Portland Cello Project

Portland Cello Project

  • April 15, 2019 at 7:00pm
  • CSPS Hall
  • $17 advance | $21 door

In the fall of 2006 a group of nine cellists got on stage at Portland’s Doug Fir Lounge to perform western classical music in an informal setting.

Many of the cellists that night thought it would only happen once.

But slowly that one-off event became a second, and a third, as cellists joined and left and rejoined the group again, to perform in Portland’s most popular clubs. By 2009 the group had evolved into a nationally-recognized performing, recording and educational group with a revolving cast of cellists. The Portland Cello Project (or PCP as their fans affectionately call them) were quickly appearing anywhere and everywhere in North America, from punk rock clubs to symphony halls, from street parties to exclusive private events. By 2010 a self-described horde of cellos were spending more than a quarter of the year touring, featuring a diverse repertoire that quickly ballooned to over 1,000 pieces of music.

Under the artistic direction of Douglas Jenkins, the group grew and evolved, working with an all-star group of cellists in the Pacific Northwest. The group developed a three-part philosophy that has mostly remained unchanged over the years.

To bring the cello places you wouldn’t normally see it -- from wild dance parties, to formal symphony halls, to street parties, to Chicago’s Millennium Park.

To perform music you wouldn’t normally associate with the cello -- from Pantera to Taylor Swift to Kanye West to Elliott Smith, alongside Bach, Rossini, and Saint-Saens, to name a few.

To build bridges between different musical communities through outreach and collaboration, working with artists from The Dandy Warhols, Garrison Keillor and Ural Thomas, to Corin Tucker, Jolie Holland and Peter Yarrow.

Selling out shows coast to coast, PCP has evoked critical raves. Says The Strad, “PCP has come to epitomize Portland’s offbeat scene, one where boundaries are blurred and cellos are in abundance,” while MTV proclaims “It doesn’t get more genre-crossing than this.”