The Harps are Coming to Astoria! Celtic Harp Concert and Workshop

A duo of Celtic harpists and multi-instrumentalists will be performing a concert of rare instruments and stories as well as offering a beginning hands-on- harps workshop with harps provided at the Clatsop Community College Performing Arts Center in Astoria (corner of 16th and Franklin). The concert is on Friday, Oct 27 at 7:00 PM and will benefit the Partners for the PAC. The beginner harps workshop is on Saturday Oct 28 from 10 am to noon. Continue reading

CASCADIA CONCERT OPERA SINGERS teams up with Liberty for Music, Dance, Dinner

Make your trip an easy one by combining two performances with a special prix fixe dinner provided by Carruthers restaurant! Start your experience with The Portland Chamber Orchestra featuring Finnish pianist Ruusamari Teppo at the Liberty Theatre. After the performance, cross the street to Carruthers Restaurant for a special prix fixe menu. Once finished, baske in an evening of opera and tango with the Cascadia Concert Opera Singers, Musicians, and Tango dancers at the Performing Arts Center. Enjoy the best classical music and delicious food that Astoria has to offer in one easy package!

4:00pm – 5:45pm The Portland Chamber Orchestra with Ruusamari Teppo, The Liberty Theatre

6:00pm – 7:00pm Prix Fixe Menu at Carruthers Restaurant

7:30pm – 9:30pm Cascadia Concert Opera Singers, Musicians, and Tango dancers at the Performing Arts Center

*Please be prepared to show your ticket at all three venues! Continue reading

2ND ANNUAL RIVERFOLK BENEFIT

Riverfolk is excited to announce our upcoming benefit, featuring Bob Malone, Dan Weber, Alexa Wiley, and Tom May with Donnie Wright. Bob is John Fogerty’s (Creedence Clearwater Revival) keyboard player, and is also featured on Ringo Starr’s upcoming new album. Dan Weber is an award-winning performing songwriter, Alexa Wiley is a very talented singer- songwriter and activist, and Tom May is a legendary folk performer who played with Gordon Lightfoot, and is the founder and host of nationally syndicated public radio program, “River City Folk.” Continue reading

Four Shillings Short

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 14
7:00 – 9:00pm
Benefit Concert for Clatsop Community College Performing Arts Center
CLATSOP COMMUNITY COLLEGE – PERFORMING ARTS CENTER
588 16TH St.
Astoria, OR 97103
For info contact Josie @ 503-791-0305
$15.00 cover

The Celtic/Folk/World music duo Four Shillings Short are coming to town.

Continue reading

Noche Flamenca

Espacio Flamenco and the PAC present NOCHE FLAMENCA, an unforgettable evening of flamenco music and dance Sunday September 3rd, 7:00pm at the historic Performing Arts Center. With NOCHE FLAMENCA, Espacio Flamenco (Portland, OR) shares the best of it’s repertoire, taking audiences on a journey through the different “palos” or styles of flamenco. Each dancer brings her unique interpretation to the table, together celebrating the diversity of this enchanting Andalusian art form.

At the heart of Espacio Flamenco’s performance are the soulful vocals of Moroccan born singer Randa BenAziz. Randa began her performance career at the age of ten and incorporates arabic and jazz influences into her flamenco interpretation. Espacio Flamenco musical director Brenna McDonald provides guitar accompaniment for the group. An accomplished soloist in her own right, Brenna has devoted her life to the study of flamenco music and dance and is one of the few female flamenco guitarists (“tocaoras”) in the world qualified to play for singers and dancers. Nick Hutch and Christina Lorentz bring the groove with top notch percussion and palmas (hand clapping) essential to Flamenco. Dancers or “bailaoras” Lillie Last, Montserrat Andreys, Kelley Dodd, and Christina Lorentz charm and inspire the audience, leaving no choice but to shout “olé!”

Flamenco is an improvisational art form that combines song, dance, instruments (mainly guitar), hand clapping, and other percussion elements. Declared a World Heritage Treasure by UNESCO in 2016, Flamenco developed as an amalgamation of centuries of cross pollination between the many cultural presences within Spain and along Spanish trade routes. While it’s precise history is unknown, it is thought to be greatly influenced by the Roma people, called Gitanos, who migrated from Rajasthan to Spain between the 9th and 14th centuries, bringing with them tambourines, bells, castanets and a variety of songs and dances. The arm and hand movements of Flamenco closely resemble those of classical Indian dance. These traditions combined with the cultures of the Sephardic Jews and Moors make up the Flamenco we see today.

A BENEFIT FOR THE PAC – THE PRESS GANG WITH HANZ ARAKI

“A bold sound from New England,” “an Irish music phenomenon in America,” and “pure exhilaration for the ears” are a few of the comments from recent reviews of the The Press Gang, a traditional Irish band from Portland, Maine, that will perform at 7 P.M. on Friday, February 10, at the Clatsop Community College Performing Arts Center, 588 16th Street, in Astoria.

The Press Gang fuses the talents of squeezebox player Christian “Junior” Stevens, fiddler Alden Robinson, flute-player and vocalist Hanz Araki, and guitarist Owen Marshall into a high-octane musical partnership. The quartet blends their skill and fluency in traditional Irish music with their curiosity and aptitude for other styles. The joy that these musicians pour into playing music together is unmistakable and infectious. The result is a unique sound; at once energetic and sensitive, innovative and reverent.

Flutist and vocalist Araki is no stranger to the North Coast. He was based for many years in Portland, Oregon, and recorded solo albums as well as several albums with Kathryn Claire. Araki has performed locally at McMenamins’ Sand Trap Pub, KALA, the Fort George, the Peninsula Arts Center, and as a soloist with the North Coast Symphonic Band at the Liberty Theater.

Admission to the February 7 performance is $15 for adults and $10 for youth. Proceeds benefit the PAC. Tickets are available at the door and online at www.littlesearecords.com. For more information, call Partners for the PAC co-chair Charlene Larsen at 503-325-0590.

SKAMOKAWA SWAMP OPERA

Do you enjoy unusual instrumental combinations like cello and banjo? Guitar and jew’s harp? Gorgeous solo voices that come together in tight harmony? Then come to the PAC at 2pm on Sunday afternoon, February 5th, to hear the soon-to-be famous Skamokawa Swamp Opera.

Four talented musicians make up the SSO, headed by Skamokawa resident and string musician extraordinaire, Andrew Emlen. Singing and playing guitar is Kyleen Austin (the opera connection). Eric Friend plays percussion and mandolin; he has a fine tenor voice. Jillian Raye plays banjo and sings, both enthusiastically.

The SSO plays almost every kind of music—-hip-hop, opera, folk, pop standards and more. Their concerts include lots of “sidebar” comments to the audience and they are family friendly. A review of their last concert described them as “serious, zany, talented, learned”. They are all that and, yes, even more.

Tickets to see Skamokawa Swamp Opera are $15 and will be available on Feb. 5th at the Performing Arts Center at 588 16th street in Astoria. Children under 12 are free. Doors will open at 1:30. Their director Andrew Emlen has said he hopes there will be “dancing in the aisles”! So come and enjoy!!

Words, words, words! ‘All In The Timing’ offers a clever comic quandary of speech vs. meaning

all-in-timing-posterLock three chimpanzees in a room with typewriters. Could they eventually write “Hamlet”? What if they shared an affinity with three famous authors?

If a construction worker announced he was the Lindbergh baby, would you believe him? And, if you went on a first date and said the wrong thing, would you like to start the conversation all over?

Odd questions, and seemingly unrelated, but they form the premise of some zany scenes in David Ives’ “All In The Timing.”

The play will be staged at the Clatsop Community College Performing Arts Center in Astoria in January. The production is directed by Edward James of Astoria and features a cast of North Coast actors. It has five comic segments which share a focus on words, language and almost inevitable miscommunications.

Written in 1993 and first staged Off-Broadway, the contrasting scenes highlight often existentialist perspectives on life. Several are complicated by romance, although none proceeds perfectly.

“Sure Thing” features a man and a woman who meet in a cafe. Neither can immediately tell the truth, but they are magically given repeated chances to try again.
“Words, Words, Words” eavesdrops on three classic authors imprisoned with a seemingly impossible task, fueled by bananas and cigarettes.
“The Universal Language” shows a shy woman trying to overcome loneliness through language. Can she trust the man who helps her?
“The Philadelphia” showcases two men in a cafe apparently trapped in different pockets of reality, served by a waitress who seems determined to mess up their orders.
“Mere Mortals” introduces three construction workers perched high on a half-built skyscraper revealing their true identities. European royalty? Surely it cannot be so?

David Ives is an American playwright, screenwriter, and novelist, born in Chicago, educated at Yale but based in New York. Although he has written many scripts and adaptations of full-length plays, his skill in writing one-act comedies prompted the New York Times to label him the “maestro of the short form.”

The Astoria performances are produced with permission of Dramatists Play Service, Inc.

LOVE/SICK

RevisedLowrezLove-Sick PosterThe American Association of University Women (AAUW) and Partners for the Performing Arts Center (PAC) present Love/Sick by John Cariani on Fridays and Saturdays, September 16, 17, 23, 24 at 7:00 p.m. and on Sundays, September 18 and 25 at 4:00 p.m. at the Astoria Performing Arts Center on 16th and Franklin. The play is directed by Susi Brown, who also directed Cariani’s Almost, Maine at The Coaster Theatre in Cannon Beach and was the owner and director of Pier Pressure Productions in Astoria.

The actors are Priscilla Fairall, William Ham, Lori Wilson Honl, Toni Ihander, Daric Moore, Nancy Montgomery, Barry Sears, Sheila Shaffer, and Ben Van Osdol. Larry Bryant is the lighting designer, Bobbi Brice is assistant to the director, Dave Gager and William Ham are the sound technicians, running crew are Isaac Gray and Cheyenne Lyon. Daric Moore is the composer and performer of the music specifically created for this production.

John Edward Cariani, born in 1969, is an accomplished playwright and an award-winning American actor. Cariani is best known to television viewers as the forensic expert Julian Beck in Law & Order. On stage, he earned a Tony Award nomination for his role as Motel the Tailor in the 2004 Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof. Cariani starred in the Transport Group’s 2014 Off-Broadway revival of Almost, Maine. The production was named one of the ten best plays of 2014 by The Advocate, and was also recorded by the Theatre on Film and Tape Archive of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center.

As a playwright, Cariani is best known for his first play, Almost, Maine which premiered at the Portland (Maine) Stage Company in 2004, breaking box office records. The Wall Street Journal named it “one of the ten must-see shows” for the 2004/2005 regional theater season.

Cariani’s second play, cul-de-sac premiered Off-Broadway in 2006 with Cariani performing as Joe Jones. The New York Times described cul-de-sac as “charming, witty and macabre.” The play is not yet published as Cariani is still working on it.

Cariani’s third play, Last Gas premiered at Portland (Maine) Stage Company in 2010. Cariani noted that “Almost, Maine is almost a love letter to northern Maine and Last Gas is a more realistic look at that part of the world.”

Love/Sick is Cariani’s most recent play which premiered in the fall of 2010 and played Off-Broadway in 2015. This production is the premier of this play in Oregon.

Love/Sick is a collection of nine vignettes, with eighteen characters, taking place at the same time and in the same location: a Friday night in an alternate suburban reality. This comedy explores the pain and joy of being in love. The cleverly fashioned playlets show the ups and downs of relationships in a variety of situations: love at first sight, dating anxiety, a wedding, boredom, a divorce, and a meeting of ex-lovers. Some of the vignettes have quirky titles such as “Uh-Oh” and “What?!?” and philosophical titles such as “Destiny”, “Where was I?” and “The Answer”. The Huffington Post described Cariani’s play …”While poking fun at the happily-ever-after notion by means of a strong dose of happily-never-after….He knows how to keep audiences laughing while passing along disappointing news.”

Ticket prices are $15 and can be purchased throughout August from AAUW members and at the door one hour prior to the performances. This is a benefit production for Clatsop Community College student scholarships and for support of the continuing use of the Performing Arts Center. For more information contact Sara Meyer of AAUW at chuck555@gmail.com or 503-791-0426 or contact Charlene Larsen of the PAC at crl.larsen@charter.net or 503-791-6207.

The Door Between the Worlds

celticharp“Legends of the Celtic Harp” performs their new show: “The Door Between the Worlds” at 4:00pm on Sunday April 24 at the CCC Performing Arts Center, 16th and Franklin in Astoria, OR. General admission is $15.

“The Door Between the Worlds” is a dramatic journey in music and story into the realms of the Celtic “Otherworld.”    The Celtic people have always believed that there are two worlds. There is the world that we live in. And there is “The Otherworld.” This Land of Faery is filled with wonder and delight but also darkness and peril.  The acclaimed ensemble, Legends of the Celtic Harp, opens the door into this mystical world with music played on Celtic harps, Irish bouzouki, cittern, and Swedish nyckelharpa and tells the tales of that legendary land…from which no one returns unchanged.

This trio of Celtic harpers who have toured extensively throughout the US to sold out audiences and rave reviews. One recent review states “Legends of the Celtic Harp is a blend of music and oratory, falling somewhere between concert and theater. It spanned nearly the range of human feeling, from humor to tragedy, tenderness to rage, reality to mysticism, and more besides. The effects were powerful and exhilarating.”

Audiences will hear three Celtic Harps including the rare wire strung, Swedish Nyckelharpa, Cittern and Irish Bouzouki intertwined with moving stories from the mystical land and legend of the faery.

Patrick Ball is an American master of the Irish harp and a captivating spoken word artist. He has recorded nine instrumental and three spoken word albums which have sold well over a half million copies internationally, winning national awards in both the music and spoken word categories. Patrick’s critically acclaimed concerts and solo theatrical productions have toured extensively throughout the United States, Canada, Ireland and the UK, and have been awarded grants by the California Arts Council and the Circle of Excellence Award from the National Storytelling Association.

Lisa Lynne is a multi-instrumentalist and performer who has gained worldwide recognition for her original music featuring her Celtic Harp. She is widely acclaimed for composing memorable and heartwarming melodies on the Windham Hill/Sony music labels that have repeatedly placed in the Top 10 & Top 20 on the Billboard New age music charts. Lisa tours year round performing at large US festivals and performing art centers. Her work in Therapeutic music has gained recognition from NBC, CNN, Fox News Atlanta and numerous newspaper and magazine articles including Wall Street Journal. Lisa’s music is heard throughout the award winning PBS special “Alone in the Wilderness,” amongst many other soundtracks for commercial television and independent films.

Aryeh Frankfurter is also a renowned Celtic harper and world traveling multi- instrumentalist who went from virtuosic progressive rock violin to intricate Swedish folk and Celtic Music. He began with Classical violin at the age of three, his early studies and successes led him to explore various ethnic and international musical genres. Aryeh taught himself to play a variety of instruments bowed and plucked and most recently the rarely seen Swedish Nyckelharpa. His uncommon approach to the Celtic harp and folk harp repertoire, his numerous critically and commercially successful albums have earned him credit as a musician, recording and performance artist of extraordinary talents and abilities.