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!

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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Penezzi Trio with Rio Con Brio performs at The Historic Old Church Saturday, August 9 at 8:00pm


 7:30pm Doors

 Advance Tickets $15 – $18 at the Door

Tickets at

 All Age Show – Bar with ID

From classical concert halls, jazz festivals, choro circles, and the legendary São Paulo Samba club Ó do Borogodó, three friends, guitarist Alessandro Penezzi, clarinetist and interpreter of Brazilian jazz and traditional music, Alexandre Ribeiro, and American violinist and mandolinist, Ted Falcon, come together for an evening of original music from their homes in Brazil. Join them and experience original works from artists at the height of their powers as players, composers, and arrangers.

Widely admired for his astonishing technical range and imaginative approach to the traditional song forms of his native Brazil, guitarist, Alessandro Penezzi  is a mature artist at the height of his powers.  Born in Barrio Alto, Piracicaba, in the Brazilian state of São Paulo, Alessandro dos Santos Penezzi began playing guitar at the age of 7. A few years later, he lied about his age to study with the great Sergio Napoleão Belluco, who would only take students who were at least the age of 12.

In addition to the classical guitar, Penezzi plays the ukulele, mandolin, tenor guitar and a variety of woodwinds. He writes for various music magazines in Brazil and is a sought-after performer, composer and teacher. He has toured Russia, the United States and Angola, and performed with many noted musicians such as such as Dominguinhos, Yamandú Costa, Zimbo Trio, Beth Carvalho, Silvio Caldas, Danilo Brito, and Renato Borghetti.

Clarinetist and interpreter of Brazilian jazz and traditional music, Alexandre Ribeiro, is best known for his collaborations with renowned artists Carlos Malta, Alessandro Penezzi, Osvaldinho do Acordeom, Dominguinhos, Nelson Ayres, Paulo Moura, Yamandu Costa, Raul de Souza, Andre Mehmari, Toninho Ferragutti, Ken Peplowsky and many others.

Ted Falcon is an American violinist, mandolinist and composer working in his adopted country of Brazil. Recognized as one of the few innovators on the violin, an instrument rarely used in Brazilian popular music, Ted has been invited to perform with some of the biggest names in that country: Gilberto Gil, Dominguinhos, Hermeto Pascoal, Jovino Santos Neto, Alessandro Penezzi and others. Born in New York, Ted grew up in Allentown, Pennsylvania. He first starting playing the piano at age five then switched to the violin when he was six. The son of a professional guitarist, Ted grew up listening to jazz and the Brazilian music of Villa-Lobos, Tom Jobim and Luiz Bonfá. Further study of Brazilian choro music at Indiana University fueled his passion for the sound and brought him to form his own group, the Los Angeles Choro Ensemble. He has dedicated himself exclusively to the study of Brazilian music and choro for the past 7 years, recording several Brazilian instrumental CD’s, Memórias do Brasil and Transcontinental Music Express, as well as writing a mandolin book, Retratos do Brasil.

He is also one of the few innovators on the violin, an instrument rarely used in Brazilian popular music. In 2006 and 2007, he performed around the world headlining and touring in Japan, the U.S. and Brazil. In many different trips to Brazil, he has performed with some of the biggest names of Brazilian music, including Armandinho and Gilberto Gil, as well as featured performances on TV Senado and Radio Nacional. (with Época de Ouro) In the U.S., Ted has played with David Grisman, Mike Marshall and has recorded with Ben E. King and Suzanne Vega.  As a studio musician, he has played on many string quartet tribute recordings for Weezer, Korn, the Cure, Linkin Park and on national television programs including Judging Amy, Charmed and the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Rio Con Brio captivates audiences around the country with their intimate performance of the beautiful and esoteric Brazilian repertoire known as choro. Influenced by equal parts Afro-Brazilian rhythms and the contemporary cafe music of Italy, France, Spain and Portugal, choro is both exotic and familiar, evoking in turn the carnival of Rio and the cafes of Paris.  Guitarist Mike Burdette and mandolinist Tim Connell exhibit finesse and passion in their playing, while displaying a sincere love of the choro repertoire and connection to their audience.

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