by: Jim Clark, The ukelele - essentially a miniguitar - comes in four sizes, and musicians from folkies to punk rockers can't keep their hands off 'em.



Portland Uke Fest

Such is the growing affection for the tiny Portuguese-Hawaiian string instrument that the Portland Ukulele Association sold out spots for a four-day ukulele intensive a month early.

'You get to just sink into learning about the musical instrument and the skills you're trying to develop,' says Marianne Brogan, founder of the association. The camp, which runs through Saturday at Reed College, may or may not become an annual event, Brogan says, but it did attract more than 100 attendees, half of them from out of state.

Even more ukesters will show up for concerts tonight and Saturday

that feature some of the top players anywhere, including young British Columbian phenom James Hill; Seattle's Del Rey; and veteran Lyle Ritz, the Portland resident who, as a session bassist, played on such hits as the Beach Boys' 'Good Vibrations' and the Righteous Brothers' 'You've Lost that Lovin' Feelin'.'

- Eric Bartels

7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, June 23-24, Reed College, Vollum Auditorium, 3203 S.E. Woodstock Ave., 503-679-0391, $15 or $25 for both nights; also available at - subject to service charges


'Days of Heaven' (PG)

Only a clean new print and a big screen can do justice to Terrence Malick's acclaimed 1978 film, 'Days of Heaven,' so don't miss the rare chance to see it as it was meant to be seen.

Cinematographer Néstor Almendros won an Academy Award for his work on the film, while Ennio Morricone was nominated for his original score. Waving grasses and endless skies lend mystery and allegorical weight to the simple, quiet tale of love and betrayal, with Richard Gere (so young!), Brooke Adams and Sam Shepard in the lead roles.

- Anne Marie DiStefano

Various times, through June 29, Hollywood Theatre, 4122 N.E. Sandy Blvd., 503-281-4215, $4-$6


Melissa Etheridge

Melissa Etheridge is one of contemporary music's most inspiring artists and performers - a down-to-earth, genuine talent whose personal strength and grace give her music an even brighter glow. Performing bald after chemotherapy at the 2005 Grammy Awards, Etheridge exhibited the honesty, integrity and vitality that infuse her music.

In a world where too many celebrities are shallow, self-involved shells, Etheridge is a shining star - not to mention an artist of depth whose continuing evolution is a joy to behold.

- Barbara Mitchell

8 p.m. Saturday, June 24, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 S.W. Broadway, $40.75-$109.25, all ages


Wilderness Week

Get out and enjoy the outdoors.

Dozens of free, planned events begin this weekend, including guided hikes, trail restoration and fishing excursions in and around unprotected land as part of the Oregon Natural Resources Council's Wilderness Week.

Activities range from those appropriate for families with small children to hikes for fit adults. Families can find many easy to moderate day hikes that are five or fewer miles within two hours of Portland, while hardy adults can enjoy rugged wilderness experiences offering hikes more than five miles in length, which may include river crossings and off-trail travel.

Participating national forests include Mount Hood, Willamette, Umpqua, Siskiyou and Rogue River, as well as the proposed Lewis and Clark Mount Hood Wilderness area, Oregon Dunes Wilderness, Mount Pisgah Arboretum in Eugene and others. Participants should wear appropriate clothes for hiking or fishing and bring water and snacks.

Children must be accompanied by an adult. Pets are not allowed.

- Suzie Ridgway

Various times and locations Saturday, through July 2, 503-283-6343, - free (some areas may require a parking permit or other fees); reservations are required for all events, call or visit Web site for details and a downloadable brochure of activities and reservation contact numbers

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