Portland Columbia Symphony Orchestra satiates culture-hungry eardrums with creative, conceptual concerts studded with guest string-stars from across the country. The British Influence adheres to its name, focusing on three non-British composers—Romantic-era maestro Felix Mendelssohn, German composer Max Bruch, and 20th-century Australian pianist Percy Grainger—that were inspired to orchestrate masterful works after brushes with the landscapes, traditions, or culture of England, Ireland, and Scotland. Accomplished violinist and Portland native JiYun Jeong joins the symphony once again, helping to weave a tapestry of royal reminiscence on Bruch’s Violin Concerto no. 1 in G Minor.
• For $22, you get two lower-level reserved tickets (a $44 value). Reserved seating preference starts from section 96 through section 92 and will move to the west side of the stadium if needed. • For $32, you get two 50-yard-line tickets (a $64 value). Seats will be in section 118 on a first-come, first-served basis.
Cinema 21 may offer daily showings of new Hollywood and independent flicks, but it also tries to get patrons interacting more with movies, rather than simply coming to see a blockbuster and then leaving. It does this by following up screenings with Q&A sessions with major filmmakers, including Wim Wenders and Steven Soderbergh. The theater hosts fun sing-along screenings as well, which invite attendees to belt out the tunes of their favorite movie musicals. Cinema 21 even brings international work to American shores by participating in several film festivals throughout the year.
Portland musicians bask in peer recognition while fans savor celebrity appearances and thrilling performances at The Portland Music Awards, a red-carpet event championing the best of the Northwest music scene. Resembling the Grammy Awards without the pig Latin acceptance speeches, the PMAs grace the historic environs of the Crystal Ballroom to disperse 22 awards in categories honoring genres, clubs, radio stations, and record stores, and a lineup of musical acts and celebrity appearances peppers the evening with songs, jokes, and Portland pride. The show showcases an eclectic lineup of acts, from Kandles at Nine with Deen Castronovo from Journey, as well as founding Heart guitarist Roger Fisher and “867-5309/Jenny” instigators Tommy Tutone. Hot-shot celebrities, including Daniel Baldwin, comedian Dax Jordan, and Bethy Rossos also appear in the three-hour show, which is broadcast live on Freedom 970 AM and taped in HD for a later television broadcast. The PMAs are voted on by the public and by genre professionals, unlike the Grammys or VMAs, which just throw a bingo marker into a room of buttered weasels.
The Crystal Ballroom & Lola's Room is one of the hippest and most energetic music venues in all of Portland. Established by the McMenamin brothers as a humble pub in 1974, news of the wholesome cuisine and quenching beers of theirs spread like wildfire. Nowadays, the McMinamin’s scope of activities has spread to include brewing beers, vinting wine, and opening hotels venues like the Crystal Ballroom. Even today, the food at the Crystal Ballroom and & Lola’s Room is often the go-to conversation topics of visitors weeks later. Their secret? Using produce farmed sustainably from their own farms, assembled by their own master chefs, and served in their fine dining establishments. When you control literally every facet of your product from start to finish, it’s no wonder that it turns out as good as Lola’s Room’s.
The bumping beats and hearty eats of Element Restaurant & Lounge act as a siren song to party-loving palates. Bring a bathing suit and dive into a drink menu boasting more than 25 inimitable mixed drinks, such as the Dragon Blush martini made from dragonberry Bacardi rum, white grape, strawberry syrup, soda, and the fang of one Hungarian Horntail ($8). Libationistas can also saddle up to the bar with the Kentucky Breakfast concoction, made from smoked peach whiskey, organic maple syrup, and apple cider ($8), or choose from a wealth of beers such as Tecate ($3), Caldera Amber ($4), and the Anderson Oatmeal Stout ($4).