Our 2019-2020 Boundless Music Series offers six performances that celebrate a wide range of world-class artists, including folk, classical, jazz musicians, as well as artists who defy classification. Here’s a snapshot of what’s in store.
Saturday, October 12, 2019
Harris and Sonksen
Jay County native and Chicago jazz pianist fixture Larry Harris will be joined by the amazing Mark Sonksen on bass for an evening of delightful improvisation. It’s been eight years and too long since Larry last graced our stage. He has performed in every important jazz venue in Chicagoland, including the Jazz Showcase, the Green Mill, Andy’s, and the main stage of the Chicago Jazz Festival. Larry has backed visiting artists at the Chicago Theatre and Holiday Star Theatre ranging from Bob Newhart, to Bob Hope, to Aretha Franklin. Harris has been a part of dozens of recordings both as performer and arranger, the most recent being “Mando-Boppin” with jazz mandolin virtuoso Don Stiernberg.
Bassist Mark Sonksen is a gifted bass player and composer. Known for his accessible straight ahead and Latin-tinged jazz, his works incorporate a wide variety of influences from Brazilian to Latin-tinged jazz and Argentine Tango music. Over the years Mark has played with great artists, including Bobby Shew, Louie Bellson, Jodie Christian, Diane Shuur, Ira Sullivan, Ed Thigpen, and Hugh Fraser, among others. Sonksen most recently performed on the road for the Calgary Jazz Performance Series.
Friday, November 1, 2019
Jay Ungar and Molly Mason
Millions were entranced by the music Ungar and Mason provided for Ken Burns’ PBS documentary The Civil War. Their performance of the series’ signature tune, Jay’s haunting composition, Ashokan Farewell, earned the couple international acclaim. The soundtrack won a Grammy and Ashokan Farewell was nominated for an Emmy. The duo started with a chance meeting in the late 1970s. Jay, a Bronx kid, and Molly, who grew up in Washington State, came at music from two different directions. But they hit it off musically and since joining forces—both artistically and romantically (the two would marry in 1991), Ungar and Mason have become one of the most celebrated duos on the American acoustic music scene. You’ve probably heard them many times on A Prairie Home Companion.
Saturday, January 11, 2020
Cellist Kristen Yeon-Ji Yun and pianist Phoenix Park-Kim will dazzle you with brilliant and sensitive playing. Yeon-Ji Yun holds a doctorate in cello performance from the renowned Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, where she studied with Janos Starker. An Associate Professor of Music at Colorado Mesa University, Yeon-Ji Yun has won numerous competitions and performed in nine countries on three continents.
Park-Kim has also won top prizes at numerous national and international competitions, including first prize at the Miami Concerto Competition. Her recent performance at Carnegie Hall with Soprani Compagni led to her invitation to join the roster of Distinguished Concerts International New York. Park-Kim is a Professor of Music at Indiana Wesleyan University.
Saturday, February 8, 2020
The only “Piano Windtet” worldwide, Ensemble 4.1 is truly coming to Portland! We were so disappointed for these five Berliners who were snowed out last January, that we rescheduled the concert for the 2019-20 series. Four wind soloists and one pianist devote themselves to this still undiscovered and wonderful musical genre. In addition to the masterpieces for this original setting by Mozart and Beethoven, the ensemble performs rarely played compositions from the turn of the 19th to the 20th century. Join us for an amazing concert by the “the Easy-Riders of Viennese Classic.”
The Washington Post: “Ensemble 4.1 dazzles at Phillips concert series.” “…powerful sonority…”unassailable musicianship”
Friday, February 28, 2020
International Guitar Night
International Guitar Night will be back on Hall-Moser Theatre’s stage for a second time with a new roster of artists. The world’s premier touring guitar festival, IGN brings together the most interesting and innovative acoustic guitarists to exchange musical ideas in a concert setting. For each tour, a new cast of guitar luminaries performs solos, duets, and quartets highlighting the dexterity and diversity within the world of acoustic guitar.
This season’s tour includes English artist Mike Dawes, who is also the lead guitar player for Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues. A brilliant young player of the “timple”, German Lopez touches audiences with original instrumental music from the Canary Islands. Of the Finnish guitarist Olli Soikkeli, the Wall Street Journal wrote, “…a riveting Finnish guitarist who combines astonishing dexterity and speed with pure soul…” A veteran of Hawaii’s famed slack key festivals, Jim “Kimo” West is a 2008 winner of the Hawaii Music Awards, a two-time winner of the LA Treasures Award, and four Grammys.
Friday, April 3, 2020
Dave Bennett’s “Swing To Rock: Benny, Elvis, and Jerry Lee”
For starters, you don’t find many jazz clarinet players who name Alice Cooper, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Chris Isaak among their influences. You also won’t find many musicians who are equally conversant with the music of Benny Goodman (the “King of Swing”) and Roy Orbison (“The Soul of Rock and Roll”). A clarinet virtuoso, Bennett also plays electric guitar, piano, drums, and vocalizes. Swing to Rock features Dave and his band in music from the Swing Era to early Rockabilly and Country. Dave has been a featured soloist at Carnegie Hall with The New York Pops and has performed with his band across the USA. Join us to close out the season with Dave’s “Rockin the ‘50s” show. It always brings down the house!