On May 4, when Billy Childs and his stellar touring quartet took over the snug 1905 jazz club in NoPo’s Mississippi neighborhood for two back-to-back shows, nothing was missing–except CDs for sale. Childs’ most recent and perhaps most evocative album, Winds of Change, produced by Mack Records and released in late March, was sold out according to the band, so CD-seekers were out of luck. Read More
Funny–when Catalyst Quartet played April 16 at The Old Church, its touted new-music repertoire didn’t thrill the audience as much as Fanny Mendelssohn’s early 19th-century String Quartet in E-Flat Major, No. 1, Op. 22. She wrote the piece in 1834 when she was 28 years old. It languished, unpublished, until 1989. Queen Victoria loved it, though she thought Fanny’s famous brother Felix wrote it, a logical conclusion in those only-male-composer times. Read More
At first glance, she appears to be the girl next door, dimples and all. But open your ears for a minute or two, and you’ll discover that Emilie-Claire Barlow is a sophisticated Canadian jazz singer. Her soft-swinging style, which she pulls off exactingly, yet casually, in English and French is easy to listen to. Her lithe voice, clean articulation and rhythmic intelligence echo aspects of Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett and Stevie Wonder, her performing role models. Read More
Who hasn’t heard Amelia Lukas’ flute magic around Portland? She plays with Fear No Music, Chamber Music Northwest, and countless other groups showcasing experimental and straight-up music.
To see and hear her on a barebones stage with her several flutes glittering on a plain black cloth as she celebrated her paternal Ukrainian heritage (and benefited Ukrainians) proved a full-on concert deal. Read More
For once, the soprano survives.
Different from many operas where the tragic and transgressive soprano dies, Thumbprint’s heroine lives. Portland Opera’s current production tells the real-life story of Mukhtar Mai (soprano Samina Aslam), the Pakistani woman who chooses life over traditionally shame-induced suicide after she is gang-raped for a supposed “honor” crime. Read More
With any world premiere, the big question arises: Will it last? Does it have legs to get around the world – or even the country?
A Thousand Splendid Suns, Seattle Opera’s world premiere that opened Feb. 25 and continues through March 11 at McCaw Hall, has a good chance of spicing up the repertoire – despite its remote cultural landscape. Read More
No doubt the unanticipated blizzard that shed 10.5 inches of snow on Portland Jazz Festival’s mid-winter party Feb.16-25 had some impact on concert-goers. But not much.
Four sold-out concerts scheduled for Feb. 22 — Storm Large, Charlie Musselwhite and Curtis Salgado, Mark Guiliana and Mel Brown B-3 Organ Group — were postponed, but otherwise the show went on, if audiences were smaller on the final icy nights. Read More
The viola is often the butt of musical jokes. Overshadowed by the weighty cello below it and the showy violin above it, the viola is bullied. And the boring loser-instrument joke goes on and on.
“If you don’t know what the viola is, you shouldn’t. There’s so much more to know,” said Isabel Hagen, the New York-based star violist — and comedian — Feb. 13 at The Old Church in downtown Portland. Read More
The Gershwin brothers had a gift for telling the truth in their music:
In time the Rockies may crumble
Gibraltar may tumble
They’re only made of clay.
But our love is here to stay.
“Our Love is Here To Stay.” Read More
Alisa Weilerstein, a 40-year-old cellist and new mother dressed in an off-the-shoulder tangerine top, black leggings and 4-inch sparkling spikes, was all alone on the stage for 3.5 hours at a sold-out Chamber Music Northwest concert Feb. 4 at First Baptist Church in downtown Portland. Read More