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Guiding Light

Portland bassist David Friesen rarely plays the same song twice.

Back in the mid-1960s, a young jazz bassist named David Friesen found his band playing opposite the classic John Coltrane Quartet at a Seattle club called the Penthouse. Although he sat just a few feet away from some of the most powerful and distinctive players in jazz history—Trane, drummer Elvin Jones, pianist ...   More
Wednesday, January 6, 2010 by BRETT CAMPBELL

Live Review: Pink Martini at The Schnitz, New Year's Eve '09

Despite the lamentable fact that you can't dance there, some of my favorite Pink Martini performances have happened in the august confines of the Schnitz — their gigs with the Oregon Symphony (to be released next spring), the New Year's performance featuring PM pianist Thomas Lauderdal...   More
Saturday, January 2, 2010 by BRETT CAMPBELL

Last-Minute Classics

Give the gift of Portland classical musicians.

Third Angle, Sound of the Five (New World)The veteran Portland new music ensemble has formed a close connection with the ebullient, Guangzhou-born Chen Yi, who now teaches and composes in the U.S. Whi ...   More
Wednesday, December 23, 2009 BRETT CAMPBELL

Hell Of An Opera: Portland Opera's Orphée

Of the six Philip Glass operas I've seen live, 1993's Orphée is the most conventional in structure, in part because Glass derived the story from Jean Cocteau's screenplay for his celebrated 1949 film. Most of Glass' other stage work, especi...   More
Monday, November 9, 2009 by BRETT CAMPBELL

Portland Opera Scores Philip Glass Record

The contracts aren't yet signed, and the legal beagles have yet to complete their sniffing and gnawing, but it seems highly probable that Portland Opera is about to make its first-ever recording -- and it's a big one. At an interview this morning, Opera spokeswoman Julia Sheridan and composer Philip Glass announced plans for Glass's record...   More
Tuesday, November 3, 2009 by BRETT CAMPBELL

Bikes: Viagra for the Urban Landscape

If our city planners have their way, Copenhagen will be the model for Portland's urban transportation network. Mayor Adams has said he wants us to achieve the Danish city's world leading levels of bicycle use but we have a long way to go: bikes account for...   More
Monday, November 2, 2009 by BRETT CAMPBELL

Orphée (Portland Opera)

Into the underworld with Philip Glass.

While many recession-battered arts groups are playing it safe, Portland Opera is going for broke. The company’s staging of Philip Glass’ Orphée may scare away conservative patrons, ...   More
Wednesday, October 28, 2009 BRETT CAMPBELL

David Byrne Bicycle Diaries

A Talking Head on two wheels around the world.

David Byrne’s Bicycle Diaries (Viking, 320 pages, $25.95), to quote another well-known cyclist, is not about the bike. Or at least, not entirely. Even though the former Talking Headman has used ...   More
Wednesday, September 30, 2009 BRETT CAMPBELL

Autumn at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Tilting at windbags.

With the economic and political Depression of ’09 hammering the arts world, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival decided to make some lemonade out of today’s sour reality, turning to a great vo ...   More
Wednesday, September 23, 2009 BRETT CAMPBELL

TBA Diary: Ten Tiny Dances

For all the big name (in avant-performance circles at least) national and international acts that come to town for TBA, some of my favorite festival moments over the years have come courtesy of the Seattle and Portland performers featured in Ten Tiny Dances, the semi-annual local perfor...   More
Thursday, September 10, 2009 by BRETT CAMPBELL
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