Saturday, March 1, 2008

Where Jewish Meets Duke Ellington, Portland, ME

February 15th & 16th 2008 in Portland, Maine

I guess we are crazy northerners. Not cold enough in New Hampshire, so we took a weekend trip to Portland, Maine. It was a sunny weekend and a change of scenery for us. We went to a great music program in a small venue (One Longfellow Square), reminded me of coffee houses in Boston in the 60’s when I attended Boston University. There were two musical groups, Okbari and Zhok Therapy. The first group played Armenian and Turkish music on interesting instruments, Oud, violin, drum, tambourine. All outstanding musicians.

The second group was apparently a subgroup of the Casco Bay Tummlers (klezmer music). This group played a combination of middle eastern, Macedonian and jazz. Some of the pieces played were written by the musicians themselves. This was the first time I saw a bass flute. I was very impressed with the musicians, especially the trumpet player. One of the pieces was subtitled “where Jewish meets Duke Ellington”. I thought there should be a poem in there somewhere, but I haven’t come up with it yet. The two groups played together at the end of the program. Wow!

The history museum had an exhibit on the Abenaki indians. They had some computers set up so we could hear voice clips of old recordings. I thought some sounded very similar to Hebrew chants.

The Portland Museum of Art had a sculpture exhibit by John Bisbee. Large pieces made with nails and other metals. Very impressive as was the rest of the museum. Good restaurants in Portland too. We thoroughly enjoyed the weekend and the change.

As this is my first attempt at a blog, I haven’t figured out yet how to include links to these interesting places, but you can search for them easily with any search engine.


HipDroppedStitches said...

I hope you enjoyed your stay in Portland! I was at the Okbari / Zhok Therapy performance that night. Wasn't it fabulous? I hope you don't mind, but for the sake of historical accuracy (and just in case you want to find it again!), the show was actually at One Longfellow Square. Visit again soon!

Linda H. Feinberg said...

Thanks for the correction. I will fix the error.