The 26th annual Oregon Festival of American Music will be onstage at The Shedd from Aug. 2-12, with 14 concerts plus films, lectures — and even a couple of singalongs

By Randi Bjornstad

It’s gotten so large that it’s almost hard to keep track of it all, but the annual Oregon Festival of American Music, onstage Aug. 2-12 at The Shedd Institute for the Arts in downtown Eugene, can be summed up this way: 14 concerts (nine evening and five matinee), augmented by seven free talks; seven free film showings; and two free community singalongs.

Saxophonist Jesse Cloninger heads the Emerald Jazz Kings band and is music director of the Oregon Festival of American Music at The Shedd Institute for the Arts

The theme this year is “The Sweetest Melody: Giants of the American Songbook,” which guarantees tunes and lyrics of some of the most revered songs that originated from Broadway, Tin Pan Alley and Hollywood from the 1920s through the ’50s, then becoming forever further immortalized from their original genres in the form of solo and group jazz, concert, lounge and cabaret performances.

Jesse Cloninger is OFAM’s music director — as well as saxophonist — and leads a musical crew that includes guitarists Howard Alden and Graham Dechter; trumpeters Tony Glausi, Byron Stripling and Tim Clarke; pianists Larry Fuller and Ted Rosenthal; percussionist and vibes player Chuck Redd; bassist Lynn Seaton; and vocalists Shirley Andress, Lynnea Barry, Vicki Brabham, Bob Cross, Marisa Frantz, Evynne Hollens, Bill Hulings, Matthew Leach, Kathryn Leonard, Evan McCarty, Michael Stone, Tracy Tooze, Siri Vik, Laura Wayte and Ian Whitcomb.

 

Here’s the 2017 OFAM rundown at The Shedd:

Aug. 2

  • Free talk — 5 p.m., The Shedd’s Recital Hall;  “The Classic Songbook: Intro to OFAM 2017,” by Jim Ralph, executive director of The Shedd Institute for the Arts
  • Gala opening concert — 8 p.m. Jaqua Concert Hall, “I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart,” featuring music of Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Ira and George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Rodgers & Hart, Hoagy Carmichael, Duke Ellington and more

Aug. 3

  • Free film — 10 a.m., Recital Hall; “Guys and Dolls” (1955)
  • Free “Community Sing Along 1” — 1:30 p.m., Jaqua Concert Hall; led by Amy Adams & Singing Road Scholars
  • Concert — 8 p.m., Jaqua Concert Hall; “If I Were a Bell,” featuring music of Frank Loesser and Cy Coleman; guest director, Chuck Redd

Aug. 4

  • Free film — 10 a.m., Recital Hall; “Shall We Dance” (1937)
  • Concert — 1:30 p.m., Jaqua Concert Hall; “Star Dust — The Great Craftsmen” (also on Aug. 10)
  • Free talk — 5 p.m., Recital Hall; “Ira Gershwin,” by Jim Ralph
  • Concert — 8 p.m., Jaqua Concert Hall; “They All Laughed,” featuring music of Ira Gershwin; guest director, Shirley Andress (also Aug. 11)

Aug. 5

  • Free film — 10 a.m., Recital Hall; “Roberta” (1935)
  • Concert — 1:30 p.m., Jaqua Concert Hall; “My Funny Valentine,” featuring music of Lorenz Hart; guest director, Siri Vik
  • Free talk — 5 p.m., Recital Hall; “The Apprenticeship of Jerome Kern,” by Ian Whitcomb
  • Concert — 8 p.m., Jaqua Concert Hall; “All the Things You Are,” featuring music of Jerome Kern

Aug. 6

  • Concert — 3 p.m., Jaqua Concert Hall (cabaret seating); “The Jazz Party: Body and Soul”

Aug. 8

  • Free film — 10 a.m., Recital Hall; “Easter Parade” (1948)
  • Free talk — 5 p.m., Recital Hall; “Early Irving Berlin,” by Ian Whitcomb
  • Concert — 8 p.m., Jaqua Concert Hall; “Heat Wave,” featuring music of Irving Berlin

Aug. 9

  • Free film — 10 a.m., Recital Hall; “Night and Day” (1946)
  • Free talk — 5 p.m., Jaqua Concert Hall; “Cole Porter,” by Jim RalphAug.
  • Concert — 8 p.m., Jaqua Concert Hall; “It’s De-Lovely,” featuring music of Cole Porter

Aug. 10

  • Free film — 10 a.m., Recital Hall; “Babes in Arms” (1939)
  • Free “Community Sing Along 2” — 1:30 p.m., Jaqua Concert Hall; led by Amy Adams and The Shedd Singing Club
  • Free talk — 5 p.m., Recital Hall; “A Clutch of Songwriters,” by Ian Whitcomb
  • Concert — 8 p.m., Jaqua Concert Hall; “Star Dust — The Great Craftsmen (also Aug. 4)

Aug. 11

  • Free film — 10 a.m., Recital Hall; “Words and Music” (1948)
  • Concert — 1:30 p.m., Jaqua Concert Hall; “They All Laughed,” featuring music of Ira Gershwin; guest director, Shirley Andress (also Aug. 4)
  • Free talk — 5 p.m., Recital Hall; “Lorenz Hart,” by Jim Ralph
  • Concert — 8 p.m., Jaqua Concert Hall; “My Funny Valentine,” featuring music of Lorenz Hart; guest director, Siri Vik

Aug. 12

  • Concert — 1:30 p.m., Jaqua Concert Hall; “That Old Black Magic,” featuring music of Harold Arlen; guest director, Vicki Brabham
  • Grand finale concert — 8 p.m., Jaqua Concert Hall; “So Hard to Forget”

 

Oregon Festival of American Music (OFAM)

When: Aug. 2-12

Where: The Shedd Institute for the Arts, 868 High St. in downtown Eugene

Tickets: $18 to $48; discounts for students, groups and package purchases, available at the box office, 541-434-7000, or online at theshedd.org/

 

 

 

 

Randi Bjornstad

Has more than 30 years' journalism experience after a previous stint as a land-use planner. Got first rejection slip at age 11, but the editor wrote an encouraging note. Lives in Eugene, Ore., with husband-and-photographer Paul Carter, adorable dog Tallulah and quirky cats Pearl, Audrey, Garbo, Harry and Ozma.

randi has 135 posts and counting.See all posts by randi

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