If you happen to be in the Portland, Oregon area, on the first Sunday afternoon of every month there is a wonderful free event, and that is the Portland Ragtime Piano Society Open Mic. Held at Elevated Coffee, 5261 NE MLK Jr. Blvd., the intimate venue features a wonderful white baby grand piano, chandeliers, and delicious assortment of reasonably priced foods and beverages. The open mic is held from 3-6pm.
Whomever shows up can play a couple of ragtime-era selections, and sing if they wish. There’s always at least three or four pianists there, so you end up with an interesting mix of musical selections. I always am introduced to a song I’ve never heard before! This time we selected songs a little later than ragtime period, but still fine to do here. KJ chose to play several early Cole Porter selections, and a few rags. I sang Jelly Roll Morton’s “I’ve Got A Feeling I’m Falling” from the Broadway musical Ain’t Misbehavin’. We’ve also sung early Jerome Kern in the past as well.
We have been several times, and always enjoyed it. It’s also been fun to look up songs that were written in the ragtime era, so that we can perform them here.
The next Ragtime Piano Society open mic will be at Elevated Coffee on Sunday, November 3, 2013, from 3-6pm–hope to see you there!
And here is Cole Porter himself singing his wonderful “Anything Goes.”