2126 S.W. Halsey St. / Troutdale, OR, 97060
Monday, March 6, 2017
7 p.m. til 9 p.m. Free21 and over
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heard of Skip vonKuske? Chances are
you've heard him - whether on his own recordings, or those of his primary live
touring projects Vagabond Opera and Portland Cello Project. From Pink Martini to M. Ward, Skip has played cello on hundreds of recordings over two
decades in Portland. He has performed around the nation and the world, while
maintaining an active schedule in the local music scene in all types of genres.
vonKuske has been playing the cello for nearly 30 years. After leaving college in 1989, he played bass
and guitar in pop bands but more recently has found himself integrating his
classical training with improv/pop/ethnic/world music. He is a skilled improviser, with an uncanny
ability to slip into others' music. His
ability to provide the prefect complement has earned him credits on over 100
local albums. vonKuske remarks: "I am as inspired by Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" and the minimalism of Philip Glass as I am by Little
Sue or Pink Floyd. My goal has been to EXPAND the perception of
the cello. Its tonal palette goes beyond
classical / baroque usage; there is a viability to make any type of music with
vonKuske is one of the most sought after cellists in the Northwest; he is perhaps best known as a master collaborator
for his work with groups such as Vagabond
Opera, Portland Cello Project,
and Groovy Wallpaper. vonKuske is also many other things: a
composer, an innovator, an improviser, and producer. The Oregonian has described him as "a one-man chamber ensemble,"
and this is apparent in his solo work, in which he uses looping technology and
sound-manipulation tools to push the cello into uncharted terrain, and yet does
so without sacrificing the sentiment which is heard in his powerful, concise
began playing cello at the age
of eight, and has studied with renowned cellists William Stokking of the Philadelphia
Orchestra and Lorne Munro of the
New York Philharmonic. He attended
the Performing Arts School of Philadelphia and also
studied at Michigan State University.
While at MSU, Skip performed with numerous regional orchestras and in several
original music projects, in which he also played bass, guitar and mandolin.
Skip moved to Portland, Oregon in 1994, his skills as an improviser and
singer/songwriter set him apart from many other classically trained musicians.
In his first three years in Portland he recorded on projects with well over
fifty artists. And over the last decade, Skip's cello has provided vital,
though often subtle texture, to hundreds of recordings including M. Ward's "Post War" and Pink Martini's "Sympathique".
has also worked with the Oregon Symphony
and performed with Smokey Robinson, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Judy Collins,
Crystal Gayle and many others. He stays active in the Portland's Jazz
community and collaborates with film makers, producers, chamber music groups
and is the first call of top music studios whenever a professional cellist is
needed, whether their client has chord
charts, written parts,
or even no preconceived
the early 2000s, Skip has been a regular performer throughout the McMenamin's Kingdom, playing on nearly
all their stages; plus sharing the Crystal
Ballroom stage with national acts like Pink
Martini, Devotchka, Beats Antique, Buckethead, Trampled by Turtles, and
more. In 2015, he reached a rare milestone - holding his on-going Monday night
residency at Edgefield Winery for
Groovy Wallpaper is Skip vonKuske (Portland Cello Project, Vagabond Opera, Cellotronik) and Don Henson (Sneakin Out, The Adequates, The Druthers, Kathryn Claire). Skip is Portland's foremost cellist and Don is known for his Rube Goldberg-like percussion set up and performance. To call them a cello and percussion duo would fall far short of the mark.
Sneakin' Out dishes out high-energy, low-volume acoustic rock-and-roll and classical fusion, all served up with a truly entertaining sense of humor. At its most basic, Sneakin' Out takes the listeners' expectations (whether they're related to a cover of "Love Will Keep Us Together" or the chord progressions of a newly-minted original song) and simultaneously confirms and explodes them. People recognize the songs, but with a disorienting twist. It's a powerful combination, and one that unleashes laughter, head nodding and singing-along. Hearing Sneakin' Out means hearing differently. Sneakin' Out's acoustic insanity began in 2003, when David Gerow (mandolin), Don Henson (percussion) and Mike "Cheddar" Schmitt (bass) met on a musical project in Flint, Michigan. Since then Sneakin' Out has played hundreds of shows and developed a loyal following that includes Thomas Lauderdale of Portland-based, internationally known band Pink Martini. Highlights of the band's past include opening for k.d. lang with Lauderdale at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, playing with Pink Martini at the Crystal Ballroom, playing the Bite of Oregon and appearing on Oregon Public Broadcasting's "LiveWire!". On the horizon for the band are more original tunes that showcase the unique instrumentation of the trio, along with experiments in inspired improvisation.
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