TODD SICKAFOOSE’S BEAR PROOF & BLUE CRANES – w/ Harlan Silverman – Presented by Holocene & Creative Music Guild – 21+

Ages 21 and up
Thursday, October 19
Doors: 7pm

Note: This will be an intimate event in our front lounge room, and we will have a reduced capacity for this event. It is general admission and mostly seated (with some standing room) – seating is first come, first served.

Holocene, together with Creative Music Guild for their annual festival, The Improvisation Summit of Portland, present:

Todd Sickafoose’s BEAR PROOF:

West Coast native Todd Sickafoose brings a special octet featuring Jenny Scheinman (violin), Adam Levy (guitar), Carmen Staaf (piano), Ben Goldberg (clarinet), Kirk Knuffke (cornet), Rob Reich (accordion), and Allison Miller (drums). JazzTimes calls Sickafoose “thoroughly original” and “endlessly creative,” and the San Francisco Chronicle calls him “a captivating improviser, imaginative composer, and master of collaboration.” He’s worked with an array of iconoclastic performers – the New Yorker has referred to him as “Ani DiFranco’s secret weapon” and he is the Tony and GRAMMY Award-winning orchestrator and music producer of Anais Mitchell’s current Broadway hit “Hadestown”. Tonight’s concert will be a rare performance of BEAR PROOF, an hour-long piece and “a surreal meditation on BOOM and BUST.” Members of the all-star ensemble have played with a range of musical innovators, from Bill Frisell to Norah Jones, Dee Dee Bridgewater to Dr. Lonnie Smith, Tin Hat to Andrew Bird.


Keeping a band together, particularly among the mercurial community of jazz musicians, is no small feat. Other gigs beckon. Life outside of making art takes precedence. It’s a reality that makes the continued existence and progression of Portland quintet Blue Cranes feel so momentous. The ensemble — saxophonists Reed Wallsmith and Joe Cunningham, drummer Ji Tanzer, keyboardist Rebecca Sanborn, and bassist Jon Shaw — has been working together in a variety of formats since 2004, creating a solid body of work that has connected them to both the traditional sounds and the future-minded artists of their chosen genre. What has kept them together, even as Cunningham has lived outside of Portland for the past few years, is strong personal and creative bonds. As a collective, their remit has always been to continually push their art further and further outside their comfort zones and to the edges of their abilities. It’s what fueled the group’s last album, 2021’s Voices, which found Blue Cranes recording for the first time with an assortment of vocalists (Laura Gibson, Edna Vazquez, Holland Andrews, Peter Broderick, Laura Veirs). And that desire to stretch even further beyond their previous work is at the heart of their new album My Only Secret.

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