Pacific Northwest Sounds

From Wayne Horvitz to the return of Miguel Harth-Bedoya

The Pacific Northwest has left its mark on Wayne Horvitz’s music. Like his colleague, guitarist Bill Frisell, the jazz pianist and composer’s move from New York’s 1980s downtown music scene to Seattle sparked music of considerably broader appeal than the more avant-garde styles he was known for on the East Coast.

Horvitz’s latest project, Some Places Are Forever Afternoon, bears the imprint of another Pacific Northwest creative genius: poet Richard Hugo. Long based at the University of Montana, the Seattle-born poet (who died in 1982) inspired other Western writers like William Kittredge and James Welch, and often drew inspiration from the towns and people he visited in the region. Horvitz literally followed in Hugo’s footsteps, rambling through some of those places before completing this chamber jazz suite, which allows room for improvisation.

At Horvitz’s performance Friday, Oct. 9, at The Shedd, his ensemble will perform Horvitz’s new original suite of 11 compositions, interspersed with readings of the corresponding poems by poet and Hugo scholar Frances McCue. Students should take advantage of the Shedd’s new free ticket policy — check the website for details.

If you move fast enough, you might be able to catch another recommended jazz show after Horvitz’s must-see set: the terrific Eugene saxophonist Joe Manis’s CD release show for his latest album, The Golden Mean, at 9 pm, Oct. 9, at Sam Bond’s. Like his 2013 North by Northwest album, this new release, as well as the concert, features the superb Portland keyboard master George Colligan on Hammond B-3 organ. Mixing these two incendiary solo voices (abetted by drummer Kevin Congleton) can produce a combustible, sometimes explosive chemical reaction of fiery jazz, garnished with some 21st-century style. But the album also offers some lovely balladry that eschews the fireworks.

If your jazz tastes run more to big bands than small combos, that same night offers Swing Shift Jazz Orchestra over at Springfield’s Wildish Theater.

Either way, you have a week to recover before heading to the Broadway House concert Friday, Oct. 16, for still another jazz CD release party. Award-winning young trumpeter and composer Tony Glausi starred in a number of ensembles around town and at the UO, and his upcoming new album Identity Crisis constitutes an important statement for the next generation of Oregon jazz. Glausi’s quintet performs in the intimate bungalow at 911 W. Broadway (call 686-9270 for details).

I’ll never forget Miguel Harth-Bedoya’s first concert with the Eugene Symphony, in which he unleashed vibrant Latin American classical music that embraced the rhythmic power and melodic beauty too many post-World War II European classical composers abandoned. Now music director of the Fort Worth Symphony, Harth-Bedoya returns to Eugene, where the Peruvian-born conductor led the symphony from 1996-2002.

Harth-Bedoya’s Oct. 15 performance at the Hult Center features his characteristically unusual and stirring program with one of those appealing Latin American classics, music from the 1941 Estancia by the great Argentine composer Alberto Ginastera. That performance also features the premiere of new choreography by Harth-Bodoya’s old collaborator Hector Zaraspe and his dance troupe. The concert, which might be the hidden gem of the orchestra’s sparkling 50th-anniversary season, also includes Van Cliburn competition-winning pianist Vadym Kholodenko in Ginastera’s colorful 1961 Piano Concerto No. 1 and other works by mid-20th-century Chilean composers Enrique Soro and Alfonso Leng.

This week also offers some wonderful early music concerts. On Sunday, Oct. 10, at Central Lutheran Church, the terrific Portland vocal quartet The Ensemble sings madrigals by composers Thomas Weelkes, Thomas Morley and other English Renaissance masters.

On Oct. 17, Ensemble Primo Seicento offers some of the earliest Baroque music from 17th-century Italy on period instruments at downtown’s Atrium courtyard in a free afternoon show. And on Oct. 18 at United Lutheran Church, Oregon Bach Collegium plays later Baroque music by J.S. Bach, featuring two of his glorious cantatas with singers Thor Mikesell and Heather Holmquest.