Weekend MusicWatch: Classical and Jazz Frontiers

Even though the big Portland Jazz Festival doesn’t start for a few weeks, jazz is everywhere in Oregon, including the Oregon Jazz Festival in Eugene — where, in another show, a jazz sax master joins the symphony. Elsewhere, pair of innovative jazzers explore the genre’s blurry boundaries, a classical brass quintet plays jazz, a Brazilian pianist applies his homeland’s distinctive rhythms to jazz. There’s also plenty of contemporary classical music, including some by Oregon composers, on the weekend’s music menu.

Camerata PYP performs at Wieden+Kennedy Sunday afternoon

Camerata PYP performs at Wieden+Kennedy Sunday afternoon.

Third Angle New Music, Thursday and Friday, Studio 2@Zoomtopia, 810 SE Belmont, Portland.

Read my Willamette Week preview of the latest in the new music ensemble’s hour-long, no intermission, lower cost Studio Series. Friday’s show is sold out.


Eugene Symphony, Thursday, Hult Center, Eugene.

Read my Eugene Weekly preview of this mostly 20th century music concert featuring sax master Branford Marsalis.


Spanish Brass, Friday, Winningstad Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway, Portland.

Read my Willamette Week preview of this acclaimed brass quintet’s first Oregon appearance.

Cascadia Composers, Saturday, Colonial Heights Presbyterian Church, 2828 SE Stephens, Portland.

Some of Oregon’s top active composers (Lisa Marsh, Paul Safar, Mike Hsu, Jan Mittelstaedt, and more) present new chamber music inspired by sources as varied as families, apples, blue herons, Black Labradors, electronic dance music, and tangos.


Estelí Gomez, Saturday, Zoomtopia, 810 SE Belmont St, Portland.

Read Gary Ferrington’s ArtsWatch preview of the new music soprano’s Portland appearance.

Henry Kaiser, Saturday, Performance Works NW, 4625 SE 67th Ave, Portland.

Read my Willamette Week preview of the great improvising guitarist’s solo and trio performances.


Oregon Symphony, Saturday, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway, Portland.

Concertmaster Sarah Kwak again (for the second time in two seasons) takes the solo spotlight in Alexander Glazunov’s Violin Concerto, and there’s more Russian Romanticism in Tchaikovsky’s dramatic tone poem Francesca da Rimini. For the second time this month, the orchestra offers a short work by the 20th century French mystic composer Olivier Messiaen, Hymne, from 1932, and concludes with one of Mozart’s greatest symphonies, No. 35.


Newport Symphony, Saturday and Sunday, Newport Performing Arts Center, 777 W. Olive St.

Soprano Mee-Ae Nam stars in the radiant Three Songs (originally composed for Dawn Upshaw) by one of America’s greatest living composers, Osvaldo Golijov, and the orchestra plays one of Beethoven’s less-overplayed symphonies, No. 4, and his third (and best) attempt to write an overture to his troubled opera then titled Leonore.


Rogue Valley String Quartet, Saturday, Congregational United Christian Church, 717 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland.

Musicians from the Rogue Valley Symphony Orchestra play new music by Rogue Valley composers William Ashworth, I’lana Cotton, Ken Deveney, Walter Granger, Scott Miller and Russell Snyder.


Jovino Santos Neto, Saturday, The Old Church, Portland.

The Seattle based, three-time Latin Grammy nominee plays original Brazilian jazz.


Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Saturday and Sunday, Skyview Concert Hall, 1300 NW 139th Street, Vancouver, WA.

Soprano Christina Kowalski sings songs by Wagner, and the orchestra plays Brahms’s third symphony and Gershwin’s rollicking Cuban Overture.


The Ensemble, Musica Maestrale, Canonici, Sunday, Saint Stephen’s Catholic Church, 1112 SE 41st Avenue, Portland.

Read my Willamette Week preview of the weekend’s most exciting choral concert.


Camerata PYP, Sunday, Wieden+Kennedy building, 224 NW 13th Ave., Portland.

Portland Youth Philharmonic’s chamber orchestra opens its season in the splendid atrium of one of Portland’s most famous buildings, showing off different sections of the orchestra with J.S. Bach’s ever-popular Brandenburg Concerto No. 6, Mozart’s breezy Serenade No. 11 K.375 for wind octet, and the Octet for Strings that Georges Enescu wrote when he wasn’t much older than the teens who’ll be playing it.


Sam Boshnack Quintet, Get Smashing Love Power, Sunday, Turn Turn Turn, 8 NE Killingsworth St. Portland.

The Seattle-based composer/trumpeter, who studied with classical composer Joan Tower and has worked with accessible sonic adventurers from David Byrne to Terry Riley to Wayne Horvitz, will play music from her latest album, Exploding Syndrome, plus her newest commissions, Free Flow Interchange, commissioned by Seattle’s Karin Stevens Dance Company , and The Nellie Bly Project, inspired by the 19th century daredevil, feminist and journalist. Opening act GSLP (alto saxists Noah Bernstein and Blue Crane Reed Wallsmith, veteran Portland jazz bassist Andre St. James, and drummer Tim DuRoche) make a splendid pairing.

Denis Kozhukhin, Sunday and Monday, Lincoln Performance Hall, Portland State University, 1620 SW Park Ave.

In this Portland Piano International recital, the young Russian pianist plays sonatas and fantasies by Prokofiev, Brahms, and Haydn.

Shai Wosner, Sunday, Beall Concert Hall, Eugene.

Read my Eugene Weekly preview of the superb pianist’s ChamberMusic@Beall recital.


Chamber Music Northwest, Tuesday, Alberta Rose Theatre, Portland.

Opus One, The Dover Quartet and members of Trio Valtorna play Beethoven to kick off the organization’s winter mini festival.

Joe Manis and Siri Vik, Tuesday, Jimmy Mak’s, 221 NW 10th Ave., Portland.

With assistance from able jazzers including pianist Greg Goebel, drummer Todd Strait, bassist Tyler Abbott and cornetist Paul Krueger, one of the state’s top saxophonists and the veteran cabaret singer, both based in Eugene, perform music from a pair of classic midcentury jazz vocal albums, Nancy Wilson/Cannonball Adderley and the incomparably beautiful John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman, plus cuts from Coltrane’s lovely Ballads.


Music Today Festival, Sunday-Saturday, University of Oregon, Eugene.

Read Gary Ferrington’s ArtsWatch preview of this valuable showcase of the next generation of Oregon composers.


Matthew Polenzani, Wednesday, Lincoln Hall, Portland State University.

Read Alice Hardesty’s ArtsWatch preview and interview with the renowned tenor.


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Want to learn more about contemporary Oregon classical music? Check out Oregon ComposersWatch.

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