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Summer Sizzle

Here’s some musical hair of the dog for that Bach Festival hangover
Lakou Mizik
Lakou Mizik

Let’s assume you love classical music and you’re having a hangover now that the Bach Festival is over and the symphony and other classical seasons don’t get going for some weeks. Let us further assume that you are not among the fortunate many who found out about the Eugene Symphony’s eighth annual Symphony in the Park concert at Cuthbert Amphitheater on Saturday, July 16, before all the free tickets were snapped up by the savvy.

You are therefore lamenting what you imagine is a missed opportunity to experience — in a setting more sylvan than Silva Concert Hall — orchestral bonbons from Dvorak (one of his Slavonic dances), Tchaikovsky (a waltz from his ballet Swan Lake, the ever-popular Variations on a Rococo Theme and — bang! — the inevitable closing explosive 1812 Overture), Suppé, Weber, Sousa, John Williams’s Star Wars theme and even a dash of Cole Porter. 

You’ll also miss the Eugene Symphonic Band playing more Star Wars music, more Sousa (and Monty Python), an Irving Berlin tribute, a sing-along, Elmer Bernstein’s glorious theme from The Magnificent Seven and more American tunes. 

But there’s still hope! Hie yourself over to Cottage Grove’s Bohemia Park July 18 or down to Roseburg’s Nichols Band Shell July 19 and you won’t even need any stinkin’ tickets to hear the Eugene Symphony perform outside its usual confines in the Hult Center.

If you did miss out on the Cuthbert festivities, you have a couple other appealing July 16 choices. You might head over to the WOW Hall to catch French-Vermonter chanteuse Francesca Blanchard croon her original bilingual ballads, influenced by folk and song traditions from both her homelands. 

Another July 16 option: Cozmic Productions/Whirled Pies, where Bill and Michael Keale — scions of a long Hawaiian music family tradition — play and sing island music on ukulele and guitars. The show opens with one of Hawaii’s greatest contributions to world music: Maggie Matoba and Matthew Riley playing dreamy slack-key guitar instrumentals. 

There’s more island music at one of the summer’s top world music shows: The July 21 appearance by Lakou Mizik at the WOW Hall. The three-generation collective of Haitian musicians mixes rising young stars with venerated masters such as Vodou drummer Sanba Zao. Haiti is a Caribbean crossroads of cultures, and the Port-Au-Prince nonet’s music blends influences that span the decades and the oceans, including French chanson-style accordion, jazzy horns and intensive doses of Afro pop. If you’re a fan of global rhythms, check them out. The balmy sounds make a suitably sizzling summer soundtrack.