The Liberty Theater offers its usual top-notch bill of Northwest entertainers this Saturday, Sept. 3, as a pair of Portland's most celebrated musicians present a Labor Day Weekend Concert.
Barbara Lusch made her mark as a vocalist with the popular Portland Latin/salsa band Pepe & the Bottle Blondes, which Lusch describes as "the Andrews Sisters backing Ricky Ricardo." When she could no longer deny her love of pop jazz tunes from the past, she left the group and formed her own band.
Lusch's voice has been described as warm, silky and sultry, a smoky mezzosoprano that can by turns soothe, persuade, seduce, tease, amuse and uplift. Her first solo album, "Barbara Lusch," was released Aug. 3 and includes favorites such as "Come On-A My House," "Black Coffee" and "Light My Fire."
Sharing the program with Lusch is Portland's Michael Allen Harrison, a producer, composer, arranger, singer/songwriter, concert pianist and owner of his own record label, MAH Records. His unique brand of music ranges from movie scores to passionate arrangements for piano, orchestra, ballet, jazz, fusion, smooth jazz, pop, New Age and adult contemporary.
Harrison's CD, "Emotional Connection," received a NASA Orbiting Certificate for air play in space on the shuttle Endeavor, and his 1994 album, "Circle of Influence," went up on the space shuttle Discovery. He has performed at the World Peace Conference in The Netherlands and for President Clinton, Vice President Al Gore and Quincy Jones when they have visited Portland. Harrison composed and performed a new work, "Ocean of Wisdom," for the Dalai Lama during his visit to Portland and presented his first concerto for piano and orchestra at a world premiere performance with the Portland Festival Symphony.
Harrison has also scored several motion pictures, short films and infomercials. He created a musical version of "The Velveteen Rabbit" for the Oregon Children's Theater and has been the company pianist for the Pacific Ballet Theater, Ballet Oregon and Oregon Ballet Theater.
Saturday's concert starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $18 and are available at the Hotel Elliott, (877) 378-1924, or through Tickets West, (800) 922-TIXX or www.ticketswest.com