MusicWatch Weekly: global vision

This week's Oregon music highlights feature music from the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and beyond

While our leaders do their best to keep the rest of the world away, Oregon musicians and presenters are keeping the doors open through music. Got more musical suggestions? Please add them to the comments section below.

Seun Kuti brings Fela’s band to Star Theater Wednesday.

Seun Kuti & The Egypt 80
The youngest son of the great Nigerian Afrobeat pioneer embraced not only his father’s immensely powerful and danceable music and sharp-edged progressive political and anti corruption attitudes, but also even the remnants of his mighty band, Star 80, who comprise three-quarters of the current lineup. They’ll also play contemporary music by Seun and others.
Wednesday, Star Theater, Portland.

Schubert Ensemble 
For the final Oregon stop on its farewell tour, the London piano and strings quintet plays music by Shostakovich, Schumann, and their namesake.
Wednesday, Liberty Theatre, Astoria.

“Mozart Requiem”
Portland Baroque Orchestra, Cappella Romana and Trinity Chamber Singers team up to perform one of the most moving musical obituaries ever written — Mozart’s final statement, a commission that turned into his own requiem. This is a rare and valuable opportunity to hear it performed on the instruments and in the style closest to what Mozart intended.  A pair of other popular Mozartean creations also decorate the program.
Thursday-Saturday, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, 147 NW 19th Ave. Portland.

Portland Baroque Orchestra and Trinity Cathedral Choir join Cappella Romana in Mozart’s ‘Requiem.’

Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping
See AL Adams’s ArtsWatch preview.
Friday, The Old Church. Portland.

American Brass Quintet
In this Chamber Music Northwest/Portland5 show, the acclaimed trumpets-trombones-horn ensemble plays stirring music from 17th century England, 19th century Russia, 16th century Europe, and today’s tunes by leading American composer Joan Tower, Swedish composer Anders Hillborg and more.
Friday, Winningstad Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway. Portland.

Raquy Danziger performs at The Shedd Friday.

Raquy Danziger
The Turkish composer/performer/teacher, a virtuosa on dumbek drum and 12-string Kemenche Tarhu spike fiddle, plays originals and music from Turkey and other Middle Eastern lands.
Friday, The Shedd, Eugene.

Michael Doucet and his bubbly Lafayette-based band continue their decades-long exploration of Louisiana Cajun and zydeco music, often spiced with rock, country, bluegrass, even African influences.
Friday, The Shedd, Eugene, and Saturday, Alberta Rose Theater. Portland.

45th Parallel
The organization’s first chamber orchestra show features Oregon Symphony musicians in a pair of the 20th century’s most tuneful and scintillating ballet scores: Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring and Igor Stravinsky’s Pulcinella, plus Mozart’s lively ballet music from his opera Idomeneo.
Friday, Rose City Park Presbyterian Church, Portland.

Organized by NYC’s Bang on a Can new music collective and sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the four-year-old OneBeat program brings young (age 19-35) musicians from around the world to collaboratively create original music, play it on tour, lead workshops with local young audiences, and “develop strategies for arts-based social engagement” when they return to their home countries. This year’s fellows include South African vocalist Nonku Phiri; Aisaana Omorova, a komuz (traditional three-stringed strummed instrument) player from Kyrgyzstan; Chicago-based producer Elijah Jamal; and Belorussian producer and singer Natalia Kuznetskaya. The program has come to Sisters, Portland and elsewhere around the nation in years past; see it now before our current rulers find out about this effort to increase intercultural understanding.
Friday, Suttle Lodge, Sisters.

“The Fertile Crescent”
Contemporary music ensemble FearNoMusic lives up to its name by presenting music written by contemporary Middle Eastern composers and those who’ve enriched American musical culture. The 70-year-old Azeri composer Franghiz Ali-Zade’s modernist 1990 From Japanese Poetry reflects its lonely, sometimes anguished, subject matter. Based on Persian folk tunes, Iran-born American composer Reza Vali’s three short Love Songs for Piano Quartet include an appropriately tipsy “Love Drunk,” a warm “Armenian Love Song,” and a poignant “In Memory of a Lost Beloved.” Along with Egyptian Bahaa El-Ansary’s ominous 2012 Circles for solo cello, and 30-year-old Iranian American composer Gity Razaz’s melancholy 2011 ballet score Chance Has Spoken for string quartet and vibraphone, the concert offers two works by Syrian composers. Kareem Roustam’s Aleppo Songs for solo piano and Kinan Azmeh’s haunting How Many Would It Take? for violin and electronics invoke their country’s devastating, ongoing civil war and murderous, dictatorial oppression.
Monday, The Old Church, 1422 SW 11th Ave. Portland.

Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah performs Tuesday at Jack London Revue.

Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah
Scion of one of New Orleans’s most renowned musical families, the dynamic, award winning composer/ trumpeter/ improviser/ producer/ instrument designer is one of the century’s most musically ambitious artists in any field. A leader in a vanguard of young musicians coming from the jazz tradition and embracing a wide variety of artistic influences while remaining musically accessible to broad audiences, he’s also contributed enormous amounts of work and creativity to youth education and other worthy causes, addressed pressing social and political issues in his work and beyond, scored films, worked with musicians as varied as Thom Yorke, Prince, and McCoy Tyner, founded a music festival, and released three very different albums this year. His jazz-inspired “stretch music” includes some of the most exciting new sounds being made today.
Tuesday, Jack London Revue, Portland.

Danilo Pérez: PanaMonk Revisited w/ Ben Street & Adam Cruz
The award winning Panamanian-American pianist’s Thelonious Monk centennial tribute uses the immortal American jazz composer’s music as a jumping off point for his own Latin jazz-tinged explorations.
Tuesday, Lewis & Clark College’s Evans Auditorium, Portland.

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