The week’s music calendar offers several chances to catch emerging classical and jazz musicians on their ascent, along with a stellar lineup of venerable veterans. And the Portland Opera opens its new Summer Season with “The Magic Flute,” costumes and scenery designed by Maurice Sendak.
Tale in the Telling
Turn! Turn! Turn! Killingsworth St. Portland
Portland composer/trumpeter Douglas Detrick’s inventive project, featuring top young Portland musicians Mike Gamble and drummer Barra Brown, explores the intersections of American roots music, from sea chanties to fiddle tunes to folk ballads and more. Guest collaborators this time include Portland songwriter/singer Kela Parker and singer/clarinetist Holland Andrews (Like a Villain), who’ll contribute a big new “choral noise” piece.
Classical Up Close
May 4, Nordia House, 8800 SW Oleson Rd, and May 6, Maranatha Church, 4222 NE 12th, Portland The admirable outreach program spearheaded by Oregon Symphony concertmaster Sarah Kwak and sponsored by All Classical Portland ends its second season. The Nordia House show features the radio station’s own Suzanne Nance, who’s also a performing soprano, accompanied by a top OSO piano trio in music by Satie, Gabriel Kahane, Ned Rorem, Piazzolla, Debussy and more, as well as instrumentals by Mozart, Spohr, Edgar Meyer, and more, while on May 6, members of the Portland Bravo Orchestra open for chamber performances of music by Stamitz, Piazzolla, Reinecke and more. Read my ArtsWatch feature from last year.
Sound of Late
Headwaters Theatre, 55 NE Farragut Street #9, Portland
In yet another example of current upsurge in concerts that mix words and new music in unusual ways, the Portland/Seattle new music ensemble plays late 20th and early 21st century music by Takemitsu, Bright Sheng, Seattle’s Emily Doolittle, and Nicole Portley, interspersed with texts by Northwest fisher poets Lara Merrersmith Glavin, Joel Miller, Lauren Sheehan, and Sean Talbot.
Avishai Cohen Quartet
Jimmy Mak’s, 221 NW 10th Ave. Portland
The bountifully bearded Israeli American trumpeter is one of jazz’s rising stars, and his luminous new album, Into the Silence, propelled by the sterling drummer Nasheet Waits, displays his skills in ruminative Miles-ian ballads as well as peppier fare.
Dick Hyman and Evan Christopher
Jaqua Concert Hall, The Shedd Institute, 868 High Street, Eugene
The venerable New York piano legend (for his revivals of old jazz landmarks, skilled improvisations and arrangements as well as his many soundtracks for Woody Allen and other film directors) returns to Oregon with the sweet toned trad jazz clarinetist and a local trio.
Left Edge Percussion
Hipbone Studio, 1847 E. Burnside St. #104 Portland
In this free concert, the Southern Oregon University ensemble plays music by offbeat Stanford composer Mark Applebaum, Australian composer Erik Griswold, Pulitzer Prize winning American composers Steve Reich and David Lang and more.
May 6, Portland Piano Company, 711 SW 14th Ave. Portland and May 7, Touchmark at Fairway Village, 2911 SE Village Loop, Vancouver, WA
The latest entry in Portland Piano International’s admirable Rising Star series, which commissions Northwest composers to write music for emerging pianists, pairs the young Canadian pianist with Portland composer Sarah Zipperer Gaskins’s Nocturne for the Yearning, along with music by Robert and Clara Schumann and Prokofiev’s formidable sixth piano sonata.
Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie Ave. Portland
Jazz’s king of the Hammond B3 has won more awards for his organ improvisations than there are notes in his solos, and that’s saying a lot.
Vidushi Mita Nag, Joydeep Ghosh and Subhen Chatterjee
The Music Room, 5395 SW Elm Ave, Beaverton
Led by Nag, one of the most acclaimed female sitarists of her generation, the trio (with sarod and tabla) plays classical Hindustani music.
Portland Baroque Orchestra, May 6-7, First Baptist Church, and May 8, Kaul Auditorium, Reed College, Portland
Read my Willamette Week preview of the historically informed ensemble’s season ending performances of classic concerti by Vivaldi and JS Bach.
“The Magic Flute”
Portland Opera, Keller Auditorium.
Mozart’s fun and fabulous music (including the famous “Queen of the Night” aria) is reason enough to see his last opera, but this production, sung in English, uses scenery and costumes (now being restored after the originals was destroyed by Hurricane Wilma) designed by the great children’s book artist Maurice Sendak. Read Angela Allen’s ArtsWatch forthcoming preview of this “re-premiere” of Mozart’s ever-enchanting classic.
Byrdsong Renaissance Consort
Unitarian Universalist Church of Eugene, 1685 W. 13th Ave.
The historically informed ensemble performs Baroque music from the British Isles, France, Italy and Germany on period instruments.
Classical Musicians of Holland
St. Mary’s Cathedral, 1716 NW Davis St, Portland
The trio of the Netherlands’ top 20-something players performs music by Scott Joplin, Chopin, Prokofiev, Ravel, Poulenc, JS Bach, Mozart, Brahms and more for piano, horn and/or violin.
May 7&9, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Portland and May 8, Hudson Hall, Willamette University, Salem
The orchestra’s May 7 show features Alan Silvestri’s fizzy score to Back to the Future, the May 8 performance in Salem includes more film scores by the most honored of living film composers, John Williams, while the May 9 concert brings orchestral settings of the music of the Eagles, accompanied by a rock band.
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway, Portland
Read my Willamette Week preview of this Rasika concert starring a pair of legendary Indian musicians: tabla master Zakir Hussain and Bollywood musical singer Hariharan.
Gaelynn Lea, Ages & Ages
Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside St., Portland
The promising composer and violinist, winner of National Public Radio’s Tiny Desk Concert competition, records a session for NPR, along with one of Portland’s best indie rock bands.