Bridge to Russia is an annual cultural celebration commemorating more than a quarter century of friendship and cooperation between Portland and its sister city in the Russian Far East, Khabarovsk. To mark the 28th anniversary, the gala event was held at Portland's Mississippi Pizza, which doubles as a popular pizza parlor and musical entertainment venue. It was at Mississippi Pizza back in 2015 that PKSCA President Alan Ellis first attended a performance by Three for Silver--one of Portland's most eclectic bands, featuring a blend of blues, rock, klezmer, and Eastern European music. Ellis subsequently encouraged the band to become actively involved with PKSCA as a possible springboard to performing in the Russian Far East. By 2016 the three multi-talented musicians comprising Three for Silver--Lucas Warford, Willo Sertain, and Greg Allison--had accepted an invitation from the PKSCA Board to represent Portland as delegates and performers at Khabarovsk's annual Day of the City Festival late in May. November's Bridge to Russia was not only a chance for PKSCA members and the public to experience the band's music, but also a unique opportunity to learn about the band's highly successful Day of the City goodwill trip (which took them to Vladivostok and Blagovaschensk as well) via a multi-media photo-narrative presentation by members of the band. Rounding Bridge to Russia entertainment was the powerful, spirited operatic singing of Russian soprano Anna Kazakova, accompanied by Nadezhda Ross on piano, with performances of both Russian and American classics to the delight of the enthusiastic mixed American and native-Russian audience.
Bridge to Russia in 2017 will be held at The Old Church in Portland, a venue with first-rate acoustics for musical performances and a charming dining area for enjoying Russian закуски (Russian appetizers) and beverages. Mark the date on your calendars: Sunday, November 5th, from 1:30-4:00 p.m.