Oregon musicians showcase original work


Please note: Ashleigh Flynn, of Portland, had to cancel her performance. Marika Straw is playing instead.

Screen Shot 2017-03-08 at 3.13.55 PMENTERPRISE — Three Oregon musicians will travel to Enterprise for the Wallowa Valley Music Alliance’s monthly Tunesmith Night.

Ashleigh Flynn, of Portland, Dennis McGregor, of Sisters, and Willie Carmichael, of Bend, will each perform during the upcoming music showcase.

“Flynn grew up in Kentucky and cut her teeth on local bluegrass music,” the WVMA press release stated.

She arrived on the national scene in 2008 with the release of her third record, “American Dream,” and continues playing national and international stages with the release of “A Million Stars” (2013).

Marika Straw, a Wallowa County native and piano student of Richard Hobbs, has always written songs for piano and voice and known that she wanted to perform them. But she’s also been a musical explorer at heart. Entering Lawrence Conservatory of Music in Appleton, WI as a piano performance candidate, she ended up studying pipe organ instead when she acquired a musical overuse injury. Then, after moving to Minneapolis, she decided she was more interested in singing than playing organ, so she joined the Cathedral Choir of the Basilica of St. Mary and honed her own works by performing occasionally at the New Ruckus’ Composer Nights. Having studied and performed with an Indian drumming ensemble in 2012, she decided to return to India again in 2016 to drum in the ten-day Ganapati Festival. Newly returned from India, she is excited to focus her efforts on songwriting and performing while, of course, looking for a job. Ranging from catchy jazz waltzes to sensitive folk ballads with a classical flavor, Marika’s songs transform personal experience into works that reach into the heart of the human experience. Marika’s two albums, “Waiting” (studio) and “Marika at The Matrix” (live), are both available on Bandcamp.
-Revised press release from Wallowa Valley Music Alliance

McGregor, who will also take the stage at Tunesmith Night, won the Sisters Folk Festival songwriting contest in 2003.

“Dennis McGregor’s songs are often wryly twisted, making them pretty much impossible to call normal,” the release stated. “That’s what people like most about them. They are plenty musical though, and at times rather ‘hookish,’ finding permanent homes in many a listener’s head.”

Also performing during the March Tunesmith Night will be Willie Carmichael.

Carmichael has released eight CDs and has been described as “big, loud, profane and sweet,” the release stated.

Carmichael has won the Sisters Folk Festival Dave Carter Songwriting Contest and was named as Honorable Mention in the Woody Guthrie Songwriting Contest.

The three songwriters will showcase original work at 7 p.m. March 11. Admission is $10 or by season pass. Doors open at 6 p.m.


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