The Historic Old Church

Come on in to The Historic Old Church! We are a public events and performance venue located in downtown Portland’s cultural West End district. This historic jewel is a remarkable community space, home to concerts, lectures, ceremonies and receptions. In fact, we host a free noon sack lunch recital every Wednesday! Read below for our latest updates, click on Calendar to check out what’s happening here, and sign up for our e-newsletter so you don’t miss our great events!

Brazilian singer, Paula Santoro with pianist, Rafael Vernet perform at The Old Church, Saturday, Sept 13 at 8:00pm

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7:30pm Door

Advance Tickets $12 – $15 the day of the show

Tickets available

Though she has not come to the attention of listeners outside Brazil, Paula Santoro is recognized within her country as a singer who has carried on the tradition of artists like Elis Regina, Beth Carvalho, Nara Leão, Maria Bethânia and other contemporary vocalists who form a brilliant constellation in the firmament of Brazilian music. She tells stories bristling with heartfelt emotion. She is a modern griot in whose soul the history of her country stirs, moving her very spirit as she sings in her own inimitable manner.

“Keyboardist Rafael Vernet embraces the vintage sounds of Fender Rhodes and Wurlitzer electric pianos, painting engaging harmonies, infectious comps and grooving left-hand bass lines…” Jeff Potter – DownBeat Magazine “

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Stelth Ulvang, pianist of the Lumineers performs at The Old Church, Wednesday, August 13 at 8:00pm


Stelth Ulvang, pianist for The Lumineers, is joined by Minneaoplis based Spirits of the Red City, local favorite Nick Jaina and featuring interludes by piano/cello duo, A.W. Duo.

Advance Tickets $8 – $10 at the Door

 All Age Show – Bar with I.D.

Stelth Ulvang never slows down. With blistered fingers, worn vocal cords, and pockets of tattered ticket-stubs and notebooks, Stelth tours the globe full-time with the Lumineers. As their barefoot piano-player and multi-instrumentalist, Stelth is never still – running up stadium seats with his accordion, striking marching drum and mandolin, or serenading the crowds from the highest of balconies.

“Stelth Ulvang …is a solo artist in his own right. For a very short-notice stint filling in, Ulvang managed to literally win over the entire room after playing for about half an hour.- His songs are intricately detailed lyrics and have a delicate feel to them but his delivery is empowered and assured. Even his awkward attempt at bantering about meat pies and being in Australia and how surreal it was just endeared him to the crowd even more. I suspect we will be hearing more from this young gent soon.”     -The AU Review, Sydney, Australia

“Ulvang is often found painting melodic memories through piano keys.”     -The California Aggie, Davis

“Ulvang bounded around the stage with all the energy and soul of a man possessed. A highly entertaining way to open a gig, no doubt extra special for the punter hoisted on stage to play piano”

Spirits of the Red City is a collective of friends and musicians originally based in Minneapolis. The sound is a sum of modernist composers, traditional folk and 60s classics. The sound of Spirits is as eclectic as their tour history – from theaters, living rooms, art galleries to cathedrals, basements, caves and ocean piers. Through the unrelenting conviction of their performances, a bravely honest lyricism and powerfully heartfelt orchestrations, Spirits has built a strong and wide-reaching community of supporters and fans across the U.S.

“Surprisingly spare for such a large group, Spirits create a loose-knit, cello-drenched concoction of mournful folk-Americana. It’s sad and thoughtful, and drifts along beautifully like the hazy dreams of a bone-tired man who’s finally found a moment of rest.”     – The Onion

“(Spirits of the Red City) plays with the airy intimacy and elegance of a minimalist duo, with wistful themes and relatively spare orchestrations: a simple cello line, a gently strummed guitar or a lonely fiddle. Spirits of the Red City singer Will Garrison has a whiskey-soaked voice that’s a little weary but full of honesty and passion.”   – National Public Radio 

Nick Jana is a musician and writer from Portland, Oregon. He has released five albums on Hush Records, while also composing ballets, film and play soundtracks. His next album, Primary Perception, was released on Fluff and Gravy Records. He has composed three ballets with the Satellite Ballet and Collective in New York City, featuring dancers from the New York City Ballet. Nick also composed a soundtrack for the feature film Cement Suitcase. Nick writes an occasional column for Portland’s local music website Willamette Week, and has had portions of his essays published in literary compilations and in the Atlantic Monthly.

Pianist Alyona Aksyonova and cellist James Waldo make the A.W.Duo. They concertize together with increasing frequency, and love exploring the rich musical literature, old and new, for cello and piano. Alyona and James began playing together in 2009 while attending graduate studies at Mannes College in New York City. They are now happily married, and have recently completed their first regional tour of the southeast in March 2013. The A.W.Duo is currently attending festivals in Manhattan and Brunswick, ME, and is booking engagements for coming seasons.

“In all my years of association with Piccolo Spoleto I have never heard a more exciting chamber music concert at either Spoleto Festival USA or Piccolo Spoleto than the Music with Friends event which featured James Waldo, cello and Alyona Aksyonova, piano, performing the Rachmaninoff Sonata for Cello and Piano. Their interpretation was absolutely ravishing! They elevated the music to such heights of intensity and tenderness, evoking tears among many members of the audience… These gifted young players are true artists who can transport their listeners straight to heaven!”    -Ellen Dressler Moryl, Founder and Artistic Director Emeritus of Piccolo Spoleto Festival Charleston, South Carolina. June, 2013

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