Last winter, the Jazz at the Oxford series had a terrific inaugural season, bringing a handful of regional jazz veterans to Bend and selling out each of its 13 shows.
Tonight, the series kicks off its second season, which features an expanded schedule and headliners with higher profiles, including award-winning jazz-pop vocalist Diane Schuur, who’ll play three shows at The Oxford Hotel over the next two days.
Here’s Schuur doing “Today I Started Loving You Again” from her new album “The Gathering,” a collection of country covers.
Shuur’s show tonight is sold out, but there are still tickets available for both Saturday performances. Last week, I got her on the phone and spoke with her about her own artistic freedom and the session for “The Gathering.”
“I think the consensus is that people have confidence enough in me and in my direction to give me their blessing and say … ‘If this is what you want, girlfriend, go for it,’” Schuur said. “I’m glad I’ve got the versatility and the voice to be able to do that because a lot of people unfortunately get stuck in a rut where they’ve got one style and that’s basically what they’ve got. I consider myself very fortunate.”
Even with dozens of albums under her belt, the “Gathering” session was the quickest in Schuur’s career, she said. It took one day to record and another day to polish up with overdubs and other tweaks. That was it.
“Once I got going, I just kept going, like the Energizer Bunny,” she said with a laugh. “(These songs) just really got into my soul.”
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The L.A.-based funk/soul band Orgone brings their cool, retro vibe back to town Monday night. My colleague David Jasper spoke with a couple of the band’s members about Orgone’s upcoming plans.
“We had a break in September and October, and we finally grabbed some time to work on some new material,” he said. After playing on the annual Jam Cruise in January, Orgone plans to use the shore leave to record a new album. “We’ll have a record done for March. We’re real excited about that.”
The band played the Volcanic Funk Festival in Bend last summer, but the recording break may mean it’ll be a while before Orgone brings its energy back to Oregon. And though it may be cold outside, it’s likely to get hot in The Annex.
“It’s 110 percent adrenaline-fueled dance party,” Rios said. “The band’s definitely going to get sweaty; it usually carries over into the people. It’s basically high-energy, no holds barred. We just kinda come full force and come to take no prisoners.”
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Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Jerry Joseph plays his gritty rock ‘n’ roll at gritty Players Bar, Calling Morocco blends pop, rock and twang at The Sound Garden, a bunch of DJs and MCs gather at the Domino Room for Orbital: A Journey Through Sound, and local experimental cellist Third Seven plays at The Horned Hand before taking off on tour till spring. Plus Allan Byer, Harley Bourbon and lots more in our “Going Out” listing.