The 15th annual Oregon Festival of American Music kicks off with a gala opening concert in true OFAM style: Dick Hyman leads his Festival big band, chorus and guests through an evening of Irving Berlin that surveys the entire festival. Soprano Maria Jette heads up a stellar vocal line-up that includes Bill Hulings (who moves to the OFAM concert stage after 4 years as our summer musical leading man!), Shirley Andress (who puts aside Annie Oakley for the evening to join the fun), the inimitable Ian Whitcomb (but of course!), and the other two Jazz Kings "girls", Julie Alsin and Vicki Brabham. And look too for jazz regulars Peter Appleyard, Ken Peplowski, Frank Capp, Doug Miller, Mike Denny and Randy Sandke.
Irving Berlin wrote over 900 songs in the course of his long career, a lot of them are absolutely unforgettable classics, and, as is the nature of the American standard, they can be done well in so many different ways. So we'll have plenty to choose from for our playlist over the next 10 days, and plenty of ways of playing them, from instrumental jazz to big band, to cabaret and straight up musical theater, and even to legitimate art song. The opening gala samples all of these styles.
Songs include "I'd Rather Lead A Band", "Cheek To Cheek", "Easter Parade", "Blue Skies", "I Love A Piano", "God Bless America", "I'll See You In C-U-B-A", "Top Hat, White Tie And Tails", "Always", and more.
If you tell us you can only come to a couple OFAM 2006 concerts, we'll respond, as always, that you've just got to rearrange your life (!), but if you really can come to only one or two concerts, this should most definitely be one of them!
, vocalsJulie Alsin
, vocalsShirley Andress
, vocalsVicki Brabham
, vocalsBill Hulings
, vocalsIan Whitcomb
, vocalsPeter Appleyard
, vibraphoneMike Denny
, guitarDoug Miller
, bassKen Peplowski
, clarinet, saxophoneRandy Sandke
|I'm Putting All My Eggs In One Basket|
(1936) Follow The Fleet
|It Only Happens When I Dance With You|
(1948) Easter Parade
| ||The Night Is Filled With Music|
| ||My Walking Stick|
(1938) interpolated into Alexander's Ragtime Band