INCLUDES VIDEO With no outdoor concerts scheduled in East Portland, see where you can go for a pleasant evening of free, live music this summer …
Although these free summer concerts are held in parking lots rather than parks in Portland, people flock to hear great local professional musicians play and sing.
History and photos of David F. Ashton
The chilling specter of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has brought outdoor concerts to a standstill in 2020; and, to our knowledge, free outdoor music will not be returning this neither is East Portland’s outdoor parks in the summer.
Even though the pandemic ended in June of this year, it became clear to people in Southeast Portland Sellwood Moreland Improvement League (yes, its acronym is ‘SMILE’, it’s Portland’s oldest neighborhood association) that their beloved “Concerts in the Park” produced by Portland Parks & Recreation wouldn’t be taking place this year.
Proudly representing their neighborhood association at their first summer gig of 2021, SMILE President Simon Fulford; Jim Friscia, Chair of the Events Committee; and Vice President Ayomide Nikzi.
“Because our concerts in the park have been canceled again this year, SMILE is hosting a free series of 12 neighborhood music concerts we call ‘SMILE Summer Music’ which runs now through the end of August,” said concert organizer. , Jim Friscia.
As the musicians prepared for the opening show of the summer series on Saturday evening July 10 in the Westmoreland car park of the Windermere Realtors building, residents and visitors began to arrive, many of them bringing chairs and take-out food purchased from local restaurants. .
In the first concert, Mark Shark and Lloyd Jones entertain the audience with blues and American music and lively banter.
“Even though we weren’t able to hold our July ‘Concerts in the Park’ series, we decided we still wanted to bring live music to Sellwood and Westmoreland for everyone in Southeast Portland to enjoy. enjoy,” said Friscia, who is also a SMILE board member, and president of its new Events Committee.
When asked why this year’s concerts were held in parking lots rather than parks, Friscia replied, “Even if they allowed it, we would need to purchase permits from Portland Parks & Recreation; then bring electricity, a PA system and maybe a stage.
“But, as three local partners provide space and electricity, it’s no exaggeration to ask our professional musicians to bring their own sound equipment for these small performances,” explained Friscia.
Plus, he added, with the dozen concerts taking place in three locations around Sellwood-Westmoreland – see the list below – these are very accessible events.
“And, the booking principle that we used is to feature professional musicians who live in the neighborhood and/or play in the neighborhood, like at Rudder muddy Where Wine bar corkscrewthereby supporting the people and establishments that keep music live in the neighborhood,” Friscia said. East Portland News.
As the sounds of music provided by Mark Shark and Lloyd Jones continue, the audience grows.
When asked why he was willing to put so much effort into this voluntary organization concert series project, Friscia replied, “Music is one of those things that everyone responds positively to. Especially with live music, it’s something that brings people together and uplifts – and it’s key to developing a stronger sense of community.
Blues legends launch concert series
The audience gathered for this live concert knew they were in for a musical treat as they watched the duo of Sellwood neighbor Lloyd Jones and Mark Shark prepare for their gig. Shark has performed and recorded with such luminaries as Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, Crosby, Stills and Nash, and George Harrison.
What about Lloyd Jones? He’s a world-renowned roots, blues and Americana festival headliner, who’s also played with a who’s who of music, and who happens to live a few blocks from this gig site. .
It’s clear that Mark Shark and Lloyd Jones love sharing their music with their neighbors.
“It’s true, I’ve played music festivals in front of an audience of 10,000 people, but I love being here tonight because it’s in this region – right here – that everything was born,” said said Jones with an introspective smile.
“For me, it’s ‘come home’; it’s lovely to play here, in my neighborhood. You know, music is for people to come together and feel good in a space like this; in a huge room, when [a concert] gets so slick, so technical, and so big that it loses some of it.
“So here we are, back home, and I to like it,” Jones said, as he turned to start the free concert.
Coming to the public, he revealed he had lived “in the same house, on the same street” for 47 years. “When I moved in, I was the neighborhood hippie; and now I’m the one saying, ‘Hey kids, get off my lawn’!”
About 150 people attended this free concert; and, to the delight of all who attended, the music flowed for over two hours.
To come up Summer music concerts
At the Windermere Building car park (SE 16th & Rural) Saturdaysfrom 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
July 17 – silver lake 66 – Soulful Americana
July 24 – Terry Robb and Lauren Sheehan – American roots and blues
July 31 – Sellwood Jazz Ensembleand
At Sellwood Community House Flag (15 SE and Spokane) Tuesdaysfrom 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
August 03 – Marv & Rindy Ross – of Seafood Mom, Quarterflash, Trail Band notoriety
August 10 – Paula Byrne – Jazz singer
August 17 – Robert Meade – Americana, Rhythm ‘n’ Blues originals and classics
August 24 – Carpathian-Pacific Express – Joyful and energetic Klezmer music
At Moreland Presbyterian Church parking lot (19 SE and Bybee) Saturdaysfrom 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
August 07 – Trio Annette Lowman – Jazz singer and storyteller
August 14 – Adlai Alexandre Trio – Soulful Jazz guitar and vocals
21st of August – Mary Flower – Acoustic blues guitarist and singer
August 28 – The catnip brothers – Bakersfield Honky Tonk & Western Swing
To note: Seating availability varies by venue, so consider bringing your own chairs. Get food from a neighborhood restaurant or bring a picnic basket from home.
© 2021 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™