David Rogers returns Oct. 12 to play his renowned blend of jazz and classical styles

By Colin Ellis

Newberg Graphic reporter

Classical guitarist David Rogers will bring his unique blend of jazz and classically inspired compositions to the Coffee Cottage at 7 p.m. Friday.

Rogers has been praised by the New York Times and the Washington Post for his playing, and will make his return at the Coffee Cottage as one of a handful of jazz acts coming through this fall. The Times called him a "prominent guitarist," while the Post praised his "astonishingly florid" improvisations.SUBMITTED PHOTO - Classical guitarist David Rogers will appear Friday at Coffee Cottage in Newberg.

The Eugene-based Rogers has regularly played the Coffee Cottage, becoming something a mainstay. He said he routinely plays the Coffee Cottage because he likes the atmosphere of the Hancock Street coffee shop and that it is owned by musicians. Friday will be his seventh appearance at the coffee shop in 2018, with one more planned for the year in November.

"I have enough of a following there that it's usually a really nice setting," he said.

The composer's websites states he blends "classical, jazz, early and world music elements into powerful, moving and virtuosic performances based on both original and traditional repertoire." He has stated in the past that his work is influenced by New York contemporary jazz, especially musicians and guitarists in the tradition of trumpeter Miles Davis. He added he's also influenced by 16th century instrumental music, such as the kind written for lutes.

"I try to have a lot of harmonic color in my pieces, and through the course of the program I try to be very careful with pacing," he said.

Rogers' set lists generally tend to be similar, though he does work to incorporate new songs and compositions; he said he tries to have variety and contrasts in his performances. In addition to his own compositions, he does some cover songs, including compositions of Leonard Cohen and Rolling Stones songs. He's also working to add Neil Young's "After the Gold Rush" to his repertoire.

"For my own arrangements I look for things I can add a lot," he said.

While he does incorporate The Beatles in sets from time to time, he said he won't change the compositions for those.

"My set kind of develops kind of slowly and changes slowly," he said. "A lot of time it's the same thing, but I do like to try things out for that audience, probably more so than I do for other venues. That type of venue is a good vehicle for trying new stuff out. I have a couple of new compositions this time that I'll be trying out and seeing if they fly."

Rogers said his musical tastes and style developed from growing up in the Detroit, Mich., area. While there, he said the city had a very rich musical and artistic tradition, such as the tradition of Motown, which was a generator for great music. He added that in high school he alternated weekly between classical and jazz guitar lessons, and that a local university brought in talented lute players for audiences to hear as well.

"That was wonderful just to have that exposure to great playing and great musicianship," he said. "It's a lot of where I grew up and what was available."

Coffee Cottage will also feature upcoming performances by Joel Martin on Oct. 19 and the George Fox University Jazz Jam on Oct. 26.

Arts & Leisure briefs

GFU presents comedy 'The Government Inspector'

George Fox University will host several showings of the Russian comedy "The Government Inspector" Oct. 18-20 and again Oct. 25-28. All shows start at 7:30 p.m. in Wood-Mar Auditorium.

Tickets are $12 for general admission, $8 for seniors and GFU alumni, and $6 for students and children under 12.

George Fox hosts a campus celebration

George Fox University will hold a weekend of activities for the families of current students Oct. 19-21 as part of its annual Family Weekend celebration. Activities will include tours of new buildings on campus, a family dinner and game night, football and soccer games, and a performance of "The Government Inspector," a Russian comedy. For more information or to register, visit

Linfield College to host third Mac Monster Mania

Linfield College students will host the third annual Mac Monster Mania event from 1 to 3 p.m. Oct. 28 at the Riley Campus Center. Events include a 5K run, a kids' one-mile fun run, booths, games, crafts and a community costume contest, all promoting healthy living. Race registration is $20 for adults and $10 for anyone 19 and under.

Chehalem Center to host Curtis Acosta

The Chehalem Cultural Center is sponsoring a presentation by professor Curtis Acosta from 7 to 8 p.m. Oct. 15 at George Fox University's Canyon Commons. Acosta has taught outlawed ethnic studies classes and will discuss his life and the importance of Mexican-American heritage studies.

Halloween museum tours

McMINNVILLE -- The Yamhill County Historical Society will host a special Halloween event from 5 to 8 p.m. Oct. 27 at the Yamhill Valley Heritage Center. "Night at the Museum" is open to families and will feature several activities. Children must be accompanied by adults. Admission is $5 per vehicle.

Live music at the Yamhill Valley Heritage Center

McMINNVILLE -- Joe Justin and Janet Kay will perform live at the Fourth Sunday at the Yamhill Valley Heritage Center on Oct. 28. The event runs from 2 to 4 p.m. and features dancing. Admission is $7 for adults and $5 for children ages 6 to 12. Children under the age of 6 get free admission.

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