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An evening of jazz

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Loveness Wesa of Portland will perform dance and vocals from her native Zimbabwe this Saturday at the Frog Pond Fall Jazz Festival.The annual Fall Jazz Evening at Frog Pond Church in Wilsonville will take place Saturday, Oct. 19, at 5 p.m.

It promises to be an exciting event filled with food, music and fun.

Legendary Portland jazz musician Ron Steen is the headliner. Steen will perform as part of a trio that includes drums, bass and piano, and he will be accompanied by internationally acclaimed Shirley Nanette, who was recently inducted into the Jazz Society of Oregon’s Hall of Fame.

This gala fall festival will also feature dance and music by Loveness Wesa of Portland, who will perform dance and vocals from her native Zimbabwe. Finally, Frog Pond’s own Kevin Karrick, leader of jazz quintet Swing Essence, will open the evening.

“We’re always excited about Ron Steen. He’s got a lot of nicknames, like the ‘Master of Jazz,’” said Nancy Rogene, who along with fellow Frog Pond Church member Lori Wolfram is helping to organize and run the event. “He seems to be the kind of jazz player who gets everyone together to jam. He’s renowned across the nation for his jazz connections and abilty to network and get people together.”

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Portland jazz legend Ron Steen will headline this years Frog Pond Fall Jazz Festival. Steen still plays up to 30 gigs a month and often works seven nights a week in Portland’s burgeoning jazz scene. He’s extremely popular among local musicians, mainly for his ongoing role as a musical ambassador and all around mentor. He also is fond of recounting how he grew up in North Portland and played jazz shows at the popular Cotton Club and other local venues that once sat along Williams Avenue before development gutted the neighborhood in the name of progress.

Meanwhile, Nanette may be an even bigger star, having been elected last spring to the Jazz Society of Oregon Hall of Fame in recognition of a career that has taken her all over the world. She debuted with the Oregon Symphony in 1981 and actually won the first “Star Search” on NBC TV not long after that.

“You really couldn’t have better musical talent,” Rogene said.

Finally, Wesa, another Portland resident, will round out the lineup. A native of the African country of Zimbabwe, Wesa had 14 years’ experience as a dancer, choreographer, actress, singer and producer in her native Zimbabwe before moving to Portland in 2002. Since then she has recorded and released three albums of her original compositions.

“I’m excited because Loveness is from Zimbabwe but now lives in Portland,” Rogene said. “She performs in her native costuming and often brings her daughter.”

The festival also is a fundraiser for the historic Meridian United Church of Christ, known popularly as Frog Pond Church. It is the oldest church in Wilsonville and has been serving the wider community for more than 135 years.

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - The internationally acclaimed Shirley Nanette, who was recently inducted into the Jazz Society of Oregons Hall of Fame, will perform Saturday at the Frog Pond Fall Jazz Festival in Wilsonville.Although it is the main attraction, the music is just part of the evening. The event includes a small plate buffet and two exciting auctions. Sid Vorhees of Eugene will be the auctioneer for the live auction. There will also be desserts, wine and beer for sale. The silent auction starts the evening at 5 p.m., with dinner and music to follow.

Children are welcome, and kid-themed activities and games will be provided by Sherwood-based Mudpuddles.

Although there is no formal admission charge, the church is asking attendees to support Wilsonville Community Sharing by bringing two canned food items for the Wilsonville Food Bank.

There will also be a sign-up board in the silent auction area to make a donation to Wilsonville Community Sharing.

Tickets are $25, available at the church office or frogpondmusic.com. For more information, visit frogpondmusic.com.




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  • 20 Dec 2014

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