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dance music: A Portland Selection: Contra Dance Music in the Pacific Northwest

A Portland Selection: Contra Dance Music in the Pacific Northwest

A Portland Selection: Contra Dance Music in the Pacific Northwest

List Price: $15.00


  • The Portland Selection
  • Volume 1 CD
  • By George Penk, Susan Songer and Clyde Curley
  • Useful collection of favorite fiddle melodies
  • Heard at contra and square dances



A Portland Selection: Contra Dance Music in the Pacific Northwest

List Price: $15.00

Your Price: $13.39- A Portland Selection: Contra Dance Music in the Pacific Northwest


A Portland Selection: Contra Dance Music in the Pacific Northwest, contains beautiful, lively jigs and reels played on fiddle, mandolin, 4-string banjo, and piano. This recording is a companion to the popular tune book, The Portland Collection, and includes a cross section of the different styles and sources of contra dance music encompassed in the book. The CD contains a mix of both traditional and recently composed tunes as well as popular standards and tunes that have not been recorded before. Contra dance music is propelling and energizing. Here, the musicians use more variety than can be found in a typical contra dance setting. They employ a wide range of tempo, expression, and variation from sweet and lyrical to the full, driving medleys that can be heard at dances everywhere. The companion tune book serves as the source for all of the tunes on this recording.

Fiddler George Penk is a dancer at heart whether it be on the floor with his feet or on the fiddle strings with his bow. His deep sense of the pulse of the music translates into an unusual ability to infuse his fiddling with both driving rhythm and intense emotion. His music in turn causes dancers respond soaring and gliding to beautiful jigs or stomping and shrieking to fast-moving reels. His range is very broad. George s powerful connection between music and dance has placed him in high demand for Saturday night dances, week end dance camps and week long instructional events on both US coasts.

Clyde Curley has been playing folk music on acoustic instruments since high school. He plays mandolin, octave mandolin, and 4-string banjo and is equally adept at melody, harmony, and rhythmic back up riffs on all of them. He also plays fiddle and guitar. In 1986 Clyde began playing for contra dances with Jigsaw and the Rose City Aces. Since then, he has found himself on stages at local dances all over the Pacific Northwest and on staff at festivals and camps in and beyond the Northwest. Currently, in addition to the above musical interests, he is pursuing Quebecois music with his band, Group du Jour. Clyde has retired from several decades of teaching high school English.

Susan Songer’s driving piano style invests the music with lift and pulse. Her deep connection to the dance is evident when she plays in that setting. She has been on staff at various week end and week-long dance and music camps and has tutored both fiddle and piano at the American Festival of Fiddle Tunes in Port Townsend, Washington. Sue is founder and director of the Portland Megaband, an orchestra of about 75 dance musicians that plays for special contra dances at least once a year. Sue has retired from her private practice in psychology.

Susan Songer, Clyde Curley, and George Penk (aka The Portland Connection) have been involved in contra dance music for more than 2 decades. They play local and regional dances. In addition, they have been on staff at week end and week-long dance and music camps and festivals in the Northwest and in other parts of the country. George, Clyde, and Susan each play in many different configurations, with many different musicians. When they play together, their expertise on their instruments, their musical commonalities and bonds, their long experience with contra dance music, and their deep connection to the dance enable them to invest their music with a tight groove, passion and danceability that draws dancers to the hall and keeps them there until the last note of the evening has been played.



Your Price: $13.39 – A Portland Selection: Contra Dance Music in the Pacific Northwest