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May 8-30

Peppered with memories

Saxophonist-composer Jim Pepper, aka Hun-gah chi-eta (Flying Eagle), fused Native American ancestral chants with jazz music, and from May 8 to 30, the spoken word-with-music piece titled “The Jim Pepper Project” will tell his story. Post-show discussions take place May 18 and 25.

The Jim Pepper Project, 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, May 8-30; 2 p.m. Sundays May 18, 25, The Sanctuary, 1785 N.E. Sandy Blvd. $15, $35. Info: 503-239-5919, www.tripro.org.

May 10

by: COURTESY OF OH DARLING - The popularity of Portlands Oh Darling extends to television, and the band celebrates the release of Beauty in Commotion with its show at Secret Society Ballroom on May 10.

They’ll never do you no harm

Portland’s new-wave-pop band Oh Darling celebrates the release of their latest exuberant album “Beauty In Commotion,” with this show. Several Oh Darling tunes already have graced TV series, film and commercials. Not bad for a band that started out as a bunch of friends who wanted to play together in 2006.

“We get along really well outside of the band,” says guitarist Daven Hall. “It’s really just an extension of our friendships.”

Actually Hall took friendship to another level and married bassist J. Marie Hall. The band’s girl-meets-woman lead vocals are spooned out like ice cream by singer-keyboardist Jasmine Ash, and propelled by drummer Jake Endicott. Ash’s distinct voice distinguishes the band’s often-danceable sound.

“Having two girls in the band opens up a whole ‘nother avenue of people who listen to us,” Hall adds, noting the band eschews the too-cool-to-talk-to-you vibe some West Coast pop rock bands strive for.

“We don’t think of ourselves as cooler or better than anyone else.”

If they are cooler than your band it’s because they write catchy, generally joyful sounding tunes. In fact, Hall says the band has tried its darndest to get darker but the sunshine keeps poking through.

“We try to mix it up a little, but sometimes it doesn’t feel right.”

Oh Darling, Sean Flinn & The Royal We, DJ Agent Meow, 9 p.m. Saturday May 10, Secret Society Ballroom, 116 N.E. Russell St. $8. Info: 503-493-3600, www.secretsociety.net

May 11

Mother of all shows

Portland’s own swing-jazz Jenny Finn Orchestra can help you work through all your maternal problems at this Mother’s Day show. Led by rhythm guitarist Twayn Williams, the JFO is a sextet of classically trained musicians collectively inspired by the Depression-era tunes of Django Reinhardt, the songwriters of Tin Pan Alley, the sleek harmonies of the Boswell Sisters, and many others.

Jenny Finn Orchestra, Sunday, May 11, Andina Restaurant, 1314 N.W. Glisan St. $18 along with a $20 per person table minimum. Doors open at 6 p.m. Reservations at 503-228-9535. Info: www.jennyfinnorchestra.com.

Schools at a crossroads

This show offers a ridiculous amount of blues, soul and rock talent on one stage playing their souls out for a man who allegedly sold his. It’s the Robert Johnson 103rd Birthday Party, featuring Ural Thomas, Joe McMurrian, Terry Robb, Mary Flower, Lewi Longmire, Anita Lee Elliott, Lloyd Jones and Tevis Hodge Jr. Proceeds will benefit the Cascade Blues Association’s “Blues in Schools” education program.

Robert Johnson 103rd Birthday Party, 8 p.m. Sunday, May 11, Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 N.E. Alberta St. $20 general admission, $30 preferred seating. Info: 503-719-6055, www.albertarosetheatre.com.

May 15

Angel we have heard while high

Gabrielle Alpin got a platinum record in the U.K. and Australia, but is just getting started in the States, releasing her debut EP “English Rain” this month. You may have heard her single, the old Frankie Goes to Hollywood tune “The Power Of Love,” in ABC-TV promos for “Resurrection.” Her voice straddles the line between light opera and pristine folk, and her ballads and tunes lean toward introspective, melodic and yearning. Dreamy New Jersey singer-songwriter Mree shares the stage.

Gabrielle Alpin, Mree, 8 p.m. Thursday, May 15, Lola’s, Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W. Burnside St. $12. All ages. Info: 503-225-0047,

Quick hits

• Country soul singer Zoe Muth joins Eilen Jewell, who blends rock, gospel, folk and country, for what we hope is a booze-soaked show at 8 p.m. Friday, May 9, in the Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 N.E. Alberta St. $15 in advance, $18 at the door. Info: www.albertarosetheatre.com.

• Roots band Poor Old Shine hails from Connecticut and jams on folk, bluegrass and other rootsy sounds. 9 p.m. Sunday, May 11, Secret Society, 116 N.E. Russell St. $8. Info: 503-493-3600, www.secretsociety.net.

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