Holiday concert and fundraiser

The Siskiyou Institute has cooked up an evening of mellow jazz for its final concert of the 2008 season. Vocalist Leslie Kendall & The Flat Five Quartet will present a holiday concert and fundraiser at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 12, at Paschal Winery, 1122 Suncrest Road, Talent.

This event will raise money for the Siskiyou Institute Artists in the Schools program. The concert will feature many holiday favorites, as well as some classics from the Great American Songbook, featuring tunes from composers such as Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Jimmy Van Heusan and others.

Kendall is a resident of the Rogue Valley and has appeared in nightclubs and concert venues nationwide, including Caesar's Palace. She has recorded for Warner Brothers, M.C.A. and Columbia Records, where she was the featured soloist with the Percy Faith Orchestra. She has performed at many venues in the Rogue Valley, including several appearances at the Old Siskiyou Barn, The Ginger Rogers Craterian Theatre, The Mountain Avenue Theatre, and she has performed many times for the Medford Jazz Jubilee.

The Flat Five Quartet Features Gary "Chicken" Hirsh on drums. Hirsh, a longtime Ashland resident, was the original drummer for the '60s San Francisco rock group Country Joe and the Fish. During the '60s, he performed at all the major rock concerts in the United States and throughout Europe. He has worked with everyone from Janis Joplin and Jerry Garcia to Pharaoh Sanders and Frank Zappa. He came out of retirement 12 years ago to perform the music that he loves.

Guitarist Ed Dunsavage is an 18-year resident of the Rogue Valley. Originally from the East Coast, he has worked for more than 30 years in the entertainment industry. He performed for the past two years in two productions at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival — the world premier of "Tracy's Tiger" in 2007 and 2008's "The Clay Cart."

On acoustic bass is Joe Cohoon. He worked for many years in the Portland area performing in various rock and blues groups. In addition to working with several Rogue Valley jazz ensembles, he also performs with the Beatles Tribute Band, The Nowhere Men.

Pianist Dave Swan grew up in Medford and graduated from Southern Oregon University as a music major.

In 2006, the Siskiyou Institute began offering a new Artists in Schools component to its programming, playing off its primary focus of music education. The idea is to expand upon the concert/workshop series by having the guest artist/s — when available — lead a workshop in a school or schools during their visit to the Rogue Valley. The program also recruits artists from among the music teachers/performers in the local area to provide year-round program opportunities.

Tickets to the concert are $20 and $15 for students. For reservations, e-mail or call 488-3869.

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