Festival Mozaic Fringe Series

After enjoying a delicious meal with my wife, our anticipation was high as we headed over to enjoy the Portland Cello Project, otherwise known as the PCP. Festival Mozaic offers the Fringe Series, in which “classically trained artists bring the rigor and precision of their training into [an] innovative program”  with a variety of music genres.

PCP consists of 6 cello players, a bass player, a drummer, a French horn player and flutist, joined by vocalist Patti King. PCP started off featuring the cellists, proving that a classical orchestra chamber can play all genres from jazz, pop, rock and even heavy metal band cover songs.

PCP performed eclectic songs including a Radiohead song, a cover of Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off”, a song by Pantera (an 80’s heavy metal band) mixed in with some more traditional chamber music. As the evening continued, we were treated to songs by Bach, Dave Brubeck, Beck, Kanye West, and many more. Singer Patti King performed several cover songs during the show along with an original composition entitled “My Arrow.”

Almost all of the arrangements were prepared by group members, with the majority written by group co-founder and leader Douglas Jenkins in addition to Kevin Jackson and Skip von Kuske. Since their formation in 2006, PCP has reportedly performed over 1,000 different pieces at venues all over the United States and Canada.

During one of the songs, PCP was joined on the stage by four local female Roller Derby players, drawing attention to the Silent Auction and Raffle that Festival Mozaic was holding. PCP group leader, Douglas Jenkins claimed that he was thrilled by this surprise and remarked that the Roller Derby ladies presence provided a “Portlandesque” vibe to the show.

The PCP took the audience on a rich musical journey. After listening to two full sets and an encore of incredible music, my wife and I left feeling like we had just consumed a full eight course gourmet meal for the senses. As we headed home, our eyes, ears, hearts and souls were thrilled and grateful for what we had just experienced.

FYI: Mozaic Festival has its roots in the San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival, founded by Clifton Swanson in 1971. In 2008, Mozart Festival adopted the brand “Festival Mozaic,” and continues to embrace an eclectic and entertaining variety of musical styles. This year’s Festival includes over 20 concerts and related events hosted in multiple locations throughout San Luis Obispo and the County. The PCP show was held at the new Cultural and Performing Arts Center at Cuesta Community College. The 450-seat main stage theater features excellent acoustics and a state of the art sound system. The theater design guarantees that every seat in the facility is a good one!

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