Aladdin Theater, Milwaukie Street, just off busy Powell Boulevard in Southeast Portland, Oregon. This was where I would meet the man who has been dubbed one of the most influenial figures in nuevo Flamenco music, the very affable and witty Jesse Cook. The guitarist's charm and easy sense of humor reminded my date and me of another performer we had seen recently--the slightly more famous Hugh Laurie. Jesse began a new version of his One World Tour on an unseasonably warm day for Portland. But before anything else could happen, the globe-trotting guitarist had to be dad and put his kids to bed in Toronto.
To say Anna Thorvaldsdottir works with large sonic structures is an understatement. Her music, instead, embodies a more enormous sense in composition, one dealing with the environment we live in and its volatility. A force of nature impacts our lives more so than a song. So, how is it that Ms. Thorvaldsdottir's music equals weather in force?
Mohammed Fairouz is one of this generation's most celebrated--and performed--poets and composers. His works have been heralded by New Yorker magazine who claim Fairouz is an "expert in vocal writing." Touching on social issues far and wide, his virtuosity with texts archaic and new have earned him the title as a post-millennial Schubert.
With Nadia Sirota finishing up her much-anticipated residency at Symphony Space, so, too, has her latest episode of WQXR-Q2's Meet the Composer podcast just wrapped with everyone's favorite working composer, Nico Muhly. And for their parts together, Sirota and Muhly will soon be packing up to hit the road with one of our own favorite working composers' collective, Iceland's Bedroom Community--for the third iteration of their grand "Whale Watching Tour."