Wednesday, August 20, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Portland Cello Project brings classical music to the masses

Since its inception in 2007, Portland Cello Project has won fans over with its genre-blurring performances. The group, along with Emily Wells, will play at 9:30 p.m. Saturday at Sophia’s Thai Kitchen in downtown Davis. Tarina Westlund/Courtesy photo

By
From page A9 | May 17, 2012 |

Details

Who: Portland Cello Project

When: 9:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: Sophia’s Thai Kitchen, 129 E St., downtown Davis

Tickets: $7 at the door for patrons 21 and older; (530) 758-4333

Classical music fans chanting “we love PCP” might seem strange, until you realize they’re referring to the Portland Cello Project.

Since its inception in 2007, Portland Cello Project has won fans over with its genre-blurring performances. The group, along with Emily Wells, will play at 9:30 p.m. Saturday at Sophia’s Thai Kitchen, 129 E St. in Davis. This 21-and-over show costs $7 at the door.

Portland Cello Project’s mission is to bring cello music to places you normally wouldn’t hear it, from sports bars to punk clubs. To play music not normally heard on cello, from Pantera to Kanye West. To collaborate with a wide array of artists such as Peter Yarrow, Mirah and The Dandy Warhols.

I recently spoke with PCP founder Douglas Jenkins, who was on the road traveling to Wisconsin.

“When I get back to Portland it will be cold and rainy,” Jenkins said. “So I’m enjoying the heat.”

“Then you’ll love Davis,” I said.

Portland Cello Project has more than 800 songs in its repertoire.

“Everyone’s classically trained and can sight-read,” Jenkins said.

Do they take requests?

“We would if we could but we can’t carry enough music. A couple players and I read off an iPad. Everyone else says it’s too small or bad for their eyes,” Jenkins said. “A lot of stuff we only performed once and won’t perform again.”

PCP’s stage show has ranged from a simple four-cello combo to an epic symphony of 12 cellos, a full choir, winds, horns and numerous percussion players.

“Right now we have eight musicians,” Jenkins said. “We’re traveling in a big van.”

Do they ever get on each other’s nerves?

“We’ve been doing it long enough to know when to give each other personal space. This group is pretty weathered at touring and really likes it. We don’t mind 10-hour drivers and we get along really well.”

How did Portland Cello Project begin?

“It started randomly in Portland,” Jenkins explained. “A bunch of us just moved there and we were invited to a friend’s house to play some classical music. We thought, ‘Why not take it to the bars?’ ”

They thought their first show at The Doug Fir Lounge was a one-off, but they booked another gig and another.

“The group evolved, playing music you don’t normally hear on a cello.”

The first pop song Jenkins scored out was Britney Spears’ “Toxic.” “The audience loved it,” he said. “It was so obviously a good idea, I knew we had to continue.”

Has the popularity of the television show “Portlandia” helped Portland Cello Project?

“I think so. Portland happens to be in our name, too,” Jenkins said, laughing. “Actually, Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein have come to our shows. They’ve been supportive. They said on the Portlandia blog that our thing is the best thing in Portland with a capital T.

“Before ‘Portlandia,’ people would come up after a show and ask, what’s Portland like? Now they ask, so Portland’s like this, right?” he laughed. “Everyone else is the expert now.”

Jenkins loves the diversity of touring: “We’re playing in a dive bar one night and a symphony hall the next.”

Does he have a preference?

“I prefer the intimate environment. The bar shows are fun and higher-energy. The mid-size theater shows are cool, too. Symphony halls are great and beautiful but you feel disconnected from the audience.

“For a group whose mission is to break down those barriers and build bridges to the audience, that’s something to overcome,” he said. “I talk a lot at the symphony shows to try and connect with the audience.”

Jenkins is looking forward to the Davis show.

“We’ll be at a symphony hall in Santa Rosa the night before,” he said. “Sophia’s Thai Kitchen will be a nice, happy conclusion to our tour.”

— Reach Landon Christensen at landonissuch@hotmail.com

Comments

comments

Landon Christensen

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Raise-the-wage campaign eyes fall 2015 ballot

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

     
    Curbside recycling celebrates 40 years

    By Felicia Alvarez | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
     
    Pets of the week

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Israel launches airstrikes after Gaza rocket fire

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Ring, ring: London statues want to talk to you

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Downtown scuffle ends in two arrests

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A5

     
    Man struck, killed on Davis freeway

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A5

    DPNS has openings for fall

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Shop the market at Sutter on Thursday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    Police call school supply drive a huge success

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    Davis UMC to host affordable immigration law clinic

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Davis Senior Center to host volunteer luncheon

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    Fire destroys Woodland garage

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A5

    Paws for Thought: Adopting older pets is truly the gift of life

    By Evelyn Dale | From Page: A8 | Gallery

     
    .

    Forum

    The best years of our lives

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A4

    Is government corruption rampant?

    By Tom Elias | From Page: A4

     
    Another disease: ‘Israelitis’

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A4

    An appeal for warm street lights

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A4

     
    He’s seeing … something

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

    It’s her way or nothing

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    .

    Sports

    New practice facility named for benevolent Watsons

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

     
    Bicycling Hall of Fame announces 4 new members

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Republic FC makes strides on and off the field

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Sports briefs: Wright tallies two more times as U.S. takes sixth

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    River Cats fall but look to playoffs

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    Arielle Deem Band visits Our House on Wednesday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    Earthquake Street Festival to rock downtown Winters

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

    Yolo Mambo to play free show

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

     
    Marty Cohen and the Sidekicks to give house show

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

    Davis Children’s Chorale seeking new members

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A7

     
    Concert benefits 1,000 Red Roses Fund

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

    Anderson-Gram Duo to play at Picnic in the Park

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    Theater and dance classes offered at Woodland Opera House

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Tuesday, August 19, 2014 (set 1)

    By Creator | From Page: B5

     
    Comics: Tuesday, August 19, 2014 (set 2)

    By Creator | From Page: B7