Traveling band takes tunes on the road around Oregon

Local

One local band is going where the music takes them

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Live music has been one of the biggest casualties of the pandemic — but one lifetime student of music has taken his music on the road.

Tune Tours is the moniker for a pretty informal outdoor Oregon live music tour. The band plays outside, apart enough from each other to be safe. They play in beautiful places, in pedestrian places — they play where ever — and they’re sharing their music through recordings. 

One of the places you might have seen Jon Deshler and his minions of music is playing on the street near the Oregon Crafters Market in downtown Silverton. No one to play for? How about in front of a rural setting in the shadow of a house with no obvious audience.

“The concept was like ‘well let’s go play for people safely where they are and let’s shoot a little video too for the people who are staying at home,'” Jon Deshler said.

Deschler’s son, a piano player whose work on Bourbon St. in New Orleans dried up, joined the ensemble. Now they’ve played in more than a dozen locations to date since their world of music closed in around them in March as many official events canceled or stopped live performances.

Jon has improvised — now with a piano in the back of his pickup, a guitar and a few other musicians who play when and where they can.     

“Nursing homes, farms, cul-du-sacs, community centers, wineries — anywhere we can safely gather,” he said. “This is about performing at safe distances outdoors, particularly this summer in and around the Willamette valley, anywhere in the Pacific Northwest for that matter — I’m adapting.”

This is an attempt at new beginnings. It’s a reset — a way to fill more of the public space with music —  and it has turned out to be a pretty welcome diversion for people who tired of reading and hearing about a virus but happy to let the sound soak in.    

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