Folk, vintage country music and more are coming to the stage at Walters Cultural Arts Center in Hillsboro next week.
Annalisa Tornfelt, well-known for her singing and fiddle playing in the Portland group Black Prairie, will perform for audiences on Friday, Feb. 10. An Alaska native, Tornfelt is a rising solo star on the local and national music scene.
"In Alaska, I was raised on classical music, Disney and Chuck Mangione's 'Children of Sanchez,'" said Tornfelt, who began playing bluegrass decades ago.
Her singing and presence are said to be reminiscent of artists like Norah Jones and Gillian Wench. Music had always been been a part of her life.
"My mom is a violinist and my dad is a cellist. They were always rehearsing with the string quartet, orchestra or just playing around the house. We thought everyone played music because everyone around us did," she said. "My mom would give us kids cardboard violins made out of crackerjack boxes and a ruler taped on to the top so we would leave hers alone."
Tornfelt moved to Portland to gain a new sense of adventure and to live in a bigger city where she could meet other musicians and record records. For as long as she can remember, she's been recording songs, she said. Her father gave her a tape deck to record music she made in elementary school, then a reel to reel when she was in junior high. It's one of her favorite things to do.
"I perform and feel pumped and excited about life afterwards. I write a song and feel refreshed and rejuvenated. Performing and creating, playing and writing is what really motivates me to wake up in the morning," she said. "I love something to practice for, something to write for, holding a space through the language of music. It's easier for me than holding a conversation."
Her work in Black Prarie — a six-piece bluegrass-influenced group founded by members of The Decemberists — has given her a deep understanding of jumping into new experiences, supporting others in their creative abilities, and just simply listening.
"Playing fiddle and writing with Black Prairie was so exciting for me because I had never co-written much of anything before I met them," Tornfelt said of her fellow band members. "It was exhilarating to bring an idea to the band and work on it together until out came this amazing instrumental or pop song with a killer bridge."
Tornfelt will perform at the Walters, 527 E. Main St, Hillsboro, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 day of show — they're available at www.brownpapertickets.com or by calling the box office at 503-615-3485. The multi-instrumentalist will be performing on violin and guitar, and will take the stage solo, as well as with her sisters.