WESTAF Shoebox Arts
Picture of Joe Cantrell
Picture of Joe Cantrell
Joe Cantrell
I spent my first 21 years in Tahlequah, Cherokee County, Oklahoma, assuming that except for a few unfortunate spots, ‘everybody’ was part Cherokee, and son of the soil. Volunteered for Vietnam because that’s what we did. After two stints, hoping to gain insight, perhaps do something constructive, I spent the next 16 years as a photojournalist in Asia, living much like the lower income urban peasants and learning a lot. Moved back to the USA in 1986, tried photojournalism and found that the most important subjects were football and basketball, never mind humankind. In 1992, age 46, I became single dad of my 3-year-old daughter and spent the next two decades working regular jobs, at which I was not very good, to keep a roof over our heads, but we made it. She’s retail sales supervisor for Sony, Los Angeles. Wowee! The VA finally acknowledged that the war had affected me badly and gave me a disability pension. I regard that as a stipend for continuing to serve humanity as I can, to use my abilities to facilitate insight and awareness, so I shoot a lot of volunteer stuff for worthy institutions and do artistic/scientific work from our Cherokee perspective well into many nights. Come along!

Classical Up Close rings out on radio

Some of Portland’s finest classical musicians warm up for a new season of free and accessible small-scale concerts with a “Thursdays @ 3” broadcast on All Classical Radio.

An Aztec celebration in Garden Home

The Sempoashochitl Festival, in honor and celebration of Día de los Muertos and the glories of the marigold, brings a whirl of traditional dance, art, music and remembrance.

Let there be music (and tractors, too)

On a balmy July evening on a Beaverton farm, The Concerts at the Barn kicked off their summer season. For audience and musicians alike, the sights and sounds were delicious.

Whirling divas at The Reser

Life is a cabaret: Poison Waters and a bevy of drag stars dress up, feel their Pride, light the lights, and put on a show.

Blues Fest finale: Light up the sky

After a four-day feast of music and partying, the 2023 Waterfront Blues Festival winds up with a bang of Fourth of July fireworks over the river.

Kicking it off: Waterfront Blues Day 1

The blues festival, a downtown summer highlight since 1988, lays down its groove through July Fourth. Photographer Joe Cantrell captures Saturday’s opening-day action.

Up Close with Mozart and Dvořák

Who needs a giant concert hall to make the music zing? Classical Up Close brings great music to a small and happy audience in the cozy confines of a Tigard church.

In Portland, a ‘Messiah’ rings forth

As Portland Baroque Orchestra and the choir Cappella Romana bring Handel’s “Messiah” to vivid life, photographer Joe Cantrell captures the energy and beauty of it all.

Summer in (and out of) the city

Photographer Joe Cantrell roams the plazas and parks and barns of town and country, discovering a feast of music and dance.

In Beaverton, a Little Night Music

… and as a bright and shiny Saturday fades into evening, food and art and crafts and celebrations of the many cultures of Washington County, too.

Ten Tiny Dances, great big steps

On a warm day in Beaverton, all sorts of dancers stepped out to perform on the Tiny Stage – and the effect was big. A photo essay by Joe Cantrell.

Blues Fest Day 4: Light Up the Sky

The 2022 Waterfront Blues Festival goes out with a fireworks bang on the Fourth of July. Photographer Joe Cantrell catches the action on the festival’s fourth and final day.

Blues Fest Day 3: Skeletons on parade

On Sunday at the Waterfront Blues Festival, Mysti Krewe’s bones rattle, Taj Mahal headlines, LaRhonda Steele soars, and much more. Photographer Joe Cantrell captures the spirit of it all.

Blues Fest Day 2: Dance to the Music

As the music plays on the second day of Portland’s big blues bash on the waterfront, the feet start moving to the beat – and photographer Joe Cantrell captures the action.

Back to the blues on the Waterfront

The Waterfront Blues Festival, back full force after Covid slowdowns, brings back the beat through the Fourth of July. Photographer Joe Cantrell snaps highlights from Day One.

A Tempest in the Schnitz

With a storm of Shakespeare’s words and Sibelius’s music, The Oregon Symphony pairs two twilight artists for a last hurrah.

In Beaverton, a little night market

PHOTOGRAPHS BY JOE CANTRELL On a clear warm Saturday evening at The Round in Beaverton, the joint was jumpin’. The propulsive sounds of drums and dancing feet were rising to the sky, and a big crowd was milling about the curved concrete

Blues finale: a festival with teeth

PHOTOGRAPHS BY JOE CANTRELL When the extraordinary young guitarist Christone “Kingfish” Ingram waded into the crowd at the Waterfront Blues Festival on Sunday and started picking the strings with his teeth, you knew the whole darned party was gettin’ down. Musicians, fans,

Blues Fest 3: Let the good times roll

PHOTOGRAPHS BY JOE CANTRELL A lot of Louisiana took the stage on Saturday in Day Three of the Waterfront Blues Festival – groups as redolent of New Orleans and bayou country as Curley Taylor & Zydeco Trouble, Lil’ Pookie & the Zydeco

Waterfront Blues 2: In the Spirit

PHOTOGRAPHS BY JOE CANTRELL Day Two of the Waterfront Blues Festival dug deep into the spirit of music and life with an extraordinary set by the Spiritual Brothers and their sounds of Northern Ghana and Burkina Faso. Unlike the four-day festival’s first

Waterfront Blues: a bang-up start

PHOTOGRAPHS BY JOE CANTRELL It was a bang-up day on the Fourth of July in Portland’s Tom McCall Waterfront Park, where this year’s Waterfront Blues Festival got off to a high-flying start and, come night time, a rainbow of fireworks lit up

Building Mozart’s garden

Photographs by JOE CANTRELL Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was 18 years old when his opera La Finta Giardiniera (The Pretend, or Fake, Gardener) debuted at the Salvatortheater in Munich in 1775. When it opens Friday evening at Lincoln Performance Hall in Portland it’ll

Getting a drop on the New Year

Photographs by JOE CANTRELL First came the audience, filling downtown Portland’s Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. Then the musicians, and the tuning, and the program, which was fitting for a celebration: some selections from Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn’s sprightly and creative Nutcracker Suite;

Waterfront Blues Festival: The End

Photographs and Story by Joe Cantrell How to characterize the last day of this year’s Waterfront Blues Festival? Traditionally the festival has ended with the fireworks, late night on the 4th of July, but this year we began with Wednesday, the 4th. Thursday sustained, Friday found

Triangle Productions FLO
PCS Clyde’s
MYS Oregon to Iberia
Profile Theatre Orange Sky
OCCA Monthly
NW Dance Project
Maryhill Museum of Art
PAM 12 Month
Pacific Maritime HC Prosperity
PSU College of the Arts
Oregon Cultural Trust
We do this work for you.

Give to our GROW FUND.