Siskiyou Institute lines up concerts for the fall

Ashland's Siskiyou Institute celebrates its 10th year as a nonprofit performing-arts association with a lineup of jazz and classical music concerts in September and October.

"Every season is interesting and challenging," says Ed Dunsavage, the Institute's artistic director. "This fall, we'll present several artists who've performed here before. Gonzalo Bergara and Le Boeuf Brothers have been big hits in the past, so we know they'll be welcomed back."

New to the Siskiyou Institute's shows will be jazz guitarist Howard Alden, accompanied by Anat Cohen on clarinet and saxophone, along with classical saxophonist James Umble and The Cleveland Duo.

"I've been a big fan of Alden's for a while," says Dunsavage, who also is a jazz guitarist. "People may recognize his work from Woody Allen's 1999 film, 'Sweet and Lowdown.' Alden played the music for the film, and he coached Sean Penn to look like a guitar player."

To kick off the roster of shows, Dunsavage will be joined by classical pianist Alexander Tutunov and vocalist Christine Williams for "Speaking of Gershwin," to be presented Sunday, Sept. 11, at the Old Siskiyou Barn. Tickets cost $25, $20 for Institute members. Reservations are available by calling 541-488-3869 or emailing info@siskiyouinstitute.com.

"Everyone knows Tutunov as a classical pianist," says Dunsavage. "But he also worked as a jazz musician while he was a student in Russia. He studied classical music at the Moscow Conservatory, and he'd go out at night and play in jazz clubs."

Tutunov is a professor of music at Southern Oregon University. Williams has worked as a vocalist with Oregon Cabaret Theatre, Rogue Music Theatre, Southern Oregon Repertory Singers and as a soloist with Rogue Valley Symphony. She also worked as an actor for eight years at Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

The trio will present such tunes by George Gershwin as "Embraceable You," "Nice Work if You Can Get It," "The Man I Love" and "Rhapsody in Blue," along with narratives about Gershwin's compositions from the '20s and '30s.

The fall lineup continues with James Umble and The Cleveland Duo Thursday, Sept. 22, at Paschal Winery & Vineyard in Talent. Then Alden and Cohen play Wednesday, Sept. 28, at the Old Siskiyou Barn.

At Paschal, jazz quartet Le Boeuf Brothers perform Oct. 2, guitar duo Francesco Buzzurro and Richard Smith play Oct. 12 and the Gonzalo Bergara Quartet play gypsy jazz Oct. 21.

Most of the artists participate in the Siskiyou Institute's Artists in the Schools Program, performing concerts for music students in Rogue Valley schools.

All shows begin at 7 p.m. Call 541-488-3869 or see www.siskiyouinstitute.com.

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