Lively music fills outer East Portland parks

Find out why even hot weather hasn’t kept folks from enjoying great music outdoors. And, discover when you can hear more concerts this summer …

It’s clear from this image that members of the band Chervona are already “amped up”, and ready to perform a concert of what they call “Eastern Euro Carnival Insanity” music.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Hundreds of folks, from families with little kids to senior citizens, quickly filled the shaded areas of the Hazelwood Neighborhood’s Ventura Park on SE Stark Street on August 15, as the fierce sun hung low in the sky.  They were not deterred by temperatures well into the 90s.

By the time the “Music in the Park” performers for the evening, Chervona, took the stage at about 6:30 p.m., almost every shaded patch of lawn was occupied by people ready to listen – while dining on their picnic dinner, or food they’d purchased from the vendors, and sipping cool beverages.

Portland Police Bureau East Precinct Cadets Ashlee Land, Esmeralda Munoz, and Ruben Mena help concertgoers cross the street from the parking lot at the Eastgate Bible Chapel.

Portland Parks & Recreation Concert Coordinator Jen Bernard, and East Portland Concert Series committee member Linda Robinson, welcome people to the concert.

This year, the concert committee, comprised of Tom Lewis – Chair of the Centennial Neighborhood Association – Hazelwood’s Arlene Kimura, Linda Robinson, and Ali Rice of the East Portland Community Center, agreed to put on four concerts.  The first two were at Ventura Park – which began on August 8 with a concert by Stringed Migration.

“We have two more concerts in August,” said Linda Robinson. “They’ll be held further east, in Parklane Park.

Folks enjoy cool shade while this great band plays.

Lee, Ahnalya, and Jodi Renee DeLeeuw relax and listen to the music, after biking to the concert.

“We need fun things for people to do, here in East Portland,” Robinson said. “And, we need events like these that bring people together. Here you see people of all ages and ethnic groups, brought together by music.”

Portland Parks & Recreation Concert Coordinator Jen Bernard added, “The concert series brings a wealth of musical talent to the public.”

As Chervona plays, this couple couldn’t help but get up and dance to the band’s lively Klezmer-inspired rollicking tunes.

A welcome sight to many people on a warm summer’s evening is Jerry Butler, from the Eastgate Bible Chapel, handing out ice-cold water!

Partnering with Portland Parks & Recreation, the East Portland concert committee raises $5 for every dollar spent by the City, Bernard commented. “And, people in the audience are also another vital component of the sponsorship picture. The money we collect from ‘passing the hat’, mid-concert, goes toward funding the next year’s concert series.”

Upcoming concerts at Parklane Park, both starting at 6:30 p.m., include:

  • August 22Lisa and Her Kin, a lively show featuring classic and original “Honky Tonkin’ Country” music.
  • August 29La Tropikana, presenting what’s called a “Horn-Fueled Latin Dance Party”.


At Parklane Park, will be food available for purchase from Island Daydream Natural Shaved Ice, Pop/Corn Publishers, and Bora Bora Mexican Cuisine; or you’re welcome to bring your own picnic dinner and drinks! Parklane Park is at SE 155th & Main Street.

Sponsors for the outer East Portland Music in the Park Concert Series include:

Oregon Cultural Trust ~ Multnomah County Cultural Coalition
SSC Construction ~ Knife River Corporations
Hazelwood Neighborhood Association ~ Adventist Health Medical Group
Centennial Community Association ~ Classique Floors ~ Papa’s Pizza Parlor
AXIS Design Group ~ Community Appliances & Kitchen ~ Dori White, LMT
Eastgate Bible Chapel ~ Friends of Parklane Park
Gilbert Bros. Commercial Brokerage ~ Keepsake Family Tree Video
Masciocchi ~ Mill Park Neighborhood Association
Park Vista Apartments/Human Solutions
Powellhurst-Gilbert Neighborhood Association
The Rosewood Initiative ~ Sport Clips Haircuts – 205 Place

© 2012 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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