Sunday, April 26, 2015
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 [email protected]

Comments

comments

Landon Christensen

.

News

 
 
Davis team wins world robotics championship

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Nepal quake death toll exceeds 1,800

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

Spring storm delivers late rain, snow to Northern California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
At the Pond: Plenty of pleasures in our bioregion

By Jean Jackman | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Rail-safety bill passes Senate committee

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Free Family Bike Clinic set Sunday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Pioneering organic chef presents her memoir Monday

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Suspect in UCD assault arrested

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A4

Dog park marks anniversary with cleanup

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Watch them in action

By Julia Ann Easley | From Page: A5

Stocks rise on tech earnings; Nasdaq adds to record

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

 
Dodd speaks as part of public policy series

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

We did it (together)!

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10

 
$2.72 million judgment ordered against Dollar Tree Stores

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

UCD hosts bike auction Saturday, May 2

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
Fly Fishers to hear about advanced streamer tactics on Tuesday

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11 | Gallery

Bicycle activist will speak Monday at Hall of Fame

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
.

Forum

Those texts still linger

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B6

 
New ways of giving locally and beyond

By Marion Franck | From Page: B6

 
Study questions accuracy of tumor gene mapping

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A12

 
Poker proceeds help youths

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

Invest in water of the future

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

 
Water, water everywhere?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

Mayor’s Corner: A spirit of renewal permeates Davis

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12

 
More work to do for a safe Picnic Day

By Our View | From Page: A12

Anaheim, where The Force is with you

By Sebastian Onate | From Page: A13 | Gallery

 
.

Sports

Davis gets two baseball wins in two days

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1

 
Grizzlies dominate young Blue Devils on Senior Night

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Energy, fan-friendly happenings highlight UCD spring football game

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Blue Devil golfers capture CAL Invitational title

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

UCD roundup: Aggies reach water polo semifinals

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

 
Blue Devil swimmers are up to the challenge

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Babich brings the heat as DHS girls stick it to Oak Ridge

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12 | Gallery

 
DHS softball struggles continue against Sheldon

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12 | Gallery

.

Features

.

Arts

History comes alive in ‘The Sacramento Picture’

By Derrick Bang | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
.

Business

Yolo County real estate sales

By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A7

 
Big Italian food, sports bar to fill Little Prague

By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A7 | Gallery

Davis Roots hires new general manager

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

 
Comcast announces speed upgrade

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

 
.

Obituaries

 
Whitney Joy Engler

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

Valente Forrest Dolcini

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
.

Comics

Comics: Sunday, April 26, 2015

By Creator | From Page: B8