Weekend MusicWatch: Music in the Park

Oregon music lovers don't have to choose between our magnificent summer-drenched outdoors and our superb music this weekend.

Oregon music lovers don’t have to choose between our magnificent summer-drenched outdoors and our superb music this weekend.

Portland SummerFest, Friday, Washington Park Ampthitheater, Portland. Northwest native Angela Meade’s rising international reputation hasn’t stopped her from coming home for the annual opera in the park. She joins fellow Metropolitan Opera star Richard Zeller, Carla Dirlikov and Allan Glassman in a concert version of Bellini’s Norma, directed by Keith Clark.

Portland Taiko, Kalabharathi Dance Company, Saturday, Washington Park Amphitheater, Portland. Read my Willamette Week preview of one of the most enticing outdoor concerts of the summer.

Portland Taiko performs at Washington Park Saturday.

Portland Taiko performs at Washington Park Saturday.

William Byrd Festival, Friday and Sunday, St. Stephen’s Catholic Church, Portland. Read my Willamette Week preview of Friday’s opening concert in this year’s 17th annual celebration of England’s greatest Renaissance composer and, this year, some of his colleagues and students. Sunday’s Compline service features Cantores in Ecclesia singing Byrd’s music for the Divine Office.

Sunriver Music Festival, Friday, Sunday and Tuesday, Sunriver Resort. The inescapable Storm Large takes her electrifying stage presence and big voice east of the big mountains for Friday’s pops concert with the orchestra features. On Sunday, erstwhile Oregon pianist Hunter Noack returns from studies in England to join the orchestra in Schumann’s Piano Concerto in a minor, and the band plays one of the most popular contemporary American pieces, Aaron Jay Kernis’s Musica Celestis and Haydn’s last and greatest symphony, #104, maybe the most powerful closing statement in music. Tuesay’s all-Brahms concert features his Violin Concerto and third symphony.

Blake Applegate leads Cantores in Ecclesia at the William Byrd Festival.

Blake Applegate leads Cantores in Ecclesia at the William Byrd Festival.

Britt Festival, Friday and Saturday, Britt Pavilion, Jacksonville. Another outdoor opportunity includes Friday’s concert with the great banjo master Béla Fleck performing his own concerto for his instrument and orchestra, The Impostor,, plus young California composer Sebastian Chang’s hiking-inspired Walking, and Brahms’s first symphony. On Saturday, rising star violinist Augustin Hadelich joins the orchestra for Sibelius’s Violin Concerto, and the program also includes the Finnish master’s Finlandia and Dvorak’s New World Symphony.

Oregon Festival of American Music, Thursday-Monday, The Shedd and the Hult Center, Eugene. Read my Eugene Weekly preview of the festival’s second weekend, featuring the musical Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and jazzy concert tributes to American songbook legends, as seen through Hollywood cameras.

Mohawk Valley Music Festival, Friday-Sunday, Bob’s Ranch, Marcola. The new festival’s diverse lineup features headliners Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Phutureprimitive, Chibuku with the great Oregon guitarist Paul Prince, Medium Troy & the Bohemian Dub Orchestra, the Shook Twins, and a dozen more.

Beloved Festival, Friday-Monday, Tidewater. The increasingly enticing festival of world sacred music features global acts ranging from Mauritania’s Noura Mint Seymali and her electric guitar and funk bass-driven update to Moorish griot blues to Mali’s Vieux Farka Toure (who’s continuing his father Ali’s powerful legacy), Portland Afrobeatniks Okropong (continuing the legacy of the late, great Ghanaian-Oregonian composer/drummer Obo Addy) and Jujuba, Senegalese kora harp master Youssoupha Sidibe, Zimbabwian mbira (thumb piano) virtuoso Cosmas Magaya, Pakistani qawwali music, Indian raga singing (by Portland guru Michael Stirling) and kirtan chant (Shambala) and raga (sarod star Alam Ali Khan, another offspring of a venerated master, Ali Akbar Khan), and many other global sacred sound makers.

Musica Maestrale, Friday, ENSO Winery, Portland. Members of the city’s main Baroque chamber music institution performs at an intimate fundraiser that includes comestibles and wine as well as music.

The Westerlies, Sunday, Valentines, Portland. From my Willamette Week preview: When this young New York based brass quartet sought material for their debut album this year, they found the source in their old hometown of Seattle: the great jazz keyboardist/composer Wayne Horvitz, who’d moved in the opposite direction, from NYC to SEA, a quarter century earlier and had hired the members for various projects over the years. Their new all-Horvitz CD has won deserved national acclaim for its artfully atmospheric blend of improv, folky harmonies, and contemporary chamber music textures, but it represents only a part of the three-year-old band’s trailblazing approach: they’ve already premiered more than three dozen original works, winning kudos and collaborations from the likes of Dave Douglas and Bill Frisell.

Portland Festival Symphony, Saturday, U.S. Grant Park, and Sunday, Washington Park Amphitheater, Portland. Saturday’s concert by Lajos Balogh’s summer orchestra includes music from Bizet’s opera Carmen, a Mozart Serenade, selections from Sibelius’s Symphony #2, music by Liszt and Leroy Anderson, and Leopold Mozart’s Toy Symphony. Sunday’s includes music by two Portland composers, Tomas Svoboda’s Overture to the Season, and Norman Leyden’s Trombone Concerto, plus the Sibelius and Toy Symphonies, and Ravel’s Bolero.

Penezzi Trio, Saturday, The Old Church, Portland. From my Willamette Week preview: A classical guitar prodigy, São Paulo native Alessandro dos Santos Penezzi has also mastered ukulele, mandolin, tenor guitar and various woodwinds. Clarinetist Alexandre Ribeiro plays both traditional music and jazz with various Brazilian and US musicians, and Pennsylvania-bred violinist/mandolinist Ted Falcon was infected by first bossa nova and then choro (the early 20th century Euro-Afro-Brazilian fusion music), eventually founding a choro band in LA and then moving to Brazil for immersion. Together, they bring new and original compositional and improvisational dimensions to traditional Brazilian rhythms. Portland’s own choro champs, Rio Con Brio (guitarist Mike Burdette and mandolinist Tim Connell) make an ideal opener.

Mitchell Falconer,Thursday, Composition Gallery, Everett Street Lofts, Portland. In this First Thursday gallery recital, the ARCO/Classical Revolution PDX pianist plays and sings music from composers classical and non, from Haydn to John Cage to Destroyer to Chopin to the late great 21st century American composer William Duckworth to Eric Satie, Philip Glass, Nina Simone, Elliott Smith, Billie Holiday….

David and Lauren Servias, St. James Lutheran Church, Portland. The duo pianists play French music in conjunction with the Portland Art Museum’s Francophilic exhibit.

Jianan Tian Tuesday, Milwaukie Lutheran Church. The young Chinese accordion virtuosa plays with fellow squeezboxer Alicia Baker.

Josh Deutsch, Saturday, Broadway House, Eugene. The erstwhile Oregonian trumpeter/composer returns from his present New York haunts to bring his modern jazz to his old college town, backed by some of the state’s most reliably accomplished jazzers.

Eldar, Friday, Jimmy Mak’s, Portland. The Russian hotshot pianist, one of the rising young stars of jazz, brings his prodigious virtuosity to Oregon.

Phoebe Gildea and Nathalie Fortin, Wednesday, the Old Church, Portland. The singer and pianist perform music by the greatest American composers, Charles Ives and Aaron Copland, plus songs by Mozart, Strauss, and Gounod.

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