The annual Bob Dylan Birthday Bash started, as do many great traditions, with a spur-of-the-moment impulse.
About four years ago, Kory Quinn was checking out the internet from a console at the Oregon City Library. He noticed that Mississippi Studios had an open night, and it happened to be near Bob Dylan’s birthday, which is May 24.
As are most contemporary songwriters, Kory’s a big Dylan fan, and he had often thought about creating a tribute concert. But that day, he jumped right in. “I quickly pitched the idea to the venue, and I mentioned it to all my buddies, who all agreed to play.” Sounding surprised that it came together so easily, Kory said, “It just fell out of the sky.”
And now, Mississippi Studios holds a date for the celebration every year.
Honoring Dylan and Portland’s musicians. For Kory, the tribute concert has always been about community service, a way of showcasing local performers. It’s even more so now that the Jeremy Wilson Foundation benefits from the event.
Kory is as passionate about JWF as he is about songwriting. As part of a new generation of musicians in Portland, Kory said he is beholden to those who created the city’s vibrant music scene and paved the way for the community that exists today. “In my opinion, every musician should be doing a JWF event.
“Sure, the Affordable Care Act has helped out a lot, but there are a lot of musicians – especially the old guard of Portland musicians – who need an emergency fund. They may have basic health care, but they can really be up a creek” if they encounter a serious health crisis, Kory said.
A new twist on Dylan. “I was inspired by the women’s march in January. So another mission this year is to showcase some of Portland’s female artists. That huge demonstration early this year was a great show of feminist and American values,” and Kory wants to carry on that spirit.
He’s always tried to avoid the show being a “boy’s club,” but there hasn’t always been a good balance of men and women. This year, he’s focused primarily on female performers. At this writing, Jenny Conlee, Rebecca Sanborn and Kyleen King will be performing together. Little Sue will appear, as will Malachi Graham and Lauren Sheehan.
Join Kory Quinn, Lewi Longmire, Jenny Conlee, Rebecca Sanborn, Kyleen King, Little Sue, Malachi Graham, Lauren Sheehan, Portland Country Underground, Quick & Easy Boys and a host of talented local performers as they pay tribute to the incomparable Bob Dylan. The show starts at 7 p.m. Sunday, May 28 at Mississippi Studios, 3939 N. Mississippi in Portland.