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Van Kleef, LaViolette, Cooper to present 'Homegrown Christmas'


Holiday concerts by local artists set for Dec. 16 to 19 at the Wilsonville McMenamins Old Church

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Wilsonville singer-songwriters Christina Cooper, Naomi LaViolette and Michele Van Kleef will perform a series of Christmas concerts in Wilsonville and Portland to benefit the Oregon Food Bank.Local performers Michele Van Kleef, Naomi LaViolette and Christina Cooper have announced their fourth annual Christmas shows: “Homegrown Christmas” will take place on Dec. 16 and 19 (two shows) at McMenamins Old Church and Pub in Wilsonville, and on Dec. 23 at McMenamins Kennedy School in Portland.

The concerts will feature winter and holiday songs written and arranged by the performers, with special guest dancers and a children’s chorus from Innovative Dance Studios. Tickets are $5 and proceeds will benefit the Oregon Food Bank.

Van Kleef, LaViolette and Cooper met in 2009 at their children’s preschool and discovered many similarities. They all were singers, juggling family life with performing and lived in the small town of Wilsonville. This spawned instant friendships and has led to numerous professional collaborations. By their initiative, they created the “Homegrown Christmas” concert, initially called a “Wilsonville Christmas,” and the shows have always benefited local charities.

What started as one show in 2009 has grown to four shows in 2013 because of increasing popularity. This year, concert attendees can reserve seats in advance at the Wilsonville location by buying tickets online and have the choice to attend all-ages shows or a 21-and-older show. The concert will also be performed for the first time in Portland at McMenamins Kennedy School.

Throughout the year these women are busy performing their own shows, making records and writing songs. Their individual styles range from country to jazz, classical to rock and many things in-between.

Van Kleef’s groove rock, featuring a classically trained yet soulful voice, ranges from the reminiscent sounds of Janis Joplin to the compelling melodies and pure tones of Joni Mitchell.

LaViolette’s retro-pop vocals span the sultry blues of Norah Jones to the ambience of Sarah McLachlan, and her classical keyboard chops are reminiscent of both the funky rhythms of Billy Prseston and folk-rock of Carole King.

Finally, Cooper’s sweet yet powerful vocals find their home between the country rock of Wynonna Judd and the classic warmth of Ann Wilson. When all three perform together in “Homegrown Christmas,” their styles complement each other in a unique and interesting blend of artistry.

All shows will feature Tim Ellis on guitar, Bill Athens on bass and Ken Ollis on drums, along with special guests from Innovative Dance Studio of Wilsonville.

At a glance

A "Homegrown Christmas"

Wilsonville McMenamins Old Church, 30340 SW Boones Ferry Road

Monday, Dec. 16, 6 to 8 p.m., all ages

Thursday, Dec. 19, 6 to 8 p.m., all ages

Thursday, Dec. 19, 8:30 to 10 p.m., 21-plus

Tickets $5

Purchase Tickets at E-Tix to guarantee a seat: etix.com. Search Van Kleef, LaViolette, or Cooper.

McMenamins Kennedy School, 5736 NE 33rd Ave., Portland

Monday, Dec. 23, 7 to 9 p.m., all ages

Suggested ticket donation $5, benefiting the Oregon Food Bank.

Web: michelevankleef.com or naomilmusic.com.