Portland Cello Project Rekindling SoulsPosted by Marii Takahashi
A quarter to 8pm at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, people were anxious to get their will-call assigned seating tickets. Desperately searching to find something in the concert hall, it seemed as though everyone forgot there was a cello concert. The commotion was notable. Not all cello or cellists are created equal. Once the show started, it became apparent. The cello affect bore into all of the lost souls.
Portland Cello Project takes on just about everything from classical to hip-hop. “The Lamb” kicked off with a quiet tone for listeners to tune in. The musicians eventually heated up to Kanye West’s “All the Nights” and “Night in Tunisia”. Their cover arrangements are respectful without sounding over-produced. There is nothing that can compare to the cello and its boundless sound. This group creates a space of utopia with all the range of emotions vibrating through your entire body.
They thrive in collaborative work and invited many special guests to share the moment. Nancy Ives, an Oregon Symphony cellist, joined to add extra spice to the eggnog mood. For the very first time in history, local singer-songwriters Laura Gibson and Laura Veirs performed together. The double Lauras’ voices created imagery of sisters singing in front of the fireplace for their holiday gatherings. Howe Gelb appeared in his signature dapper hat. His presence reminisced the past with whisky and a cigar on-the-side.
The show was called the Winter Sweater Spectacular! There was a sweater contest and the crowd judged, voting on the best by cheering. Ernesto, sporting a sweater with a fireplace clad stomach and bells adorned on his back with LED-lit arms received the most cheers. He was so proud, busily taking selfies onstage. These jolly moments were mingled between serious musical display, keeping spirits high.
Many compliments shower this group from both fans and critics. Leading the incredible musicians is Douglas Jenkins, the foundation that keeps feeding the momentum. Whomever and whatever is responsible, it is grand. There are souls needing to be found again. Thank you, Portland Cello Project. One soul was certainly found that night.