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Concerts showcase a new generation.

Byline: Serena Markstrom The Register-Guard

Cindy Ingram is back at it.

The woman who brought Grrrlz Rock to Eugene in November has upped the originality ante to bring a second series to local music venues. And Kidz Rock is something no local concert promoter has attempted.

This time, bands made up of musicians younger than 21 will take stages at five primary venues in April. In addition, there will be auxiliary events at CD World, Lane Community College and the Saturday Market (see story, Page 5).

The five main concerts generally will start at 5:30 p.m. and end by 8:30 p.m., before many of the venues turn their attention to attracting 21-and-older patrons. The 7 p.m. series finale at the WOW Hall is the exception because the Community Center for the Performing Arts is always an all-ages venue.

"Speaking as a parent, how great is it to bring your kids to a venue, hear some great music and enjoy a beer in a family friendly environment?" said Ingram, who books the Wetlands and manages several local bands.

"Who knows, maybe this series will spark new ideas for bringing music into family dinner time. ... It's too bad so many shows in this town start so late."

Bands treated like the pros

The series will feature 25 groups from all over the Northwest, but mainly from the Lane County area. The 100 musicians, and others, also are volunteering to help with promotion, recording and stage managing, a news release says.

Those participating in the series said they are excited to play in venues normally reserved for professionals. They also get cool "VIP" passes that allow them to attend for free all the Kidz Rock shows.

Ingram's friend Sean Brennan teaches guitar, bass, piano and drums. Three bands made up of his students will perform April 13 at Cozmic Pizza.

Brennan said there is a big difference between becoming proficient on an instrument all alone in your basement and playing in front of an audience.

"It's a real confidence builder," he said. "That really leads to performance for other things." Brennan has seen his students blossom in other areas, such as reading and math, once music "opens up part of the brain."

Something like Kidz Rock has an added community importance with electives being cut from public schools, he said.

"Budget cuts have hurt a lot of people. Unfortunately, that's why my business is doing well," said Brennan, who teaches privately, through Bethel School District's HomeSource program and for the Eugene School District at the elementary level.

"Parents do want (music education) for their kids."

One Brennan student, bass player Ryder Cochrane, 12, said his band, Rock Report, has played one gig, about three months ago at Roaring Rapids Pizza Co.

"I think it's really cool to let kids be able to actually have people pay and come and see it," said Cochrane, a Spencer Butte Middle School student.

Cochrane, whose band plays alternative rock, said the variety of music is one reason to come watch.

There's the Celtic virtuosity of Tonn Nua; the rock antics of the Tunnel Kings and Trapped in a Minivan; the world beats of the Harris Elementary Marimba Band; the plucky ukulele of Mary Ferris; and the pop tunes of SideWays Down.

"I think it's a pretty good and original idea," Cochrane said. "It is a good idea for the people playing, but it's also a good way to see that kids can actually play good music and they can come together and form bands and play."

Brother and sister Isaac and Hannah Miller, who make up a third of the band SideWays Down, said they probably wouldn't be ready to play gigs all the time. But they don't think Eugene has a whole lot of places for young people to play, and that Kidz Rock is a great opportunity.

"It would be nice if we could play more," said Hannah, 12, the group's songwriter, singer and guitarist.

Schools offer their support

Teachers have expressed their support for Kidz Rock by announcing the events during homeroom and allowing posters to be hung in school.

The Millers' middle school, Roosevelt, has other people participating, such as Ferris and members of Tonn Nua. The school has been really supportive of this nonacademic activity, they said.

Isaac, 14, and Hannah said they enjoy surprising people by their youth and ability.

"I think they are underestimating kids' music in general," said Isaac, a saxophone and bass player.

The Millers love playing in the band for many reasons, but they have found at least one drawback of being so young and trying to make and record original music. They outgrow their recordings as fast as toddlers grow out of their shoes.

"My voice has changed a lot," said Hannah, who has taken guitar lessons with Laura Kemp for four years. Isaac also has a local celebrity as an instructor: Matt Calkins from Eleven Eyes.

Other adults involved in the series are Tim McLaughlin, founder of Eleven Eyes, who will direct the jazz-tinged Luna show. And guitarist Buster B. Jones works with Brooks Robertson, who will play the blues-oriented show at Papa's Soul Food Kitchen.

Working musicians blending with the next generation: It all fits into Ingram's slogan for the series - "Celebrating the future of the local music scene."

Being a part of the first Kidz Rock series is having the intended effect on at least one young rocker.

"It makes you feel like part of the community and not just a kid," Isaac Miller said.

You can call Serena Markstrom at 338-2371 or e-mail her at


Kidz Rock

What: Five shows featuring youth acts from the Eugene area

When: April 7, 13, 14, 20 and 28

Where: Luna, Cozmic Pizza, Sam Bond's, Papa's Soul Food Kitchen and WOW Hall Tickets: $6

Bonus: Paul's Bicycle Way of Life sponsors free admission for the first 30 concertgoers who arrive at the WOW Hall on April 28 on their bicycles

Kidz Rock





30 E. Broadway

5:30 p.m. - Eugene Youth Jazz All-Stars, Employees of the Month and the Koko Lovetet


Cozmic Pizza

199 W. Eighth Ave.

6 p.m. - Searching for Service, Squish, Sideways Down, One Eyed Doris, the Students of Sean Brennan (three bands in one) and the Harris Elementary School Marimba Band


Sam Bond's Garage

407 Blair Blvd.

5:30 p.m. - Tonn Nua, Subterranean Blackjacks, Blast Wagon and Mary Ferris


Papa's Soul Food Kitchen

409 Blair Blvd.

5:30 p.m. - Hank Shreve and the Odd Souls, Yesterday, Brooks Robertson and Gunnar Roads


WOW Hall

291 W. Eighth

7 p.m. - Greenlander, Local-Hero, the Tunnel Kings, Rock Bottom Scoundrels, Trapped in a Minivan, the Skyline, Still Pending and Ugly Litter
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Title Annotation:Entertainment; A music series gives young players a chance to show off their chops
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Apr 6, 2007
Previous Article:BRIEFLY.
Next Article:Market offers Kidz Rock preview.

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