May Day afternoon was full to the brim with jazz, high-spirited cocktails and elegant hors d’oeuvres, as was Portland’s heart for charity. Arlene Schnizter and Portland Chamber Orchestra Maestro Yaakov Bergman presented a delightful Afternoon with Cole Porter at the Portland Art Museum, a benefit for both the Harold Schnitzer Diabetes Health Center at OHSU, and the Portland Chamber Orchestra. As guests made their way into the art deco transformed Kridel Grand Ballroom, laughter and joyous music filled the air. Over 400 guests were transported back in time to the golden age of jazz and the pages of the Great American Songbook, as renowned singer Rocky Blumhagen performed his masterful tribute to Cole Porter, Easy to Love, and easy to love it was. The snappy tunes were neatly arranged by Broadway composer Ron Abel, and Blumhagen was backed by members of the Portland Chamber Orchestra. Thanks to the generosity of the attendees, more than $100,000 was raised for both organizations.
This article appeared in the May 2011 issue of Portland Monthly.