by: COURTESY OF BEN RIVERS - Musician Ben Rivers performs Friday, Dec. 20, at Portland's Recital Room.Ben Rivers is a musician who just happens to have Young Onset Parkinson’s disease.

That won’t get in the way of his Friday evening concert in Portland. In fact, Rivers’ Rock Bottom Revue will feature spontaneous music and poetry and sing-alongs that include jabs at Parkinson’s.

Rivers’ concert is at 7 p.m., Friday, Dec. 20, at the Recital Room at Portland Piano Co., 711 S.W. 14th Ave.

Rivers, 43, began piano lessons at age 8. At 16, he did some public performances — with a repertoire of classical pieces, rock songs, folk music, and his own melodic improvisations. At 31, he was diagnosed with Parkinson's.

“I see music as a conduit for all people to express themselves,” Rivers says. “So, I’d like to use this musical flow to assist others in ‘getting in tune with their own tune’ or ‘writing their own song’ — communicating their unique and special gift: that authentic something that is truly who they are — with the world. Initially, I’d like to focus on assisting ‘dis-abled’ people with this.”

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