Over twenty singers and instrumentalists are coming together to perform an evening of familiar pop songs, “remixed” and reimagined in new and exciting ways, as the Columbia Gorge Orchestra Association presents CGOA Jukebox Volume 1 on June 14/15 at the Hood River Elks Lodge.
Organizer and CGOA Artistic Director Mark Steighner says that the idea for the concerts came in part from watching videos by the Postmodern Jukebox ensemble. “They take rock and pop songs and perform them in the style of classic swing and jazz. It is very similar to what our Spectrum ensemble used to do when I was teaching at HRVHS…take a song, and deconstruct it, then build it again into something different.” But as interesting as that group is, the approach is limited. “We wanted to be much wider in our selection of songs and styles.”
Steighner said he put out the call for interested performers from all of CGOA’s groups and there are representatives from Stages, Voci, the Jazz Collective and the Sinfonietta. “It’s kind of an all-star collection of singers, actors, and other musicians and the rehearsals have really reminded us of what it means to “play” music. It has taken a few folks out of their musical comfort zones and that’s pretty great.”
It would spoil the surprise to describe too closely what the shows will include, but most of the songs are familiar — at least in their original form. “The goal is not simply to mangle and twist songs into some new format, but to reveal hidden facets or potential for meaning.”
The CGOA Jukebox Live shows are June 14/15 at 7:30 PM at the Elks Lodge in Hood River. Special ticket pricing is $10 adults, $5 for youth ages 10-17, and free for kids under 10. Tickets and information are available at gorgeorchestra.org