Sunday, June 30, 2019

JMN's 2019 Summer Music guide ... Part 2: the ticketed festivals and shows!

On Wednesday I posted my list of free summer outdoor music in and around Portland, but there are also lots of great ticketed outdoor music shows that bring top acts to the region. Here are a few of this summer's highlights for me.

Waterfront Blues Festival (July 4 -7) ... still the best bargain for a festival this summer! You can't beat music at four stages on the waterfront. And it's not just blues. There's plenty of Cajun, zydeco, swing, funk, Americana ... the vibe is easygoing and there's music from noon until 11 pm. Single day tickets are just $20 in advance and $25 at the door. And there are different levels of passes that get you lots more. Though no longer affiliated with the Oregon Food Bank, there is a opportunity to contribute canned food and donations to The Sunshine Division.

Other festivals of note in and around Portland/NW Oregon include:
Northwest String Summit (July 18-21)
PDX Pop Now! (July 20-21)
Wildwood Music Festival (July 19-21)
Pickathon (August 2-4)
Vanport Jazz Festival (Aug 3)

Willing to travel a bit further, check out:
Vancouver Folk Music Festival - Vancouver, BC (July 19-21)
Winthrop Rhythm and Blues Festival - Winthrop, WA (July 19-21)
Jazz in the Valley - Ellensburg, WA (July 26-28)
Bumbershoot - Seattle (Aug 30-Sept 1)
Sisters Folk Festival - Sisters (Sept 6-8)

Though not confined to one weekend, the Britt Festival runs all summer at the Britt Pavilion in Jacksonville, OR.

Ticketed outdoor venue shows include:

Oregon Zoo Concerts
Edgefield Concerts on the Lawn

And you can always take a trip to Kruger's Farm on Sauvie Island for the Thursday night concerts ... they charge by the carload ($20), so pile in and head to Sauvie Island! Or, even better, it's free if you walk in or ride your bike.

But, Jim, I don't like sitting outside for music (too hot! too cold! it might rain! sitting on the ground! not paying $85 to listen to folks loudly nattering on about their vacations or their kid's orthodontics!) ... so how about summer music in comfy theaters or clubs? That will be in another post coming soon ...

See ya out and about .... and have a great summer!

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

JMN's 2019 Summer Music guide ... Part 1: free outdoor music!

Given my sporadic posting this year, you might have thought I'd probably forget about this -- but in the immortal words of Gomer Pyle, "Surprise, surprise, surprise."

 So here is the 2019 version of my annual post about the many, many summer outdoor music options we have in Portland. It's going to sound a lot like (in fact, pretty much exactly like) the previous years, as there's a lot of text recycling with refreshed links.

Something I truly love about Portland in the summer is that there's music in the parks, plazas, and other outdoor venues all over town and the surrounding communities. As I've said before (ad nauseum), when it comes to live music outdoors in summer, we really do have an amazing number of choices. So there's no excuse for not catching some pretty outstanding music throughout the summer.

I'd like to first note some of the free music out and about in the region. And, as nothing is really free, remember most of it is paid for by the generous sponsorship of local businesses (who you should thank and support), and in many cases your generous contributions at the shows.

I'll do a separate post on the summer shows for which you'll actually need to purchase a ticket. But first the free ...

Portland Parks and Recreation's Summer Free for All: Concerts and Movies in the Parks! This is a huge series in multiple city parks throughout the summer. Concerts kickoff on Monday, July 8 with the first show in the Sellwood series. The big change to this series is that the site has moved up the hill to Sellwood Park. After 30 or so years on the river, it was time for a change. Sellwood Riverfront park being a dog park was one reason for the switch ... not to mention that the new location has a lot more shade - a plus given how hot the last few summers have been. It kicks off July 8 at 6:30 pm with Moody Little Sister. That will be followed by Rae Gordon (July 15), Grupo Masato (July 22), and Miller and Sasser (July 29). These are community events that are a blast and a great way to connect with your neighborhood. So, find your local park (or venture further!), bring a picnic dinner (or patronize the food vendors), bring a blanket or chairs, and enjoy. Nothing better on a summer's eve! Also note that there is music before each of the scheduled Movies in the Park - another 50 or so nights to catch music (and a film) for free in a Portland park this summer.

For all of you who are downtown in Portland for your work week (or if you just like slacking downtown), there a some fine musical opportunities, like:

Music on Main is a great Wednesday series that begins July 10 on Main Street between the Schnitz and the Performing Arts Center. As usual, it has a eclectic lineups of bands this summer.

Pioneer Square has another year of Noon Tunes - every Tuesday at noon - July 9 to August 27.

Then there are street fairs - for instance, Mississippi Street Fair (Saturday, July 13), the Alberta Street Fair (Saturday, Aug 10), and the Hawthorne Street Fair (Sunday, Aug 25) ... and of course, Last Thursday on Alberta.

There's the annual Cathedral Park Jazz Festival - three days of great music ... free in St John's - July 19-21.

Also in Portland you can find cool music at a number of places like this - Market of Choice on SE Belmont & 11th is having music every other Friday night. Next show is on July 14 (also at Cedar Mill and Bend stores).

But Portland isn't the only city in the metro area that has an abundance of free music ... check out these summer concert schedules:

Milwaukie has a huge slate of outdoor shows in a variety of locations. Our neighbor to the south continues to up its game ... nice!

Lake Oswego hosts sixteen concerts spread among Millennium Plaza Park, Foothills Park and Westlake Park through the summer - Wednesday and Sunday evenings.

West Linn has a Thursday night series at Tanner Creek Park beginning July 25.

Oregon City also has a Thursday night series at the End of the Oregon Trail starting on July 11.

Hillsboro has music every Tuesday night at the Hillsboro Marketplace starting at 5:30 pm. There's also a Sunday series at the market and a Thursday night series in Shute Park starting on July 11.

Tualatin Hills Parks and Rec spreads music around a number of parks on Thursdays.

Vancouver has a Thursday evening and a Wednesday noon series downtown in Esther Short Park and a Sunday series at the Columbia Tech Center. Cool sounds in the 'Couve!

Also, a good event calendar to check for more:
PDX Pipeline - links to different categories of events and they send out a weekly post with things to do. This link will bring up events in their calendar tagged "music."

I'm sure there's even more free outdoor music out there for you to discover.

Go for it and have a great summer 2019!

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Fwd: Music in the orchard at Longsummer Farm

This is a reminder to reserve your spot for next Sunday's Moody Little Sister concert at Longsummer Farm. My friends Megan and Brian have an amazing location for an outdoor show at their farm in Washougal. We are getting close to sold out, so reserve your place now by emailing  Hope to see you there!     --Jim

Join us for
Music in the Orchard
at Longsummer Farm

We are kicking off the first weekend of summer with Music in the Orchard at Longsummer Farm! Yes, our own house concert!

Please join us on Sunday, June 23, for an evening of music in the orchard with touring musicians and storytellers Moody Little Sister. Naomi Hooley and Rob Stroup are a duo whose music could be described anywhere from alternative folk-soul to Americana roots-rock. But who needs labels! It's simply great music and songwriting from the heart.

It's a BYO event, feel free to bring your own food, drinks, blankets and chairs (low ones please!).
NO pets please.

Donation-based concerts are a major way Rob and Naomi make their living on the road. The suggested donation is $15 - $20 per person. Cash only, and it all goes to the band.

Doors at 5 pm / Music from 6 - 8:30 pm … and if weather is an issue, the show will be moved indoors.

Space is limited, so please reserve your spot by emailing

We hope you can join us for a fantastic evening of music at the farm!

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Heads-up for weekend shows

Whoa ... is that a post I see materializing through the mists! Could be. Well, don't blink or you might miss it. Given it seems like I've been sleeping for 20 years, I woke up to some of my favorite artists and friends performing this weekend.

For instance on Friday there's The Buzz Holland 5 at the Starday Tavern (6 pm, no cover). Or check out Lauren Sheehan at the Muddy Rudder (8 pm, no cover)

One of my favorite voices from Austin, Kelly Willis, is at the White Eagle at 9 pm ($20). Kelly doesn't tour much these days (spending the past dozen or so years focused on raising her family), but she has a new record with her husband and musical partner, Bruce Robison, and we're really lucky that she's doing a short swing through the Northwest.

On Saturday, Kris Deelane & The Hurt do an extended show at the Laurelthirst (7-10 pm, no cover).

And don't miss this one ... one of Portland's best, Stephanie Schneiderman, is recording a new album and doing a fundraising concert for it at the Beam and Anchor (8 pm, $25)

On SundayMoody Little Sister (Rob Stroup and Naomi Hooley) begin a week's residency at Al's Den with some great special guests each night through Saturday! (7 pm, no cover) ... And speaking of Rob and Naomi, don't forget they're doing an outdoor house concert in the orchard at Longsummer Farm in Washougal, WA, on Sunday, June 23. For more info, send a message to - space is limited and filling up. Hope to see you there! 

And finally (at least in this post), songwriter Joe New, will be at The Vault at Gastro Mania in Multnomah Village. (7 pm, $8)

Monday, April 1, 2019

Fwd: Beth Wood with Cal and Richard at the Vault!

In case you're looking for music tonight, this is a great option ... 



Monday April 1: Songwriter Circle