Get thee to a campus music experience
by Brett Campbell
The UO’s ever-ear-opening World Music Series brings Bulgaria’s traditional wedding band Kabile to Agate Hall on Oct. 24. If you think this wedding music is boring renditions of the Taco Bell Cannon, think again: it’s explosive, virtuosic, fast-paced Thracian music for singers, accordion, bagpipe and flute, and it’s impossible to take it sitting down. In fact, you can burn off the excitement by kicking up your heels at the folk dance party (instruction provided) that follows. Agate Hall is also the venue for another recommended world music concert on Oct. 19 featuring UO tabla instructor Doug Scheuerell (on that drum that’s recently become all the rage in electronic dance music) and sitarist Paul Livingstone, one of the students of the great sitar ambassador Ravi Shankar.
|Jerusalem String Quartet|
The school’s other great series, Chamber Music@Beall, reliably brings some of the world’s finest small classical ensembles to Beall Concert Hall’s superb soundstage, and this Sunday afternoon’s season-opening concert with the Jerusalem String Quartet is a fine way to kick off the season. The foursome of 30-somethings has garnered unusually effusive praise and a coveted Harmonia Mundi recording contract. They’ll play one of the many gems by Haydn — who pioneered the genre — plus Brahms’ romantic C minor quartet and Janacek’s first quartet.
For all the touring classical stars the UO brings to town, concerts by its own faculty can prove just as satisfying. That same Oct. 17 evening at Beall, for example, you can hear the fine pianist Dean Kramer add his tribute to the music of Chopin in the composer’s bicentennial year. If you like that, you might want to return to Beall on Oct. 22 to hear graduate piano students play more Chopin and music of that other great 19th century piano virtuoso/composer, Franz Liszt. On Oct. 14, the accomplished faculty oboist Amy Goeser Kolb joins fellow faculty members in an interesting program of chamber music by Martinu, Schumann, Darius Milhaud and contemporary University of Texas composer Dan Welcher. More of Welcher’s music — “Prairie Light” (Three Texas Watercolors of Georgia O’Keefe) — is on the bill on the University Symphony’s Oct. 24 afternoon concert at the EMU Ballroom, with a popular American program featuring Samuel Barber’s poignant Knoxville: Summer of 1915, the delightful “Corral Nocturne and Hoe-Down” from Aaron Copland’s great 1943 ballet Rodeo and more.
The UO does jazz, too, on Tuesday Oct. 19, when faculty saxophonist Idit Shner brings her jazz trio (with UO faculty drummer Gary Hobbs and and Portland bass veteran Dave Captein) to Beall to perform her original tunes, many influenced by a recent tour in Japan and Korea. Such tours added some intriguing eastern elements to famous albums by the likes of Dave Brubeck and Duke Ellington, so it’ll be interesting to hear the Israel-born Shner’s take. Another UO jazz instructor, Carl Woideck, is familiar from his radio show and his Jazz Heritage project sponsored by the Shedd, which brings his latest, a tribute to the jazz interpretations of the great American songwriter Cole Porter, to the venue’s Jaqua Concert Hall this Thursday, Oct. 14. Sometimes it seems like almost every classic 20th century jazz artist made hay with Porter’s immortal tunes, which suit jazz so well. There’s more jazz over in Corvallis on Oct. 16 when one of the Northwest’s — and America’s — finest jazzers, pianist/composer Wayne Horvitz, brings his superb acoustic quartet down from Seattle to play their adventurous yet ear-friendly originals at Squirrel’s. It’s worth the trip.
That’s one of several especially attractive non-UO concerts this month. On Oct. 21, the Shedd brings the great Hawaiian singer Raiatea Helm back to town to sing her leo ki‘eki‘e traditional music. She’s helped revive that haunting falsetto sound that really sounds like nothing else on earth. On Oct. 23, Cottage Grove’s Axe & Fiddle once again hosts Colorado’s category-defying gypsy jazz/chamber folk/newgrass jammy/whatever you call ’em acoustic quartet Taarka, whose mandolin and fiddle-fueled originals appeal to a wide spectrum of listeners. Similarly broadminded guitar fans should head over to Tsunami Books on Oct. 21 for the fingerstyle duo (actually, alternating solo numbers) of Larry Pattis and Boston’s Peter Janson, who traverse a range of rootsy styles, or on Oct 24 to catch acoustic guitarists Tony Kaltenberg, Portland’s Doug Smith and Germany’s Michael Busch.