Carlson, Alany, and a Singer to benefit Don’t Shoot PDX in May 25th Event

Portland-based musician/artist activist group While Rome Burns is honored to announce the next in its ongoing series of benefit concerts: A celebration of Don’t Shoot Portland, May 25th at Mississippi Pizza Pub. While Rome Burns will be working to support Don’t Shoot PDX’s collaboration with New York’s Museum of Impact and the Portland Art Museum in conjunction with their Constructing Identity exhibit, running now. Along with raising money for Don’t Shoot PDX, While Rome Burns is also hoping to help rev up excitement for the Upstanders Festival taking place the following Saturday.*

Featured performers are The Chris Carlson Quintet (with friends) and Michelle Alany & the Mystics. Karissa Lowe will be our Master of Ceremonies. The event is slated for May 25th, 8:00 PM to 11:00 PM at Mississippi Pizza Pub & Atlantis Lounge, 3552 N. Mississippi Ave., Portland, OR 97227. Teressa Raiford, founder of Don’t Shoot Portland, will be on hand to talk about the important work her organization is doing, and to meet directly with attendees. Admission is $10, with 100% of proceeds going to benefit Don’t Shoot Don’t Shoot Portland.

*“Upstanders Festival is a social justice extravaganza, shining a light on the bravery and brilliance of activism and changemakers in our midst. Produced by the Museum of Impact, this event series transforms audiences from bystanders to Upstanders through a variety of activities to enhance equity and creative expression.”

The cause: Don’t Shoot Portland 

“We are citizen advocates united in protest against racism, police brutality, and state violence. We demand justice.”

Don’t Shoot PDX Community Action Plan

Since 2014, we have seen a rising of activists, family members and concerned citizens across the country coming together in the name of community outreach in an effort to create solutions for the current issues our world faces today. Connecting through grassroots events have helped many to shape tools for accessing a voice in community outreach with political power and influence, these including non-violent direct action and protest.

Our regional and demographic relativity to the experiences in our community have forced us to unite as activists and social advocates for youth, families and vulnerable community members. Our organizational work and activism, including direct community education workshops, support the outreach of our continued advocacy as first respondents and has helped community members contribute through direct engagement and legislative value.

There are a vast amount of policy based assets influenced and being harnessed in our strategic building of relationships and networks used toward the shift in culture and systemic discrimination. Activists from the front line need to be encouraged to continue frank and honest conversations about our connection with Ferguson and Race in America and its influence within politics.

The music: 

The Chris Carlson Quintet

Legendary blues performers and beloved long-time Portland residents Chris Carlson and wife Duffy Bishop moved to St. Augustine, Florida a while back, but they’ve never lost their connection with Portland and it’s musical community. They’re back in town for a few west coast gigs, and while they’re here have graciously (and enthusiastically) agreed to Support While Rome Burns’ last Thursday event in May.

Carlson is taking the opportunity to reignite his old band, The Chris Carlson Quintet. Once a staple of the local blues scene, the quintet (well, sometimes it was a quartet – but who’s counting?) was always a sure bet for a top-notch blues-infused night on the town. The current version of the band will include an all-star lineup: Dave Kahl on bass, Fred Ingram on drums, and Brad Ulrich on saxophone*. This gig is a must see if you’re a fan the blues – and even if you’re not. Because – trust me on this – you WILL be a fan by about the middle of the first song.

Bandleader Chris Carlson has been playing guitar, writing music and producing albums for over forty years. For thirty of those, Chris has been inseparably associated with his wife, multi-award-winning vocal dynamo Duffy Bishop, playing with and writing for her. He claims he will “Keep that gig for as long as she can stand it.”

With writing partner Carl Sander, Chris co-wrote the legendary “The String Cycle: A Tavern Opera With Guitar Outlaws” which gave birth to “Its A Guitar Outlaw Christmas Chorale” entertaining dozens for over 25 years (and counting) at Seattle’s Fabulous Eastlake Zoo Tavern.

*Chris realizes this is only four people, but assures us that he’s confident someone will show up and “Maybe, you know, actually sing a song or two. Because, while I’m something of a singer in my own way, I think I know at least one person people might actually pay to hear sing.”

Check Out Change Your Address by Duffy Bishop & Chris Carlson:
(Sign up for our mailing list and download this track as our thank you!)

Michelle Alany & The Mystics

Journey through exotic lands with this fiddle-driven caravan of Jazz Manouche, Balkan, Klezmer, Sephardic & original soul music, spiked with a Texas fiddle twist. Really. Michelle Alany & the Mysics music is captivating, in no small part due to Michelle Alany herself. It’s impossible to look away when Michelle steps up to coax a 500-year old tune from her violin, to make it her own, and then to cast it upon the audience like so much fairy dust. Oh, and she sings, too. Boy, can she sing. Resistance is futile, truly.

Fresh off a tour in Spain, bandleader, violinist & vocalist Michelle Alany is back to bouncing around the US, playing dates in Texas, Alaska, New Mexico and on and on. She’s becoming something of a Portland regular, popping in every now and then to juice up the local world music scene a wee bit. While Rome Burns is most fortunate that her busy tour schedule matched up with our May benefit event for Don’t Shoot Portland – we are pleased and honored to include her soulful, positive and timeless presence in service to the cause.

Check out Tea & Schnapps by Michelle Alany & The Mystics:
(Sign up for our mailing list and download this track as our thank you!)

WHILE ROME BURNS is a group of Portland-area musicians formed in response to recent social and political trends. Our mission is to leverage the power of music and community to support and affirm diversity and social justice in our neighborhoods, our communities and our world.

We donate our time and craft through an ongoing series of events, providing music and a forum for various projects and organizations that support tolerance – religious, ethnic, gender and sexual orientation/identity – and advocate the celebration of our differences. We reject the politics of exclusion and believe that sharing through music and community is a path to a richer, more empathetic world.

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