing his blues record and touring locally.