Blues, indie folk, bluegrass, classical, pop.
The just-announced 2017-18 concert series at Hillsboro's Walters Cultural Arts Center runs the gamut of musical genres, with 16 concerts in the works.
Kicking it all off on Sept. 29 is indie singer-songwriter Naomi Wachira. Hailing from Kenya and Seattle, Wachira returns to the Walters with one-of-a-kind songwriting and storytelling that bridges continents and cultures with grace and positivity. NW Music Scene calls Wachira is an international artist of "formidable talent and heart."
In October, Portland Opera to Go and blues singer-songwriter Chris Smither come to town.
Portland Opera To Go performs a family-friendly, hour-long version of Mozart's "The Magic Flute" on Oct. 21. Designed for children and families (and the young-at-heart), this performance is first-come, first-served. No advance ticket sales.
Prolific and internationally celebrated, Smither returns to the Walters on Oct. 27 for a solo performance. Admired by the likes of Bonnie Raitt, his masterful singing and guitar playing have garnered him legions of loyal fans throughout the span of his 50-plus year career.
Chris Arellano plays the Walters Nov. 3. Arellano's deeply personal Americana weaves together the Norteño music of his Northern New Mexico upbringing with alt country and blues influences — for a signature style that he calls Nuevo Americana. See why he's a rising star and a household name in the New Mexico music scene.
Three concerts close out the year in December.
Nationally acclaimed, Nashville based singer-songwriter Kristin Andreassen returns to her hometown of Hillsboro for a special, first-ever performance at the Walters Dec. 1. She'll be joined by Decemberists guitarist Jon Neufield.
On Dec. 8, the Oregon Mandolin Orchestra presents its annual holiday concert. This concert will welcome a new conductor, Christian McKee, while bidding farewell to founding conductor Brian Oberlin. The program will include holiday favorites and selections by Schubert, Vivaldi and Dvorak, and will showcase special guests Caravan Gogh — known for their original music ranging from gypsy waltzes to acoustic rock and calypso-inspired dance tunes.
The Oregon Symphony String Ensemble comes to the Walters on Dec. 15. This concert of classical and popular favorites will feature singers from the Oregon Chorale, and will conclude with an audience sing-along. Proceeds from the concert will benefit the Hillsboro Arts and Culture Endowment.
Rio Con Brio starts 2018 with a Jan. 26 concert. Rio Con Brio captivates audiences around the country with their intimate performance of the beautiful Brazilian repertoire known as Choro, the early 20th-century street music of Rio de Janeiro. Influenced by equal parts Afro-Brazilian and contemporary European rhythms, this music evokes in turn the carnival of Rio and the cafés of France, Spain and Portugal.
Portland singer Liz Vice — touring nationally with big name acts like the Avett Brothers and Blind Boys of Alabama — is attracting rave reviews. Comparisons have been drawn to Adele, Mavis Staples and Sister Rosetta Tharpe. She performs her soul, gospel and R&B on Feb. 2.
Tony Furtado returns to the Walters on Feb. 23. Furtado is a multi-instrumentalist who refuses to conform to simple categorization, integrating American roots music — bluegrass, Appalachian folk, Celtic, indie rock and blues — and his own progressive use of melody, rhythm and improvisation.
Portland's Teatro Milagro is a groundbreaking theater company known for its extraordinary performances and arts education experiences which seek to make audiences think, feel, and imagine. Teatro Milagro returns to the Walters' stage March 10 to tell the story of young Frida Kahlo's remarkable journey and irrepressible creative imagination.
On March 16, The Gothard Sisters take the stage. One of the most compelling and celebrated acts in Celtic music today, Greta, Willow and Solana Gothard create an irresistible blend of violin and fiddle, acoustic guitar, stunning vocal harmonies and the powerful rhythms of the Irish Bodhran. Their rousing, energetic live performances incorporate Irish dance and infuse the time-honored tradition of Celtic music with modern folk influences.
New country/Americana artist Carrie Cunningham has shared stages with the likes of Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley, Reba, Kacey Musgraves and numerous country music luminaries. Her vocals have drawn comparison to Martina McBride and Miranda Lambert, combined with the sweetness of Pam Tillis. She'll put on an acoustic performance at the Walters on April 6.
On April 20, enjoy The Incredible Journey of Jazz, a "foot-tapping, heart-flooding, laugh-inducing" educational and fun evening exploring the classic genre's rhythm, melody and history. Explore the story of jazz from its beginnings in Africa, development in America and impact on our past and present.
In May, the concert series closes out with two concerts.
Joni Mitchell's "Blue," performed by Merideth Kaye Clark comes to town May 4. Mitchell's "Blue" album will be played from beginning to end in the original keys by Broadway star Clark. Clark's live version first premiered at Portland Center Stage with sold out performances.
Acoustic Guitar Summit — Grammy Award winners Doug Smith and Mark Hanson and Oregon Music Hall of Fame member Terry Robb — performs May 18. Performing together for over 20 years, the three bring a diverse musical journey to the stage with their impressive fingerstyle guitar and unique versions of classic favorites, blues, jazz, and Hawaiian slack key.
Concert prices and times vary. Tickets may be purchased in advance at brownpapertickets.com, at the Walters box office, 527 E. Main St., during regular business hours or by phone at 503-615-3485. Tickets may also be purchased at the door for a slightly higher price. More: