Central Oregonians have a deep appreciation for entertainment and live music. We seek it out. It inspires us. We thrive on it. This spring, the Tower Theatre Foundation has announced a few more big names to enhance an already exciting musical line-up.
Blues Hall of Famer, Robert Cray, returns to the stage with his band on Tuesday, April 5. The “King of the Blues” is a Northwest native, and has been rocking his rootsy sound for more than 40 years. Cray fuses blues, rock, pop, and jazz with equal insight and authority. “He’s an original,” says Bonnie Raitt. “He’s passionate, and he puts on one of the best shows you’ll ever see.”
Canadian folk artists, Dala, take the stage Friday, April 15. Drawing upon influences of the Beatles, Joni Mitchell, and Neil Young, they incorporate guitar and piano to create catchy tunes that are insightful, and eloquently beautiful. After their 2011 performance at the Sisters Folk Festival, Creative Director, Brad Tisdel, said, “They have a special way of blending well-written songs with gorgeous harmonies and dynamic delivery. They exude a joy for singing and playing together that makes them quite extraordinary and unique.”
Sunday, May 8, share Mother’s Day with the Tower family, and enjoy a performance of Close to You: The Music of the Carpenters. Come remember the songs that captured the emotions of a generation. Performer Lisa Rock and her six-piece band pay tribute to the music and life of the Carpenters, singing their most memorable hits, including: Rainy Days and Mondays, Top of the World, and We’ve Only Just Begun.
Then embark on a virtuoso journey of gypsy jazz through Buenos Aires and Paris with the Gonzalo Bergara Quartet, Tuesday, May 10. The first half features original works influenced by Bergara’s native Argentina, followed by a modern variant of the sound and spirit of Django Reinhardt and the Hot Club of France. “I’ve wanted to bring Gonzalo’s blazing skills to Bend ever since I first heard him three years ago,” says Executive Director, Ray Solley. “Jazz guitar, upright bass and violin – overlaid with a 1930s European nightclub vibe – it enthralls your ears.”
Next, Grammy-Award winning Cajun revivalists, BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet, are set to return Sunday, May 15. Dubbed “The best Cajun band in the world” by NPR’s Garrison Keiller, BeauSoleil have been blending the rich Cajun traditions of Louisiana with elements of Zydeco, New Orleans jazz, Tex-Mex, country, and blues for over thirty years. “We’re always pushing that envelope,” comments Doucet, “There aren’t two songs that sound remotely alike though they are played with the same set of instruments. That comes from these rebellious hearts we have, we’re always takin’ chances.”
It’s not over yet! Sunday, May 22 the powerhouse Argentinian dance company, Che Malambo, present their percussive dance and musical spectacle. Behold the Latin version of Stomp. It’s a wonderfully wild evening of precision footwork, rhythmic stomping, drumming, and song from the heart of Argentina and the traditional dance of the South American cowboy.
The nonprofit Tower Theatre Foundation owns and operates the historic stage in downtown Bend. The Foundation’s mission is to be the leading performing arts organization, providing cultural and education programs that make an essential contribution to Central Oregon’s lifestyle and strengthen the community. Membership, program information and individual and group tickets are available at the box office (835 NW Wall), by phone 541-317-0700 or online (www.towertheatre.org). Details on events are also at facebook.com/TheTowerTheatre.