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Entertainment for the Gorge in the upcoming weeks.

Let the Games Begin

Everyone's invited to the No Boundaries Adventure Village on Wednesday, July 17, for the Gorge Games' Opening Kickoff Party, which will offer entertainment, food, drink and fun.

This welcoming event for Gorge Games athletes and spectators will feature the music of the Reggae Angels, a nine-piece band known for its high-energy performances and messages of love and wisdom.

The admission-is-free festivities start at 7 p.m. and last until 11.

Night on the Town

Downtown Hood River will be in a festive mood as the Gorge Games' Rock Around the Block Party gets underway at 8 p.m. Friday, July 19.

Party-goers will be able to enjoy live musical performances and refreshments served up by six participating establishments: Full Sail Brewery, River City Saloon, Sixth Street Bistro, Savino's, Brian's Pourhouse and Outdoor Play.

There's no cover charge for the night's entertainment.

Acoustical Showcase

Acoustic artists Jonathan Kingham, Louise Taylor and Moe Dixon will showcase their singing and songwriting talents on the Ford Gorge Games' No Boundaries Adventure Village stage Saturday, July 20, 7-11 p.m., in Hood River.

The concert is free and open to all ages. The Adventure Village is located via Port Marina Way.

A Brassy Sound

Stevenson's Whiskey Flats Brass Band will perform in concert at Maryhill Museum of Art on Thursday, July 25, at 7:30 p.m.

"The historical context of this band, as well as the quality of musicianship, creates an engaging performance," said Courtney Spousta, curator of education. "They are dedicated to the preservation and appreciation of authentic brass band music. You don't want to miss them."

A Band of Brothers

Hood River's River City Saloon will present national touring band Brothers of the Baladi on Friday night, July 26.

The Portland-based group will present both its Middle Eastern/World Music and its traditional Middle Eastern music and dance show.

Showtime is 9:30. Tickets are $7 at the door, at 207 Cascade Ave.

"The Brothers' infectiously danceable sound lures congregates to the floor, the seats of chairs and maybe even table tops," noted a reviewer for Artvoice, of Buffalo, N.Y.

The Brothers are touring the United States to celebrate and promote the release of their brand new CD, "Hope."

"Hope," the band's eighth recording, contains three original songs and 10 traditional Turkish, Arabic and Armenian songs performed on both traditional Middle Eastern and Western instruments. All vocals are sung in both the foreign and English languages.

Their 1995 CD, "Eye on the World" (produced by Santana original Michael Shrieve), includes the Rolling Stones' hit "Paint it Black," and was heard on National Public Radio's "All Things Considered."

In a half-page 1998 cover story, the Los Angeles Times called the band, "A sound that knows no borders."

The Brothers, whose music has been described as "a timeless sound with an urgent groove," celebrated their 25th anniversary in 2000.

Bandleader/founder Michael Beach started the group in 1975 in Yuma, Ariz. The personnel has changed throughout the years but the group continues to be a national touring Middle Eastern/World Music band.

The Western world has always had a fascination with the Middle East but since 9-11-01, Americans have gained even more of an innate curiosity.

The Brothers mix familiar Western instrumentation (guitars, bass, keyboards and drums) and grooves with traditional ethnic instruments (darbuka, mizmars, riq, mezhar, davul and def) and rhythms.

As Americans, they present Middle Eastern music so that Westerners of all ages can understand it, dance to it and enjoy it.

Noted The Oregonian: "There are some fine players of world music, among whom Brothers of the Baladi are unique...the sound that makes regular guys loosen their tie and dance on the table."

Beach fronts the group singing in seven languages -- Arabic, Turkish, Farsi, Armenian, French, Spanish and English -- and performing on traditional drums (darbuka/tabla, riq, mezhar, def and davul) as well as folk horns (mizmar/zurna and midjwiz).

The band also features J. Michael Kearsey (vocals, bass and riq), Geoff George (vocals and Arabic keyboards), Dennis Elmer (davul and drum set) and Brad Rapp (guitars).

The Brothers' performance also will showcase local Middle Eastern dancers Ianthe and The Desert Harem Dancers, and Ellen.

For more information, call (541) 387-2583.

A Touch of the Blues

Portland-based singer-songwriter, guitarist and pianist Anne Weis is known for her immense, bluesy voice, positive presence and striking original songs.

Weis will be appearing in the Hood River home of Paul Blackburn and Kristen Dillon, 401 Montell Dr., on Saturday, July 27 at 8 p.m.

With a musical style that encompasses new folk, blues and gospel, and a writing style that is poetic, humorous and political, Weis is unique.

Besides solo and collaborative performances nationwide, she also teaches songwriting, singing "for the vocally challenged," spontaneous choir, and blues guitar workshops.

She has shared the stage with Dar Williams, Ani DiFranco, Dan Fogelberg, Richie Havens, Greg Brown, Patti Larkin, Cheryl Wheeler, Aztec Two-Step and Guardabarranco. She appears on recordings by Shawn Colvin, Geoff Bartley and Jim Infantino and others.

Admission to the house concert is $8. Proceeds benefit the Mid-Columbia Folklore Society.

For more information, call 387-4011.

Three Days of Music

A weekend of music and festivities kicks off on Friday, July 26, at "Lightning Meadow," 725 Snowden Rd., in Snowden.

Billed as the "Snowden Hoe Down," the three-day event is expected to draw as many as 1,000 people.

Eleven bands will perform during the festival, including White Salmon bands Luna Rise and Brothers Grim. Bands from Hood River and elsewhere in the Gorge will also perform during the event, which concludes Sunday evening.

For more information, call 493-4033.


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