We bring the community together by hosting a wide variety of live music events that celebrate our heritage and expose us to new perspectives. From Celtic and bluegrass to jazz and rock & roll, the Pendleton Center for the Arts is a great spot to experience the power of live music. You can keep up with all our Facebook events HERE.
The EOCenes: Spring Fling!
Wednesday, April 5, 2023
7:00 PM Doors open at 6:30 PM
The EOCenes perform special shows for PCA during Round Up week – this special engagement is for those who can’t attend between busy rodeo events AND their super fans, who are excited to see great bluegrass any time of the year.
Ron Emmons, well known as the front man for the popular Cabbage Hill bluegrass band, will bring his classmates Hugh McClellan, Duane Boyer and Hal Spence back to PCA to help us celebrate the beginning of spring. The group will be joined by Alan Feves on bass and National Oldtime Fiddle Champion Doug Jenkins on fiddle. See more info below!
Portland Piano Project Rising Star
Sunday, April 23, 2023 – 2:00 PM, doors open at 1:30 PM
Through our partnerships with Portland Piano International and the Oregon East Symphony, we’re able to bring some of the most exciting young pianists touring today to PCA for free events.
Yang Gao was born in Dalian, China. He began studying the piano at the age of four. Mr. Gao entered the Attached Middle School of Shenyang Conservatory of Music Dalian Campus in 2010, and studied with Prof. Xiaoqiang Wang. In a field of other virtuoso musicians, Mr. Gao is a prizewinner of several competitions including the first prize of the Dalian Piano Competition, the Steinway Piano Competition in Northeast China, the West Lake International Music Festival Piano Competition, and the CCM Undergraduate Scholarship Competition. Enjoy this event in the intimate Pearson Auditorium at the Pendleton Center for the Arts. Seating is first come, first served, so early arrival is recommended.
Atlas Tango Project
Thursday, April 27, 2023
7:00 PM Doors open at 6:30 PM
The Atlas Tango Project specializes in the music of the late Argentine composer Astor Piazzolla as well as original nuevo tango compositions. Founded by James Anderson (violin), Atlas Tango has been performing to captivated audiences since 2009. With Jonathan Geer (piano), Ben Thomas (bandoneon), Tony Rogers (cello), and Phil Spencer (bass), all from diverse musical backgrounds, the band continues the tradition of nuevo tango through intense live shows which feature unique arrangements of Piazzolla’s groundbreaking works, breathtaking original compositions, and fiery improvisation. See more about them below!
About the EOCenes
Emmons and Boyer met during freshmen orientation week at Eastern Oregon College and connected with Spence and McClellan through their involvement in the Eastern Oregon College Ambassadors, a musical touring group that performed high school assemblies all over the Northwest. Each man went on to have great success over the past five decades on the national bluegrass scene, performing with a wide range of groups and ensembles.
Bluegrass musicians tend to mix and match themselves into different arrangements for different performances. The name EOCenes is a play on the college’s monogram, EOC (which later became EOU) and the Eocene epoch, a period on the geological time scale that occurred 55-34 million years ago.
Emmons lives in Hermiston and has played mandolin and sung lead tenor and baritone with the Blue Mountain Crested Wheatgrass Boys, the Muddy Bottom Boys, Blue Heat and The Thatchmasters, as well as Cabbage Hill.
Boyer now lives in Haines, Oregon and plays banjo and guitar, and sings lead, tenor and baritone. He taught banjo and guitar at EOC and played a major role in bringing national Bluegrass acts to that part of the state.
McClellan resides in Oregon City and plays rhythm guitar, harmonica and is known for is low, lonesome bass voice. He’s also fronted a country-swing band and sang in a gospel quartet.
Hal Spence of Dallas, Oregon played guitar and sang tenor for 27 years with The Sawtooth Mountain Boys, one of the nation’s best-known bluegrass bands, whose travels included three tours of Europe.
Doug Jenkins first played with the other members at festivals and fiddle contest in the late 1960s. He went on to win many titles with his fiddle, earning the nickname “Lightning.”
About the Atlas Tango Project
The Atlas Tango Project (formerly the Austin Piazzolla Quintet) specializes in the music of the late Argentine composer Astor Piazzolla as well as original nuevo tango compositions. Founded by James Anderson (violin), Atlas Tango has been performing to captivated audiences since 2009 alongside Jonathan Geer on piano, Ben Thomas on bandoneon, Tony Rogers on cello, and Phil Spencer on bass. The band continues the tradition of nuevo tango through intense live shows featuring unique arrangements of Piazzolla’s groundbreaking works, breathtaking original compositions, and fiery improvisation.
Atlas Tango released their first album, Libertango (2010), to rave reviews and sold out performances in Texas including a spot on the main stage at the Houston International Festival. The following album, Lo Que Vendra (2013) allowed the group the opportunity to begin touring and performing in some of the finest listening rooms, jazz clubs, and performance halls in the nation.
In addition to live shows and recordings, the diverse musicians who make up the band have taken an active role in music education having conducted clinics and masterclasses at universities and public schools with a focus on the performance techniques employed in tango, common compositional devices and the origins of the style. “The most difficult aspect of this music, after it’s technical challenges, is that so little of it is actually on the page,” begins Anderson. “Much like jazz, if you only play what’s on the page, it lacks the passion, personal emotion, and sense of freedom which it absolutely needs.”
In the spring of 2016, the musicians were invited by the world renown Colorado Ballet to perform the world premier of “The Angel of Buenos Aires.” Weaving classical ballet and sultry tango steps, the work, choreographed by Lorita Travaglia, features stunning movements based on the titular characters of two of Piazzolla’s most loved suites of music – “Suite del Angel” and “Suite del Diablo.” The success of the debut fueled the inspiration for Atlas Tango’s next studio recording and by the summer of 2016 the group was back in the studio. “Angels & Devils,” the groups fourth album, was released in the spring of 2017 and features the “Suite del Angel” and the “Suite del Diablo” alongside two riveting originals from violinist Anderson, the baroque inspired “Milonga Passacaglia” and “But a Whimper.” The group returned to the symphonic stage in 2019, bringing their own arrangements of Piazzolla classics and their original works to a packed Wilson Center in Wilmington, NC for a performance with the Wilmington Symphony Orchestra. The group most recently recorded a suite of new compositions by Anderson and Piazzolla’s famed “Estaciones Porteñas” or “Four Seasons in Buenos Aires.”
The show in Pendleton is made possible through the generous support of Drs. Connie and Dan Marier. Tickets are $15 and available at PendletonArts.org or by calling 541-278-9201. Advance ticket reservations are recommended.
The performance is made possible through the generous support of Drs. Connie and Dan Marier and is part of the Blue Heron Live Music Series of the Pendleton Center for the Arts.