Jan. 13

Peaceful piano

Brandon Carmody doesn’t tickle the ivories; it’s more like he escorts them through a deep forest in late afternoon, when the shade makes you think it’s later than it really is. The actor and songwriter, a Seattle native, has been playing around Portland for 20 years and has been awarded “Best Music” in both the 48 Hour Film Project as well as the Mid Valley Film Festival. “Land of Winter” is his first full-length album, and is both moody and bright, meditative and assertive. It’s the kind of semi-classical-meets-modern instrumental music that doesn’t need words because it reaches those places in you where you go when life subsumes you. You realize there’s a lot more to the human experience than just what you’re experiencing, but that doesn’t make you feel smaller, just more at ease.

Brandon Carmody, 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 13, Music Millennium, 3158 E. Burnside St. Free. All ages. Info: 503-231-8926,

Jan. 16


Birds of Chicago is a soulful folk collective based around singer/songwriters JT Nero (of the Chicago rock and soul band JT and the Clouds) and Allison Russell (of the Canadian urban folk band Po’ Girl). Nero looks like a hippie and employs a gentle, raspy tenor in the service of his acoustic compositions. Russell, who plays banjo, ukulele, guitar and clarinet, whistles as well when she’s not nicely complimenting Nero’s voice with her own alto soprano. A songwriter as well, she seems to have found her musical soul mate in Nero, and it’s likely these two will become an “It” act in Americana circles for years to come.

Birds of Chicago, Huck Notari, Jenn Rawlings, Basho Parks, 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 16, Mississippi Studios, 3939 N. Mississippi St. $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Info: 503-288-3895,

by: COURTESY OF ROBIN JACKSON - Robin Jackson, of Vagabond Opera and March Fourth Marching Band fame, shares the stage with high school classmate/folk singer Kathryn Claire, Jan. 11 at Mississippi Pizza Pub.

‘Round town

Robin Jackson of the neo-bohemian Vagabond Opera and March Fourth Marching Band will share the stage with folk/Irish performer Kathryn Claire in a show featuring members of March Fourth, Horsefeathers, Vagabond Opera, and other acts. 9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 11, Mississippi Pizza Pub, 3552 Mississippi St. $8 to $12. Info: 503-288-3231,

Borikuas plays Latin music drawing on Neftali Rivera’s Puerto Rican roots. He focuses on such traditional styles as bombas, plenas, danzas and aguinaldos. Percussionist Victor Pizarro also hails from Puerto Rico, and vocalist, lead guitarist and cuatro player Ruben Torres was formally trained there. Aquiles Montas, originally from the Dominican Republic, has been called Portland’s “Godfather of Latin Music.” He plays tambora, bongos, congas, timbales and all Latin hand instruments, including the cowbell, maracas and guiro. Finally, the group includes Cuban-born percussionist Javier Olva. 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12, Andina’s Restaurant, 1314 N.W. Glisan St. Info: 503-228-9535,

One of the year’s best reggae shows will take place when Anthony B and the Born Fire Band, Perfect Giddimani, Jagga Culture & The People’s Choice Band, Serious Di Witness and Selectah YT, take the stage. You think you’re a hardworking musician? Since 1996, Mr. B has released 21 CDs, more than 1,000 singles, and has appeared on hundreds of other albums. Meanwhile, Perfect is one of the most creative reggae artists out there, creating complex, soulful recordings that take the genre into realms of history and spirituality. 9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18, The Bob White Theater, 6423 S.E. Foster Road. $25 in advance, $30 at the door. Info: 503- 358-3539,

Singer-songwriter Dar Williams will perform along with Loudon Wainwright III at 8 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 13, in the Aladdin Theater, 3017 S.E. Milwaukie Ave. $30. Info: 503-234-9694,

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