JOHN DOAN TURNS BACK THE CLOCK
The intimate setting of The Sound Garden in Bend will be an ideal spot to watch John Doan work his magic.
Now in its 25th year, Doan's Victorian Christmas concert is a live version of his Emmy-nominated TV special that features dozens of instruments, including classical banjo, an early roller organ, an Edison phonograph and a harp guitar, which is pretty much what it sounds like: a harp and guitar hybrid that makes one heck of a beautiful sound. Doan is one of the best-known harp guitarists in the world.
Throughout the show, Doan takes the audience back in time “to a parlor of a century ago with thoughtful and sometimes zany performances that include audience sing-alongs and whistle alongs,” according to his website. He also incorporates a multimedia presentation with rare photos of people caught in the act of making music.
“John Doan breathes new life into old carols,” said Billboard Magazine, “and evokes the nostalgic, mystical side of Christmas.”
The show will also be streamed live at www.tikilive.com/show/the-sound-garden.
Victorian Christmas with John Doan; 7 p.m. Sunday, doors open 6:30 p.m.; $15 plus fees in advance at www .bendticket.com (general), $20 (reserved) and $50 family pass (up to four people), available at the venue; The Sound Garden, 1279 N.E. Second St., Bend; www.thesoundgarden studio.com or 541-633-6804.
John Doan, Courtesy Neil Haugen.
GARY MORRIS PLAYS SISTERS STARRY NIGHTS
Being a veteran singer-songwriter, country music hitmaker and Broadway star all rolled into one must make for an interesting life.
Take Gary Morris, for example. After his “A Starry Nights Christmas with Gary Morris” performance Saturday in Sisters, the guy is flying off to New York to play the lead role in the anticipated new musical “Soul Doctor.” The jet set, baby!
In Sisters, Morris will perform Christmas songs and other classics, joined by his son Matt, whose “Hallelujah” duet with Justin Timberlake a couple years ago was a big hit. Students from the Sisters Middle School choir will also join Morris on stage for a special Christmas song.
The concert begins at 7 p.m., but at 6 p.m., attendees can soak in the holiday spirit in the lobby with treats from Sisters Coffee Company and the sounds of the Sisters High School Jazz Carolers, plus a silent auction. The event is a benefit for the Sisters School Foundation, which raises money for classroom and co-curricular programs in Sisters schools.
A Starry Nights Christmas with Gary Morris; 7 p.m. Saturday, doors open 6 p.m.; $25 at www.sistersstarrynights.org or Clearwater Gallery (541-549-4994) in Sisters; Sisters High School, 1700 W. McKinney Butte Road; www.sistersstarrynights.org.
Gary Morris, Submitted photo.
BILL KEALE'S CHRISTMAS SHOW RETURNS
It's only December, but it's never too early to be sick of the cold. Let Oahu-born singer and guitarist Bill Keale and a few of his friends — Kim Breedlove, Jay Bowerman, Lynnette Foss, Crystal Lum and Lyndon Onaka — help you “celebrate your holidays Hawaiian-style,” as Keale puts it, tonight during his Holiday Concert III at The Old Stone in Bend.
Bill Keale's Holiday Concert III; 7 tonight, doors open 6 p.m.; $20 in advance at Big Island Kona Mix Plate (541-633-7378) in Bend, $22 at the door, free for kids 6 and younger; The Old Stone, 157 N.W. Franklin Ave., Bend; www.billkeale.com or 541-408-0561.
Bill Keale, Submitted photo.
TOM GRANT PLAYS THE OXFORD HOTEL'S JAZZ SERIES
The second season of The Oxford Hotel's Jazz at the Oxford series has already made a splash by announcing some big names (Diane Schuur kicked off the series last month; Bobby Watson's coming in March).
But the series also offers cozy familiarity in the form of some artists who've been to Central Oregon a few times.
For example: Tom Grant, the Portland-based pianist and smooth jazz kingpin who'll play the hotel's dimly lit basement ballroom (aka “cool jazz club”) Thursday and next Friday, Dec. 23.
Grant is a pioneer of smooth, blending traditional jazz with modern pop music and a mellow feel for decades. Plus, his blog at www.tomgrant.com is a pretty entertaining read.
In Bend, he'll do an array of Christmas tunes and will be joined by Shelly Rudolph and Jackie Nicole.
Tom Grant Christmas; 8 p.m. Thursday, 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Dec. 23; $35 (plus fees in advance at www.bendticket .com), Thursday show is SOLD OUT; The Oxford Hotel, 10 N.W. Minnesota Ave., Bend; www.oxfordhotelbend .com or 541-382-8436.
Tom Grant, Submitted photo.
BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA SELL OUT
Before coming onto the secular music radar, Blind Boys of Alabama spent four decades playing churches and auditoriums on the black gospel circuit. No exaggeration! And that only takes the group's chronology to 1979.
The group formed way back in 1939 at the Alabama Institute for the Negro Blind, and though it still does gospel like nobody's business, the men also perform spiritually minded tunes by such songwriters as Eric Clapton, Prince, Ben Harper and Tom Waits.
On Thursday, the group will bring its “Go Tell It On The Mountain” Christmas show — a mix of holiday standards and gospel tunes — to Bend's Tower Theatre, and tickets sold out a while ago.
Blind Boys of Alabama, with Smudge; 7:30 p.m. Thursday; SOLD OUT; Tower Theatre, 835 N.W. Wall St., Bend; www.towertheatre.org or 541-317-0700.
Blind Boys of Alabama, Courtesy Adam McCullough.