Portland Cello Project with Emily Wells - Live at The Ballroom at the Taft Saturday May 5

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Tickets on sale Friday March 9 at 10 AM.

Portland Cello Project

In the ultimate test of their quest to find those universal moments of beauty that tie all musical genres together, the Portland Cello Project (or PCP) are releasing Homage on May 1, 2012. Known for their dynamic live shows and inspired arrangements of composers of all aesthetic persuasions, PCP will be taking to the road this spring and summer, including a series of co-headline dates with Emily Wells.

Reserved tickets, $10 ADV & $13 DOS (plus applicable fees), go on sale Friday March 9 at 10 AM at http://www.ticketmaster.com, http://www.tafttheatre.org, the Taft Theatre Box Office and all Ticketmaster outlets including select Kroger stores. Charge by phone at 1.800.745.3000.

Recorded in studio spaces and sacred spaces all over Portland, the album was mixed by Larry Crane (Sleater-Kinney, Elliott Smith, The Decemberists) at Jackpot! Studios and mastered by Jeff Lipton (Andrew Bird, Magnetic Fields, Bon Iver) at Peerless Mastering. Homage will also be available on vinyl on April 21, 2012 for Record Store Day, including a special edition on colored vinyl. The LP will include a re-mastered version of their Kill Rock Stars digital single "All of the Lights."

From thundering cellos and drums transforming hip-hop songs, to whispered melodies by contemporary composers, to hip-hop themes turned into baroque-style puzzles, Homage blurs musical genres and styles. Covers include "She Will" (L'il Wayne), "That's My Bitch" and "H.A. M." (Kanye West and Jay-Z) and a classical canon inspired by L'il Wayne's "Lollipop" that was arranged by PCP's founder/arranger Douglas Jenkins (originally for the Oregon Bach Festival). The "Lollipop Canon" and "Fugue on a Monstrous Theme" (inspired by Kanye's "Monster") were both recorded at the oldest church in Portland.

There's also a recorded version of the band's popular live rendition of Outkast's "Hey Ya," with producer Crane going for a Herb Alpert brass sound on the choruses. Says Jenkins, "We did a 6-week national tour once where we literally had every single city we played in sing along on the choruses, and then Adam Thompson from Thao with the Get Down Stay Down would judge each city using the Pitchfork scale based on how well they sang along. San Francisco won."

PCP's collaborations include their 2009 album with Thao and Justin Power (Kill Rock Stars), along with Peter Yarrow (Peter, Paul and Mary), Dandy Warhols, to cellist Matt Haimovitz, Laura Gibson, Mirah, Eric Bachmann and others. They've toured with artists as varied as Buckethead and Alexi Murdoch, staying true to their three -fold mission: Bridging Communities - to play places you wouldn't ordinarily see cellos performing; Bridging Genres - to play music you wouldn't ordinarily hear played on cellos; Collaboration - to highlight the many ways in which collaboration is the cornerstone of independence and creativity.

Along with the classically trained members of PCP, Rachel Blumberg played drums (M Ward, Decemberists, Bright Eyes). The touring members all bring something special to the band's sound: Anna Fritz is also a songwriter and folk musician; Skip von Kuske is jazz-trained and does a lot of electronic cello looping; Kevin Jackson writes some of the groups arrangements, including the video game themes (Final Fantasy, Super Mario Bros); and founder Douglas Jenkins, who engineers all the PCP recordings and has toured as a multi-instrumentalist; Jenkins also has an MAT in teaching and does literacy work with struggling high school seniors in the Portland Public Schools. Additional members of note include Emma Wood, Justin Kagan, Collin Oldham, and Ashia Grzesik.

Emily Wells is an anomaly among musicians most of whom spend their careers striving for a major label deal. Before she was old enough to vote, a major label was courting Wells, two music-publishing companies were competing for the rights to her songs and she was recording with award winning producers. By the time she was legally buying her first drink, however, Emily had chosen a different path. With true indie ethos, she moved from New York, leaving in her wake a lucrative deal from a major label, the renowned producers, recording studios, and a manager. During that period of her life, Emily had been offered everything that most musicians want. Everything except what she, as an artist, needed most: creative control.

Attaining the ever-elusive artist's dream of creative control, as Wells would soon learn, comes only at a price. Wells' cost was the thousands of miles logged, traipsing across country, playing in and outside of bars, pubs, and juke joints. She traveled in a tiny car, dragging along guitars, a tiny bass, a giant old Linn 9000 drum machine, and a four track. When flush, Emily would spend the occasional night in a seedy motel room where she would tirelessly record with her archaic four-track and dirty old instruments. Eventually landing in Los Angeles, Wells finally learned through recording and performing, how to have the creative control she craved. Slowly building her own studio, she taught herself how to record and produce. This is the studio in which she would create, record, mix, and produce 'The Symphonies: Dreams Memories & Parties' her latest release.

For at complete list of Taft Theatre shows visit: http://www.tafttheatre.org

Contacts:

For Taft Theatre: Rick McCarty | Rmccarty(at)memi(dot)biz | 513.977.1087
For Portland Cello Project: Angie Carlson | angie(at)propellerpublicity(dot)com | 718.387.1301
For Emily Wells: George Corona | geo(at)terrorbird(dot)com

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Rick McCarty
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