The Lincoln Pops is closer than you think

What do you think of when you hear the name; the Lincoln Pops?

Could it be the PBS series Live from Lincoln Center, which features some of the best music and artists appearing at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City? Perhaps so.

But while you can watch such performances on TV in the comfort of your living room, there is a closer alternative.

Why not visit the burgeoning live music and entertainment scene in our own Lincoln City on the central Oregon coast and, in particular, attend some of the shows put on by the local Lincoln Pops Orchestra.

The Lincoln Pops Orchestra, also known as the Lincoln Pops Big Band, under the direction of John Bringetto, has evolved into one of the finest big bands in Oregon. Members include current and retired professional musicians, band directors, and former high school and college players performing swing music from the Big Band Era.

The Lincoln Pops performs once a month at the Gleneden Beach Community Hall and once at The ARK in Newport’s Art Deco District. In August they give two concert performances at the Newport Performing Arts Center. On July 7, the band will appear at the Lincoln City Cultural Center. In Newport, the band will perform at the Performing Arts Center Aug. 19.

Additionally, at Gleneden Beach just south of Lincoln City, Eden Hall features live music year round. The renovated brick factory, replete with fine art displays and attendant historic touches, provides blues, jazz and folk music by some of the West’s finest players. Theatrical productions grace the stage several times a year.

Further south on Highway 101 past Gleneden Beach, you’ll find the iconic road house The Italian Riviera Restaurant, which offers delicious southern Italian food and a piano bar graced by owner Ric De Blassi who entertains most weeknights.

The last Saturday of the month features live jazz performed by Ric and his musician friends. Ric and drummer, Rick LeDoux, both play with the Lincoln Pops Orchestra. Yours truly is the featured saxophonist in the band. Having performed for several years with Ric, I can attest to the unique atmosphere.

Of course, the Chinook Winds Casino Resort that overlooks the Pacific Ocean is considered by many to be Oregon’s premier casino with its beach front hotel and six restaurants.

While in Lincoln City don’t forget to take in a performance at Theatre West, which I consider a local treasure. For some 25 years, this theatrical company has been offering drama, mystery and comedy plays to delighted audiences.

So if you want a taste of culture, along with a bracing sea breeze, Lincoln City and its Pops is a lot closer than the Big Apple.

Victor Sharpe is a prolific freelance writer and author, as well as being an acclaimed jazz saxophonist.

    Coastal Treasures

The Oregon coast, from Astoria in the north to Brookings in the south, is a wonderland of breathtaking scenery, dramatic headlands, endless beaches, hiking tours and fascinating history.

For the more adventurous, visit Depoe Bay or one of many ports along the coast to take a whale-watching tour while viewing Oregon’s coastline from the sea.

Don’t forget to visit Astoria where Lewis and Clark stayed some 200 years ago. While there, visit Flavel House. Step back into the 19th century in this restored Victorian mansion and climb the Astoria Column built in the early 1900s. Then why not travel south to visit the remarkable Air Museum in Tillamook and view the many aircraft on display.

For the hikers among you, Sweet Creek Falls near Florence beckons with its dozen waterfalls along a cliffside trail. My favorite trail is Cascade Head on the northern Oregon coast. Here you can climb through forests and wildflower meadows to the magnificent headland that overlooks the Salmon River estuary and view the cliffs and craggy islands far below.

Another hikers’ paradise is Cape Perpetua in Yachats with its 26 miles of trails offering a wonderful overview of coastal scenery, fauna and flora.

On the Central Oregon Coast, the Oregon Dunes brings the Sahara Desert to the Pacific Northwest. This is a favorite for the young and the young at heart.

A must visit is the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport, considered one of the finest in the nation. A tour of the nearby iconic Yaquina Head lighthouse is a testament to the grandeur and treasure that is Oregon’s coastline.

    Need a Jewish connection on the coast?

North Coast Shabbat schedule: Services are held monthly during the sumer/fall the Bob Chisholm Center at 1225 Avenue A, in Seaside. Services begin at 8 pm. June service and leader is: June 29, Rabbi Arthur Zuckerman; Call Bev Eastern-503-244-7060.

Central Coast Jewish Community, PO Box 871, Depoe Bay, OR 9341.

Mayim Shalom, Coquille, 541-266-0470;

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