The groundbreaking new concert series will host a retrospective concert, exploring the history of women in music from 1940s to present.
Independent concert series Ladies Rise Up and Rock announced its second annual event today. The concert will be held next spring in Portland, Oregon at the prestigious Alberta Rose Theatre on Friday, April 11.
Ladies Rise Up and Rock: Portland will be a retrospective show highlighting famous female singers from 1945 to the present day, headlined by local singer-songwriter Michele Van Kleef. The event is designed with patrons of the arts in mind, a chance to support independent women in this creative industry and relive music through its boldest eras.
Van Kleef's broad range of vocal styles span opera, folk, blues, jazz, and pop. Her work has had placement in the hit reality series Keeping Up with the Kardashians, the Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line and spoof Walk Hard, on TV in 90210, VH1, Fox, NBC, T-Mobile, Lifetime, and MTV, and in Starbucks coffee houses worldwide. With popular indie band Calobo, Michele shared the stage with Sarah McLachlan, the Indigo Girls, Ani DiFranco, and Jethro Tull.
Ladies Rise Up and Rock was designed to spotlight women making their mark in music. The Portland chapter of this event will explore the importance of women in music through the decades, including songs by such powerhouse artists as Ella Fitzgerald, Carole King, Carly Simon, Joni Mitchell, Pat Benatar, Heart, Gwen Stefani, Alanis Morissette, and many more.
"The show is designed to explore the legacy these influential female singers have left in the music world," says Carl J. Mancuso, creator of Ladies Rise Up and Rock. "I picked Michele [Van Kleef] because of her versatility. She's going to cover eras of different hit songs in a way that hasn't really happened up to this point."
"It's absolutely an honor to be part of this organization, especially right at the beginning," says Van Kleef. "The really cool thing about it for me, personally, is the fact that Ladies Rise Up and Rock trusts me to do so many different styles. To celebrate women in music is so awesome and important, especially for younger women, to give them those strong female role models in music."
The Portland event will benefit the local non-profit Rock 'n' Roll Camp for Girls. The organization builds girls’ self-esteem through music creation and performance by providing workshops and technical training, creating leadership opportunities, cultivating a supportive community of peers and mentors, and encouraging social change.
The concept for Ladies Rise Up and Rock was sparked by a conversation Mancuso had with Songwriter Hall of Fame inductee and renowned singer-songwriter J. D. Souther (Linda Ronstadt, the Eagles). Souther, who has endorsed the mission of Ladies Rise Up and Rock, expressed concerned about cuts in music education funding in schools across the US.
Local radio station KZME is sponsoring the Portland event with Mancuso and his PR firm, Upswing Public Relations, as well as partners Spotlight Events Consulting SF, design and PR business Flying Ace Media, and San Francisco sister rock duo Deer Park Avenue.
After the inaugural 2013 concert in San Francisco, Ladies Rise Up and Rock donated $900 to the GRAMMY in the Schools campaign and a PRS SE electric guitar to student Paulina McWalters in Roseville, CA.
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