MusicWatch Weekly: in- and outdoor sounds

It's worth venturing outside, smoke and all, to catch some late summer sounds this week, and indoor music is available too

Our weekly music listings, having recently moved back in with the parents over the summer, as so many graduates are doing these days, are pleased to announce that they’ve found their own place again and are busily furnishing it with shiny new previews of a select few music events around the state — many of them alfresco. There is no truth to the rumor that the Music listings were jealous that their Drama siblings just got their own place too….

Tia Fuller performs two shows with her quartet in Portland Friday.

Portland SummerFest

The annual summer music festival temporarily relocates from Washington Park (thanks to construction) to downtown Portland’s so-called “Halprin Sequence,” the lovely if sometimes overlooked public spaces designed by famed architect Lawrence Halprin to restore a few human-scale spaces to a downtown Portland neighborhood ravaged by ‘60s-style car centric urban renewal. As you stroll among Lovejoy and Keller Fountains, Pettygrove Park and the little Source Fountain from 5–9 pm, hear urban soundscapes, music by inventive Cascadia composers Jennifer Wright and Daniel Brugh, local opera singers accompanied by pianist Chuck Dillard, and more.

Wednesday, SW Lincoln and SW Market Streets, Portland.

Hunter Noack performs in three outdoor Oregon settings this week.

“In a Landscape”

Portland pianist Hunter Noack has embarked on a second September series of outdoor performances around Oregon. (Read my ArtsWatch story about the first one.) This time, he’s put a nine-foot Steinway on a trailer, and is toting it to Astoria, Pendleton, Eugene, and ten other towns from the coast to the Steens. He’s also bringing wireless headphones to distribute to listeners so they can experience the music without alfresco acoustical limitations, and various guest artists, from singer and former Miss America Katie Harman Ebner, Pink Martini founder/pianist Thomas Lauderdale and members of various Oregon orchestras. Check the website for who’s playing what and where and other details on individual performances (and probably fire/weather related updates) through September 30.

Wednesday, Agate Beach Golf Course, Newport; Thursday, Mount Pisgah Arboretum, Eugene; Saturday, Suttle Lodge & Boathouse, Sisters.

Al Di Meola shreds on Wednesday in Portland. Photo: Alessio Belloni.

Al Di Meola

The paragon of jazz fusion guitar returns, augmented by a quintet that includes electric violin, on a 40th anniversary tour that features both electric and acoustic axes and tight, tuneful jazz influenced by various global traditions, from Middle Eastern to flamenco.

Wednesday. Revolution Hall, Portland.

Sam Hong plays Oregon music and more this weekend.

Sahun “Sam” Hong

Portland Piano International kicks off its next admirable (and free of charge!) Rising Star series with the young prize winning pianist playing Beethoven and Chopin sonatas, Brahms’s lovely Op. 119 pieces, and a pair of intermezzi by the fine Oregon composer Brent Weaver.

Thursday, George Fox University, Bauman Auditorium, Newberg; Friday, Terwilliger Plaza and Monday, Classic Pianos, Portland.

Tia Fuller Quartet (early and late shows)

The rising jazz alto/soprano sax star is probably best known for her work in Beyonce’s band and other pop star gigs (Aretha, Jay Z, et al), but jazz heads and critics have long admired her supple, energetic work with her own quartet over four albums.

Friday, Fremont Theater, Portland.

“Two Yosemites”

Opera Theater Oregon’s world premiere of Portland / Eugene composer Justin Ralls’s original opera chronicles “the most famous camping trip ever”: Theodore Roosevelt’s journey with Sierra Club founder John Muir that might have inspired the President to create the National Park system that protected Yosemite and so many other American treasures. Read Matthew Andrews’s review of last weekend’s indoor premiere.

Friday and Saturday, Lewis & Clark College, Portland.

Nicholas Meyer as John Muir in “Two Yosemites.” Photo: Carole Montarou.

Oregon Symphony

Actor, cultural icon, internet celebrity and gay rights activist George Takei beams down to narrate one of American music’s most stirring proclamations of human rights, Aaron Copland’s Lincoln Portrait, and the orchestra also plays a 20th century masterpiece by Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu along with music by Morton Gould, Franz Liszt, Richard Strauss and Beethoven.

Saturday, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Portland.

George Whitty

The Grammy-winning keyboardist and Coos Bay native, who’s worked with Santana, Chaka Khan and many more, plays music by his erstwhile jazz colleagues, the Brecker Brothers and more, accompanied by local luminaries pianist Mike Prigodich, saxophonist Joe Manis, bassist Damian Erskine, and drummer Mark Griffith.

Saturday, Classic Pianos, Portland.

Beaverton Symphony

The orchestra’s free, admirable annual afternoon Symphony of Cultures this year brings in Mexican mariachi music, Chinese dance and music, and Congolese rhumba along with the BSO’s Western classical strings.

Sunday, Village Baptist Church, 330 SW Murray Blvd, Beaverton.

Renée Fleming with the Eugene Symphony

The still-ravishing “People’s Diva” sings songs and arias by Dvorak, Faure, Delibes, and others, including Samuel Barber’s poignant American classic Knoxville Summer of 1915. The orchestra plays Aaron Copland’s Down a Country Lane, music from operas by Verdi and Bizet, and more.

Tuesday, Hult Center, Eugene.

Avishai Cohen Quartet

Whether performing with his talented siblings or his own bands, the Israeli trumpeter has been a popular attraction in New York, Europe and even the Portland Jazz Festival. His latest release Cross My Palm With Silver album continues the atmospheric moods established on his recent albums on the lofty ECM label,. This performance features Gadi Lehavi (piano), Barak Mori (bass), Marcus Gilmore (drums).

Tuesday, The Jack London, Portland.

Brett Campbell and muse.

Third Angle New Music

The Portland Japanese Garden’s splendid new Cultural Village hosts the world premiere of a new work by one of Japan’s leading composers, Dai Fujikura, and various Garden locations will feature other solo and ensemble music by contemporary Japanese composers for horn, marimba, harp, bassoon and more.

Tuesday, Portland Japanese Garden.

Got any other music shows ArtsWatch readers should know about? That’s what the comments section below is for!

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