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COURTESY: JEREMY BARON PHOTOGRAPHY - The Robin Jackson Band plays as part of its quarterly Diva series, featuring a guest female songwriter or group, Alberta Street Pub, April 22.April 22

Divas delight

Robin Jackson and his band, including members from Vagabond Opera, MarchFourth Marching Band and the Shook Twins, will play their cinematic soul, rainy blues, indie folk and gypsy, jazzy Americana as part of its spring Diva series. The series of quarterly events features a guest female songwriter or group. The jazzy soulful Portland ensemble, The Colin Trio, fronted by songwriter Colin Hogan, takes the spotlight with this show. The trio released “Tightening the Wire” in January 2016, the full-length follow-up to their “Simple Sweet” EP (2015). In 2014, named The Colin Trio one of Portland’s Top 10 Bands of the Year.

The Robin Jackson Band, The Colin Trio, 9 p.m. Friday, April 22, Alberta Street Pub, 1036 N.E. Alberta St. $10. Info: 503-284-7665,

Flight of fancy

One of the leading lights of contemporary folk music, John Gorka is touring to promote his 12th studio album, “Bright Side of Down,” released in 2014. Among the cuts that have garnered attention is the record’s opener, “Holed Up Mason City,” a midtempo country rock number about driving through a blizzard near Mason City, Iowa, famous for being the city where Richie Valens, the Big Bopper and Buddy Holly’s plane took off after a show for what would be their fatal last flight. Gorka’s slightly raspy baritone voice floats nicely over the Cajun-flavored arrangement, letting you see the ghosts of the downed rockers between the snowflakes.

John Gorka, Don Lange, 8 p.m. Friday, April 22, Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 N.E. Alberta St. $18 in advance, $22 day of show. Parent/guardian must accompany minor. Info: 503-719-6055,

Nashville meets fun

They’ve charted in the worlds of bluegrass and folk, and sound like a pop band with traditional instrumentation. They are Nashville’s Judah & the Lion, touring to support their latest record “Folk Hop N Roll.” The current lineup consists of Judah Akers on guitar and lead vocals, Brian Macdonald on mandolin and backing vocals, Nate Zuercher on banjo and backing vocals, and Spencer Cross on drums. A most joyous band indeed, they’d go over well with fans of Mumford & Sons, Yonder Mountain String Band, and folks who hate auto-tune.

Judah & The Lion, The Saint Johns, 9 p.m. Friday, April 22, Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E. Burnside St. $13 in advance, $15 at the door. Info: 503-231-9663,

April 22-23

One fruity weekend

Portland quintet Fruition is Jay Cobb Anderson (vocals, lead guitar, harmonica), Kellen Asebroek (vocals, rhythm guitar, piano), Mimi Naja (vocals, mandolin, guitar), Jeff Leonard (bass) and Tyler Thompson (drums, banjo). This fine group combines folk music with rock, blues and pop, and has become a popular act at such festivals as the Northwest String Summit. They’ve released a new album this month, “Labor of Love,” and you can catch them twice this weekend with this doubleheader’s worth of shows.

Fruition, guests, 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 22-23, Wonder Ballroom, 130 N.E. Russell St. Single-day tickets $17 in advance, $20 at the door, $30 for two-day pass. Info: 503-284-8686,

April 24

In Memoriam

On Jan. 10, Wayne Thompson died after a lifetime devoted, in part, to promoting jazz music. He worked for 37 years at The Oregonian as a reporter and editor and was named a Portland Jazz Master by PDX Jazz, as well as a 2014 Jazz Hero by the Jazz Journalists Association. PDX Jazz will hold A Musical Celebration of Life concert in his honor under the musical direction of Randy Porter (piano), along with Dave Captein (bass), Gary Hobbs (drums) and David Evans (saxophone).

Celebration of Life: Wayne Thompson, 4 p.m. Sunday, April 24, Alberta Abbey, 126 N.E. Alberta St. $15, $25. Info: 503-897-7037,

April 27

Quacks at Mak’s

Since 2000, the University of Oregon’s Jazz Ensemble has been named Outstanding College Big Band for eight of the 10 years the ensemble has attended the prestigious Reno Jazz Festival, more than any other college ensemble. With this show, you can hear the downbeat Ducks present a mixture of pieces popularized by such ensembles as those of Duke Ellington and Count Basie, as well as music of such artists as Maria Schneider and Darcy James Argue.

University of Oregon Jazz Ensemble, 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 27, Jimmy Mak’s, 221 N.W. 10th Ave. Free.

April 28

Guitar goddess

Teresa Topaz does it all, from singing to songwriting and playing guitar, and combines blues, rock, psychedelia and folk in her repertoire. She’s promoting her 2015 album “Reset Me” with this in-store performance. A gritty, full-voiced alto with a wide range, she also plays some pretty mean guitar and dresses the part, donning leather jackets and boots to look like the coolest biker woman you’ve ever seen. You can learn more about her at

Teresa Topaz, 6 p.m. Thursday, April 28, Music Millennium, 3158 E. Burnside St. Free. All ages. Info: 503-231-8926,


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