ArtsWatch Weekly: Tiny Tims and Klezmer Clarinets

SUDDENLY IT’S MID-DECEMBER, almost Solstice, with Christmas, Kwanzaa, and the hot (or cold) New Years on its heels. Not to mention the invented holidays: yesterday, for example, was National Cupcake Day. Today has been proclaimed, by someone somewhere, National All-Chocolate Day – including, presumably, leftover cupcakes from yesterday. Tomorrow is both National Ugly Sweater Day and National Maple Syrup Day, a confluence that has the potential to spill over at the breakfast table and create the birth of a new celebration, National Day. sticky sweater. Happy Holidays!

David Krakauer, the “undisputed rock star / king / god of the klezmer clarinet,” performing with the Portland Chamber Orchestra. Photo: Joe Cantrell

Here in Oregon (and pretty much everywhere else on the map), the cultural calendar has turned resolutely towards seasonal celebrations. Hanukkah ended on December 6, but not before the Portland Chamber Orchestra gave a pair of performances with fabulous Klezmer clarinetist David Krakauer, whom ArtsWatch’s Angela Allen called “an exuberant journey through. festive and revived Jewish (Ashkenazi) music from Eastern Europe “. She also happily proclaimed Krakauer “the undisputed rock star / king / god of the klezmer clarinet”.

Seasonal sounds abound. While taking notes for this column, I listened to a favorite Christmas CD, the wonderful Portland choral group, the 2010 recording of Mulieribus. A december party, which includes music from the 12th to the 20th century. Fortunately, the choir is also preparing a new program, The pure light of love, for a pair of live performances December 19-20 at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Portland. Daryl Browne has details on these and several other choral groups in his column. The choristers of the Pacific Northwest, reconnected.

Among a host of other offers, a few options to take out or take out with the whole family catch my attention:

  • Portland samba band Lions of Batucada teams up with Go Samba and the Rhythm Traders music store for a Brazil Day celebration from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. this Saturday, December 18 at Rhythm Traders, 3904 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. There will be a free samba class at 11:30 am, demonstrations of Brazilian percussion instruments throughout the day, performances at 2 pm and 4 pm, and “a supposed appearance of Samba Claus”.
  • Oregon Children’s Theater Holiday Extravaganza Merry Merry Everything! approaching the end of his mirth; you can catch one of its last five performances Friday through Sunday, December 17-19, at the Brunish Theater of Portland’5 Centers for the Arts.
  • Another element of family theater, Portland Revels – part of the international Revels movement which includes Morris dances, old-fashioned musical instruments, dragons, Christmas carols and other solstice entertainment – is back. , this year in a trio of concerts – performances that air on December 17, 19 and 21, called Portland Jam. The shows will then be available for streaming from December 22 to Jan. 10.
A black woman sits at a desk as a figure approaches the shadows behind her
Cycerly Ash as Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol” at the Portland Playhouse. Photo: Shawnte Sims.

At the airport, a cultural banner flies high

Artist Liza Mana Burns, putting the finishing touches on her banner after it was installed Tuesday in the newly renovated Lobby B at Portland International Airport. Photo: Carrie Kikel, Oregon Cultural Trust

PORTLAND INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT is entering the high traffic holiday season, and when the crowds reach the airport’s newly refurbished Hall B, they will be greeted not only by inbound and outbound flights, but also by a cultural banner of the 50-foot-wide Oregon installed Tuesday. . The banner, designed and painted by artist Eugene Liza Mana Burns, is a replica of his design for the Oregon Cultural Trust’s new vehicle license plate, which was released in September: you can read more here .

Tuesday’s unveiling – banners previously hung at Medford, Redmond and Eugene airports – showed Burns’ design on the big screen: a depiction of the state’s land and water with 127 embedded cultural symbols. The installation also includes a new 16-foot mural of Burns, as well as 40 of the license plate symbols and their stories. (You can access an interactive key of the 127 symbols via a QR code.) Celebrants for Tuesday’s ceremony included the Grand Ronde Singers and members of the Kúkátónón performance group, joined by the hip-hop star. Cool Nutz, main source for the description of illustration symbol # 124: Microphone / Rap and Hip Hop. With their performances, you could say that the whole celebration has taken off.

During the display of the cultural banner at Portland International Airport on Tuesday, Marilyn Munoz, member of the Kúkátónón group and student at Franklin High School, recited two poems, including “Touched by an Angel” by Maya Angelou. Photo: Kelsie Morris / courtesy Oregon Cultural Trust

ArtsWatch & the Cultural Trust: Double your impact

THE CULTURAL TRUST WALL AND LICENSE PLATE PROJECT is just a small part of the work it does to help keep Oregon’s arts and culture flourishing. At ArtsWatch, we have the same goal – and you can help us. December is a time of giving, and we are grateful to the many people, foundations and agencies who have helped us grow and prosper over the years. We’re celebrating ten years of publishing this year, and thanks to your generosity, during this decade we’ve dramatically expanded our coverage of arts and culture in Oregon. ArtsWatch is a non-profit journalistic business, which means we rely on the help of friends and readers who believe in what we do. To so many of you reading this, thank you for your support. As the year draws to a close, we would like to ask you to donate again, or for the first time, to help us continue to report on the state of Oregon culture as we all face to the many changes and challenges the past two years have brought. Simply click on the graphic below or here to make your gift. Thank you!

THANKS TO OREGON’S INNOVATIVE IMPT CREDIT FOR CULTURAL TRUST, you can donate to Oregon ArtsWatch and essentially match your donation by matching your donation to the Oregon Cultural Trust. It works like this: you can donate to ArtsWatch or any nonprofit arts, heritage or humanities group from a long list, then donate the same amount (you can combine multiple eligible donations, within limits) and receive 100 percent of your donation to the Cultural Trust as a credit against your state income tax. The Cultural Trust, in turn, distributes your gift to worthy groups across the state. Click below or on the link in that paragraph for more details, and, double thank you!

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Museum exhibition: Private lives of the Nabis

Félix Vallotton (Swiss, 1865-1925), “La Chambre rouge, Étretat” (1899). Oil on artist’s board; 49.2 x 51.3 cm The Art Institute of Chicago, Bequest of Mrs. Clive Runnells, 1977.606

WALLPAPER AND BABIES: THE NABIS AT THE PORTLAND ART MUSEUM. The vast museum exhibition of 180 works by the Nabis, the group of young artists from end of century Paris, focuses on Pierre Bonnard, Edouard Vuillard, Maurice Denis and Félix Vallotton and their family lives as young artists build their careers. Perhaps their youth and ambition, according to Laurel Reed Pavic, would provide a better setting than home life for the art of the series: “The whole Nabis background sounds like a setup for a movie about the transition to adulthood. … Youthful personal importance, young love, wallet building and weird babies? Now there is a theme with wide appeal.

Movie remakes, Cold Flows, unbridled energy

Cate Blanchett and Bradley Cooper in new Guillermo Del Toro movie “Alley of Nightmares.”

WEEKLY FILMWATCH: “NIGHTMARE ALLEY” AND “SWAN SONG”. Marc Mohan takes a look at the new big star version of Guillermo Del Toro’s 1947 film noir Alley of nightmares, thinks more about Stephen Spielberg’s new film West Side Story, and consider the dangers and possibilities of remakes. Then he digs under the surface of the sci-fi movie Swan song, in which Mahershala Ali gives an appealing performance as a terminally ill man and his clone, and considers the us and the downs of the double take.

“COLD FLOW, A SLOWER FOUNTAIN” AT HOLDING CONTEMPORARY. Hanna Krafcik presents the DIY exhibit from Artists’ Co-op Physical Education, which weaves the story of their collaboration into personal memorabilia from the gift shop, and what curator Ashley Stull Meyers calls a “chaotic reflection on displacement. in the era of physical and functional distance ”.

WEEKLY SNAPSHOTS: ENERGY WITHOUT OPERATION. Robert Ham chats with pianist Saloli and Julia McGarrity, singer-songwriter of the folk / pop ensemble June Magnolia, about their music and upcoming shows.

Start Over: Music in Ashland, Theater on the Coast

Melissa MacDonald and Darcy Lawrence in Red Octopus’ 2018 rendition of “The Christmas Show”. Photo: Chris Graamans, courtesy of the Red Octopus Theater Company

THE RED OCTAGONAL RESUMES SWIMMING. It’s been two years since Newport’s Red Octopus Theater Company put on a live show – back to their last Christmas show, in 2019, before Covid shut things down. Finally, the company returns to the stage with its new holiday entertainment – called, as always, The Christmas Show, though that changes with each edition – for two performances this Friday and Saturday, December 17 and 18 at the Newport Performing Arts Center. It’s also part of a continued comeback for the arts center, which was dark for a year and a half before reopening for shows this fall.

CHAMBER MUSIC IN THE TIME OF COVID. After long pandemic layoffs filled with streaming concerts but no live performances, Ashland’s chamber music concert series returned to the stage for concert hall performances with the audience in the hall. Alice Hardesty chats with cellist David Ying of the Ying Quartet and violist Ruth Gibson of the Castalian Quintet about how good it feels.

James C. Tibbs