Concert program for a vocal and pantomime performance by Grace Wood Jess under the auspices of the Federated Music Clubs of Portland. Miss Wood-Jess performed in period costume at the Women's Club Auditorium. She sang folk songs from Europe, plantation melodies and Kentucky mountain tunes. At the piano was Raymond McFeeters.
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Sunday Afternoon, March 18, 1923 WOMEN'S CLUB AUDITORIUM TICKETS ONE DOLLAR GRACE WOOD JESS Singer of FOLK SONGS England Russia, France Ireland Spain Plantation Melodies Kentucky Mountain Tunes In Period Costume and with Pantomime forming Miniature song Dramas Management of Frederic Shipman, Auspices the FEDERATED MUSIC CLUBS, including Cadman Club, Monday Musical Club, Musicians' Club, Carrie Jacobs Bond Club, Portland District Teachers' Association, Guild of Organists, Portland Opera Association, Crescendo Club and MacDowell Club. i "Listen carefully to folksongs. They are a storehouse of most beautiful melody, and unfold to the mind the inner character of different peoples.—Robert Schumann NO BETTER description of the unique and beautiful programs presented by GRACE WOOD JESS can be given than that afforded by the following critique from the Musical Courier (May 22, 1921). "There is no one who expends her talents more prodigally than Grace Wood Jess, who recently gave one of the finest, most exquisite programs heard here in years. Miss Jess is so good to look at, her singing so much a thing of the spirit, elusive, with delicate artistic perception that she satisfies every sense of an audience, cultivated, keen and critical. Her musical knowledge is undeniable; her folksongs are just what the name implies— songs of the folk—no over-decorativeness to disguise their natural beauty. Her Supremacy as a character singer rests in the depths of a personal devotion to her art. Her repertory is inexhaustible and composed of rare poems of life. Going from England to Ireland, and then to negro spirituals; then singing the notable French folksongs, the gifted artist went through her difficult program with delightful ease. "Bjut it is not alone the singer's voice that makes her distinguished. Nor is it alone her beauty and winsome grace, nor her clever interpretation, nor her quaint gowns, for Miss Jess has something else with which to fascinate—it is her hands. One is perfectly spellbound by her beautiful hands, that accompany her voice as a rich violin obligato accompanies a singer. They translate the most subtle impressions of her French selections, and like the hands of her great teacher, Yvette Guilbert, are sometimes guilty of audaciously attempting to outrival the singer and the song. As a singer, Miss Jess has all the vocal virtues—tone quality, melody, interpretative range and sympathetic understanding. For her plantation melodies and her Kentucky mountain folksongs she is adorable in a billowy silk gown once worn by Mrs. Abraham Lincoln and given to Miss Jess by a member of the Lincoln family. One might go into raptures over the gown that the singer wears for her French songs—Melodies Populaires des provinces de France—but it really is her quaint loveliness and ability to wear such creations that makes her such a graceful picture. It is a matter of subtle shades, nuances of the spirit, the imperceptible lights and shadows of personality that makes the audience feel the spiritual mystery of the woman in yards and yards of rustling taffeta and rich embroidery. HER'S IS A PROGRAM LONG TO BE REMEMBERED A Few Recent Comments ' I was charmed—at limes held in complete silence, by the artistry, finish and soul of her work. Miss Jess quickens the mind, and stirs the emotions. Perfect diction, rare tone-coloring, and individuality marked her interpretations, showing them to be the result of keen insight and refined appreciation.—Anna Cora Winchell in San Francisco Journal. Grace Wood Jess, the noted American diseuse, was responsible for one of the most delightful evenings the Saturday Club has ever offered. Such an exquisite and thoroughly enjoyable program, it has seldom been our privilege to hear—Sacramento Bee. Folksong visualizations formed the lovely program of Grace Wood Jess, who closed the series of concerts given by the University of California last night, attracting by far the largest audience. To call this a mere recital is telling only half the story. Mme. Jess really lives her songs—gives them all the subtle imagery the absence of scenery demands.— Bruno David Ussher in Los Angeles Express. The folksongs of Grace Wood Jess were listened to with almost breathless interest. One laughs with joy at the lighter songs and sighs at the more tragic. She is endowed with a personality fascinating and irresistable.— Sacramento Union. A Kalaidoscopic View of Grace Wood Jess in one of her Unique Programs Miss Jess' singing is true to the spirit of her selections, blends so well with the other factors of her art, that one is absorbed by the total of impressions. Whether she indicates the hourly call of the watchman in the Nativity legends, or with broad tones, the threatening drone of the Bells of Nantes, both ear and eye are fascinated.—Los Angeles Saturday Night. Miss Jess is exceptionally happy in her rejuvenation of old songs. The finesse of her art becomes all the more appealing as she effects a unification of voice and gestures which well brings out the musical and literary values of her selections.—Pacific Coast Musical Review. With inimitable charm and grace, Mme. Jess gave a program at the Ebell Club last night, which delighted the audience, and was followed with sustained interest.—Los Angeles Times. The program given by Miss Jess is unique. She interprets the folksongs of many countries—not only musically, but with well-conceived, vivid impersonation. Her explanations of the history and significance of each song gives added charm.—Long Beach Telegram. She is gifted with a voice, personality and dramatic ability peculiarly adapted for interpreting folksongs. In presenting these rare and charming songs she gives them an unusual interpretation—they form programs of distinctive charm.—Musical America. GRACE WOOD JESS America's Greatest Interpreter of FOLK SONGS At the Piano RAYMOND McFEETERS
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Public domain (this work is believed to be free of known copyright restrictions under copyright law).
March 18, 1923
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