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Registration open for Singtime 2023!Feinstein

Singtime Frolics, PFS's annual in person music fest at the beautiful Menucha retreat overlooking the Columbia Gorge will be held March 24-26, 2023.

There will be workshops and song circles, jam sessions and good food, walks in the woods and conviviality. Singtime is always fun.

We are very pleased to have Kenny Feinstein as this year's guest artist. Kenny will offer a short concert and a couple of workshops. His music is relaxed and highly listenable, and while he has his roots in bluegrass, he is at home in many genres. He just likes to play music! He will be joined by banjo player Jesse Blue Eads. Having Kenny there will make Singtime 2023 particularly memorable.

Note to Zoomers: I (Paul Rippey) absolutely LOVE Zoom music. I have spent HUNDREDS of hours listening and singing together with friends from all over the world. It's great and in some ways it's better than in person events. But let's get real: in-person events are magical. Hearing harmony. Chatting informally. Hugs and handshakes or whatever you are into. Interacting with other people in workshops. Eating together. In-person is truly great also, and if you can make your way to Menucha, you will love Singtime.

Note to people watching their pennies: Singtime, since forever, has made it possible for everyone who wants to come to be there. Some folks are able to put some extra bucks in the scholarship fund, and they give generously, not as charity, but because they want you to be there. Please let people anonymously support you by asking for a scholarship. If you don't, the money is just gonna sit there gathering dust in a bank account. BOR-ing!

Want to know more? Check out the Singtime page 

Already know all you need to know? Congratulations! We have just tweaked the registration process to make it easier to get exactly the room you want! You can go ahead and register for Singtime now! . Will you be able to get the room you want if you wait until the last minute? Probably not! So do yourself a favor (and do the Singtime team a favor) and REGISTER NOW!

Were you at David's Francey's concert on Saturday Jan 21? It seems like half of Portland was there - most people I've ever seen at a PFS concert. And what a fine entertainer he is. 

One of the songs he sang was appropriate for this time and place: Under The Portland Weather. Check out the video above. 

There are more great concerts coming - check out the Concerts Page!

Board Election Results!

There were no surprises here: the three candidates, Arietta Ward, Terry Miley, and Stan Davis, were all elected to the PFS Board of Directors. Fifty-five of you voted, and that actually is a pretty good turnout in an election where it is a foregone conclusion that all of the candidates would be elected, so thank you all, voters, for making that effort, and thank you in particular to those of you who accepted the invitation to send notes to the board. All of the notes were encouraging, and almost everyone voted for everyone.
January February Local Lore explores Other Worlds of Folk Music

Explore the other worlds of folk with essays on FILK (Folk Music of Science Fiction) with national expert Roberta Rogow and our own Cecilia Eng. Cecilia (r.) also celebrates bringing home TWO Pegasus Awards from the 2022 Ohio Valley Filk Festival.

Alex SturbaumAlex Sturbaum (l.) is traversing and rewriting some of the traditional folk themes from a queer perspective, challenging our often unconscious prejudice and bias. Thanks to Alex for shining a bright light on inclusivity and adding new stories to the fluid traditions of Folk Music. 

Read about The Songwriter Soiree: The Healing Power of a Creative Community. If songwriting is your path, this is your event. Tap in on the powerful medicine that is the Songwriter Soiree Winter Retreat.

PFS President Alana McKenzie invites you to engage with PFS in a variety of new ways.

Calendar Highlights features In-Person Events starting up in the new year, with a special focus on Abbie Weisenbloom’s House Concert Series, and the Portland Old Time Music Gathering.

Portland FolkMusic Society concert season article focuses on the upcoming artists David Francey (January 21) and Kray Van Kirk (February 18).

Dick Weissman shares memories of searching for guitars on the road… an Instrument Roadshow that is full of adventure.

Kevin Nordlie’s Take 5 is a dialog with Siena Christie (r.), in anticipation of her appearance at the Portland Folk Festival on January 15th.

And there is even more. But you'll have to go find it!

As always, big thanks to Kim and the outstanding team who make Local Lore possible. We are so grateful for the excellence of your work.

If you are a member, you have the option of a digital copy or a paper copy for free; everyone else can download a copy here.

And finally, don't forget that four full years of Local Lores are available to download on the Resources menu above. Enjoy!

Virtual Song Circles

For over a fortieth of a century, PFS has been hosting virtual song circles on Saturday nights - in fact, we just held our 150th VSC. You are welcome - you'll hear good music and meet good folks.

If you know all you need to know about Virtual Song Circles, click here to join.

If you want to find out more about them, then click here to go to the Song Circle page.

One more thing: on the third Saturday of the month, we have suggested themes. Use them to inspire yourself, or ignore them. Anything is fine. They're just there for fun. To the right, you'll see this year's VSC themes. Thanks to the VSC Committee for coming up with the list and Terry for counting the ballots TWICE (there was a runoff) and Dave for drawing on his knowledge of Greek mythology to match the themes with the appropriate months!

2023 VSC Themes





Songs I used to hate

Valentines Day



WC Handy dies on March 28, 1958


Not What you expected, Surprise Songs

April 1, of course



National Train Day is May 13


Having fun/good times

School’s out!


Travel/Songs of the Road

Summer vacation



Don’t get us started: Hurricane Katrina, 1931 Yangtze River flood, 1792 900 men drowned on the British battleship Royal George… it goes on and on.


That’ll be enough of that!

What will be enough of what? What are you even talking about? Enough, already!



Festival for Hephaestus (Greek god of metalworking, stone masonry, sculpture, and generally making stuff with your hands) is held in late October



Freud's "The Interpretation of Dreams" published on Nov 4, 1899


Sea and sailors

Festival of Poseidon held around Winter Solstice

Winterfolk - Saturday February 4th at 7pm

PFS is delighted to support Winterfolk, the annual benefit convert organized by PFS member Tom May. 

Every year, Winterfolk brings us an extraordinary group of local musicians who donate their time to have a great time singing, and to support the charities that WInterfolk has helped fund over the years. (Please see the box about Transition Projects.)

This year, there is a super list of performers, starting with Tracey Grammer, and including Kate Power & Steve Einhorn, and so many others - check out the poster!

And of course, Tom May will be performing with a group of "friends" - they have always been as remarkable for their modesty as for the quality of their playing and singing!

Let's fill the Alberta Rose Theatre. We'll raise the rafters, and raise a lot of money for Transition Projects.

AND, when you come, please stop and greet the folks from PFS who will have a table in the foyer.

You are just a few clicks away from having tickets. Start by going to

Transition Logo

Transition Projects is the beneficiary of Wintersong. For over 53 years, Transition Projects has delivered life-saving and life-changing assistance to some of Portland’s most vulnerable residents. Whether by helping a homeless veteran and her family find housing, sheltering hundreds of people with nowhere else to turn, or opening new pathways to employment, Transition Projects represents an invaluable part of Portland’s social fabric.

Their team works to engage folks at all levels of their journey from homelessness to housing. This might take the form of getting critical support to  unhoused neighbors on the street, providing shelter for folks to set their sights on housing, or bringing online innovative, deeply affordable housing solutions.

Too often in the media, in uninformed conversations, and even in local government, the homeless are written off as deserving whatever fate they have. Tom May writes, "When I go about working on this project each year, I ask myself- would I want to be judged on the worst decision I ever made, or sentenced to a cold sleeping bag on the pavement because it's the only place I felt safe?"

The money Winterfolk raises is immediately available to Transition Projects to make a concrete difference in people's lives, and having that purpose in the background helps give the Winterfolk concerts a warm sense of purpose and community, bringing out the best from the performers and the enthusiastic audience. It's really a good show!

Board Meeting Tuesday Evening January 23

The PFS Board will hold its first monthly meeting of 2023, and its first meeting with our three new Board Members, on Tuesday January 23, at 7:00 PM Pacific Time, on Zoom. Okay, Stan and Terry aren't new, but they are starting new terms.

All PFS Members are welcome to come and observe. To join the meeting, log into the website in the up right hand corner of this page. When you do that, you'll find the link here.

Events Calendar

Please check out our events calendar below. Editor Barry Gorden manages to capture almost all the upcoming folk events, but if yours is missing please let us know. The list below shows the next week's events, and is updated continuously.

If you need more, go to the Events menu above and pull down to Folk Calendar. When you go there, you can sort by performances, classes, virtual, radio - whatever you like - and you'll have all the events from now until... well, you'll find everything we know about. If it's not listed here, it's probably not happening.
Upcoming Events
Upcoming Events

Since 1976, Portland FolkMusic Society has been active preserving, presenting and promoting folk music and arts in the greater Portland Oregon area. PFS sponsors song circles, concerts, workshops and retreats, and helps its members and the whole community pass the word around about folk music events, from old time ballads to sea shanties, from 60’s protest folk to contemporary singer-songwriters.

PFS is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization. 

Portland FolkMusic Society
P.O. Box 1448
Portland, OR 97207-1448
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