The transition movement emphasizes localized exchange as a way to avoid the environmental problems lingering on the horizon, but that is not the only reason why local is good. The local is the people we know, the people who live in our community, and when we celebrate as a community, we also experience the intimacy of a localized connection that can only grow by living together as friends and neighbors. In community we can celebrate life and beauty together, with people we know, respect and enjoy. But there are bound to be people we don’t already know at these celebrations, so we also get the chance to expand our sense of community by connecting with new people.
This sense of community is one of the many reasons I love living in the Rogue Valley. I love walking downtown and seeing familiar people. I love the exchange of ideas and the abundance of enthusiasm these people offer. And I love discovering the valley’s people, niches and enthusiasms previously unknown to me.
Similarly, I love the opportunity to read my poetry to groups of people anywhere, but especially in the valley. Last July in Ashland, we did a house concert with Jeff Pevar and Inger Jorgenson, Alison Van Olphen, Aeada Cains, Sasha Lithman and myself. Although I probably saw somewhere between 75 and 100 concerts last year alone, very few of them offered the level of intimacy and sweetness we–the performers and the audience–experienced that night. Needless to say, I am very excited for next weekend, December 13, when Jeff Pevar and Ingerson return for another house concert, this time with fellow musicians and Rogue Valley neighbors, Cornflower and Jaese Lecuyer. Very grateful to be a part of what looks to be another amazing night, I will be reading poetry at the event as well.
Jeff Pevar is a wonderfully dynamic guitar player and multi-instrumentalist who has toured with Ray Charles, Rickie Lee Jones, Joe Cocker, Crosby Stills and Nash, Jazz is Dead and Phil Lesh (making him a musician very close to my heart!). Inger Jorgenson, an amazing painter, is the co-owner of Bohemia Gallery and Framing down on A Street (known for their happening First Fridays). Not only can you see her work at the “Winter Farmhouse Salon,” as we are calling the event, but you can also hear her singing her eclectic R&B soul voice, which you may recognize from the Ashland band, Bohemian Soul. Inger and Jeff will be performing together. If you come, expect great intimacy and sweetness from their duet.
Cornflower is just as cool as Inger and Jeff. Using loop pedals, vocal percussion and scat, he moves and groove. Listening, I might cry, or least experience bliss.
I have never met Jaese Lecuyer, but he has recently located himself in the Rogue Valley. A Canadian singer/songwriter, I hear from Inger he’s damn good.
I will be reading poetry. It is always a blessing to share my poetry with people, and to share performing space with such amazing people, is an honor. I am really looking forward to it.
If you want to come: The event is Sunday, December 13, at 6:30 PM. It is taking place at the home of Cathy DeForest (of Gallery DeForest) and Leon Pyle, who happen to be my parents! This is also the location of Jubilation Press, you are welcome to check out our studio on Sunday. As this is a house concert, space is limited and you need to get tickets in advance. We had a full house last July.
Tickets are $25 and you can purchase them at Bohemia Gallery and Framing, 552 A St. in Ashland, unless you go in on a Sunday or Monday. They are closed those days. For more information, call 541-488-5227 or email ingerbohemiagallerycom. After buying tickets, you will get more info about things like the address of the house. I hope to see you there.
Have a great December. We hope to see you December 13th, 17th or some other time soon!