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The Shedd has a season to brag about.

Byline: Serena Markstrom The Register-Guard

The Shedd's new artistic administrator would like to clarify something about the phrase "culturally significant," a term applied to each of the performances the Shedd includes in its Now Hear This series.

"Culturally significant does not mean they are to be framed and touched with only the finest gloves," says McKenzie Stubbert, who just took over the administrator's job in July, but had been teaching piano and accordion at the Shedd for more than a year prior to that.

The John G. Shedd Institute for the Arts does venture into avant-garde jazz and other areas not readily accessible to general audiences. But Stubbert is confident almost anyone can find several shows to enjoy in the series - it just may take a little research if you don't know your Peplowskis from your Pizzarellis.

"It's the concert series that gives the general sense what the Shedd is about," Stubbert says. "You're going to see a good show, but each of the musicians is culturally important and has a significant place in their respective worlds."

The Shedd seeks to cover as many worlds as possible. So in the course of a single week - take the fourth week in October for example - you might see Pulitzer Prize-winning jazz artist Wynton Marsalis, fiddle phenom Natalie MacMaster and Hawaiian ukulele and slack-key masters Herb Ohta Jr. and Daniel Ho.

If you haven't heard of artists on the Shedd's bill, check out their Web sites; most have free electronic music samples there. Stubbert says he wished it were as easy as going to a Borders listening station and hearing all the artists, but knows that some initiative - or risk-taking - from consumers is important to figure out which shows best fit their tastes.

"If you have an interest in broadening your aesthetic, whatever your interests, there's a good chance we've got that covered," Stubbert says.

Folks at the Shedd have an artist wish list the size of the greediest child's letter to Santa, but the general public is welcome to add suggestions. E-mail info@ofam.net with names of people you'd like to see perform at the Shedd, which has some of the best acoustics in town and all-reserved-seating shows.

Discounts are available if you buy tickets for more than four different shows at once, for groups of eight or more, and for students.

Series gets under way tonight

The Now Hear This series gets started tonight with Bill Frisell, Jack DeJohnette and Jerome Harris. Jazz guitarist Frisell and percussionist DeJohnette released "The Elephant Sleeps but Still Remembers," in 2001.

According to the seventh edition of "The Penguin Guide to Jazz," what sets DeJohnette apart from other artists is his vivid musicality.

"Everything he does is marked with intelligence, controlled fire and an enviable instinct for both texture and form," the book says. Frisell's entry notes that he was one of the first jazz-based guitarists to build an aesthetic around an electronic-effects system.

Perhaps best known for playing bass with Sonny Rollins for many years, Harris collaborated on a Frisell recording in 1984, "Rambler."

Jazz fans already have shown their enthusiasm for the Wynton Marsalis Quintet. Even though it's the most expensive show of the season, the Oct. 22 performance is almost sold out, Stubbert says.

For an unusual mixture of musical traditions, on Nov. 15 Roswell Rudd and the Mongolian Buryat Band will bring American blues and jazz - with some Mongolian throat-singing thrown in for good measure.

Clarinet virtuoso Ken Peplowski returns Dec. 1 to lead "Sing! Sing! Sing! Benny Goodman at Carnegie Hall Revisited." It's a performance of works from what JazzTimes calls "the most significant concert in jazz history."

In the realm of Celtic music, MacMaster makes her fourth Shedd appearance Oct. 23 playing fiddle and step dancing. And on Nov. 12, Alasdair Fraser, Natalie Haas, Martin Hayes, Dennis Cahill and Bruce Molsky will present "Highland, Heath & Holler," which a Shedd news release calls a "cultural journey of the early Scottish and Irish immigrants who relocated in southern Appalachia."

Classical Brazilian guitarists Sergio and Odair Assad performed as part of this series in 2004; their younger sister, Badi, will get her turn on Oct. 18.

Like her brothers, Assad is a classically trained guitarist. But her new material on "Wonderland," with vocals in English and Portuguese, spends its time with modern musings, covering such popular musicians as Tori Amos and the Eurythmics.

Several Hawaiian shows planned

Riding the wave of the local popularity of Hawaiian music, the Shedd has lined up several musicians from the islands.

First up is Ohta and Ho, Oct. 28, followed by Keola Beamer on Dec. 6. The Feb. 16 artist, Jake Shimabukuro, is arguably doing for ukulele what Jimi Hendrix did for the electric guitar, and the mixed-race duo Hapa, Barry Flanagan and Nathan Aweau, plays April 12.

Other acts to mark you calendar for are Grammy-nom- inated Tiempo Libre, Oct. 29; soul vocalist Odetta, Jan. 11; pianist, singer and composer Mose Allison, Jan. 21; and cowboy music performer Don Edwards on Valentine's Day.

Keep checking Ticket concert listings and the Shedd's Web site for additional shows.

SERIES PREVIEW What: Now Hear This 2006-07 When: 20 shows set so far, starting tonight and running at least through April 18 Where: The Shedd, 285 E. Broadway, and the Hult Center, Seventh Avenue and Willamette Street Tickets: Between $18.50 and $65, with most in the $25 to $35 range Information: Call 687-6526 or visit www .theshedd.or

You can call Serena Markstrom at 338-2371 or e-mail her at smarkstrom@guardnet.com.
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Title Annotation:Entertainment; Now Hear This series offers heavyweights in a wide variety of genres
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Oct 6, 2006
Words:925
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