Tunnel Six performs the Columbia River Suite

Saturday, August 20, 2022, 2PM – Portland Metro Arts
Tunnel Six at Banff by Andrew Oliver

Tunnel Six performs the Columbia River Suite

Saturday, August 20, 2022, 2PM – Portland Metro Arts – Tickets $5-20

A musical pilgrimage following the Columbia River’s winding banks is the creative framework for this suite for sextet and spoken word.

Forged in the heart of the Rocky Mountains and quenched in the surf of Lake Superior, the music of TUNNEL SIX evokes majestic vistas swept by crisp mountain air. This border-crossing ensemble features musicians from across North America, blending distinct threads into uniquely impressionistic soundscapes. With singable melodies that dare to be epic and an unabashedly emotional approach to musical storytelling, Tunnel Six tastefully blends elements of jazz, world, and folk to transport audiences from the peaks of the Rockies to the shores of the Maritimes.

One might think of jazz as a quintessentially urban art form, but the soaring interwoven melodies and effervescent sonic textures of Tunnel Six are more at home in the forest than in the built world. The international collective formed in 2009 in the heart of the Rockies and has spent the last decade refining their compositional and improvisational style. The Columbia River project is a musical pilgrimage of sorts, beginning at the mountain lake which feeds 2,000 km of river thereafter and following its winding banks through history as the creative framework for an ambitious suite for sextet and spoken word. The music takes direct inspiration from the river itself and its complex relationship with the Indigenous and colonial people for whom it was an artery of transport, commerce, and culture. The work is more adventurous than didactic, but is imbued with a social awareness that provokes a reexamination of our relationship with nature. The ensemble’s characteristic tuneful melodies and impressionistic textures have a cinematic and immersive quality, a suitable backdrop to illuminate the texts by Lara Messersmith-Glavin. The experience journeys through a series of interconnected episodic movements composed as a whole with interconnected themes, such that the listener is rewarded with a strong sense of unity and arrival. The Columbia River project would be a colorful addition to any festival line up and an inviting evening for casual listeners and aficionados alike.

Lara Messersmith-Glavin author headshot by Andrew Oliver

Lara Messersmith-Glavin grew up fishing in the salmon fleet around Kodiak Island, Alaska and now is a writer, educator, and performer based in Portland, Oregon. Her work has appeared in Across the Margin, Still Point Arts Quarterly, Stoneboat Literary Journal, Anchored in Deep Water: the Fisherpoets Anthology, and elsewhere. She was awarded the AtM 2018 Best Nonfiction Award, and the Chinalyst Award for Best Travel Writing in 2008.

Lineup: Chad McCullough, trumpet; Jack Radsliff, guitar; Andrew Oliver, piano; Tyson Stubelek, drums; Lara Messersmith-Glavin, narration; other performers TBA.

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Festival 22

Presented by OnPoint Community Credit Union, Mr. Plywood, and The Skanner News

Friday 8/19

Alan Jones Academy of Music Combo
MJF Student Stage at Vino Veritas – 6:00PM
PJCE’s The Heroine’s Journey
Alberta Rose Theatre – 8:00PM
George Colligan and Jazz Millenium
The 1905 – 11:30PM

Saturday 8/20

Tunnel Six: Columbia River Suite
Portland Metro Arts – 2:00PM
Idit Shner and Mhondoro
Portland Metro Arts – 5:00PM
Portland State University Combo
MJF Student Stage at Vino Veritas – 6:00PM
Rich Halley with Matthew Shipp Trio
Portland Metro Arts – 8:00PM
Barra Brown Quintet
The 1905 – 11:30PM

Sunday 8/21

Augustana Jazz Worship
James Powers: Relativity Ensemble
Portland Metro Arts – 2:00PM
Noah Simpson Quartet
Portland Metro Arts – 5:00PM
Metropolitan Youth Symphony Combo
MJF Student Stage at Vino Veritas – 6:00PM
Kerry Politzer Quintet feat. Alex Norris
Portland Metro Arts – 8:00PM


Chad McCullough – trumpet
Ben Dietschi – saxophones
Jack Radsliff – guitar
Andrew Oliver – piano
Tyson Stubelek – drums
Lara Messersmith-Glavin – narration