Arts & Entertainment

Cello artist rocks into town

What: Portland Cello Project

When: 7 p.m. Jan. 29

Where: Red Room, 711 Vineyard Drive, Kennewick

Cost: $6 in advance, $8 at the door

Tickets: online at

A cello isn't just for classical music buffs.

It can rock. It can roll. It can blast through an amplifier like nobody's business.

Don't believe it? Then head over to the Red Room on Jan. 29 and listen to the Portland Cello Project do its thing.

"In some ways, the cello is perfect for heavy metal since it has such a chunky sound," said Doug Jenkins, a cellist with the project. "We don't need distortion pedals or Marshall amps. We just need to dig in."

The Portland Cello Project is made up of a varied number of cellists, ranging from four to 20, who perform all over the Northwest. Six of those musicians will rock out at the Red Room, 711 Vineyard St., Kennewick.

The group's approach to music scores big time with the young as well as the old, Jenkins said.

"The players all approach music differently," Jenkins said. "All are classically trained and almost all of us have at least gone to college as performance majors."

He said some of the cellists make their living as musicians.

"But the cello project doesn't pay anyone's bills, though," he added.

The Portland Cello Project's philosophy is to bring the cello to places you wouldn't normally see it, like bars, nightclubs and other rock music venues, and to show off the instrument's underused versatility, Jenkins said.

"We also use the group to build community in the Northwest music scene by inviting other musicians on stage to collaborate with us," he said.

The project also performs at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 30 in the Vert Auditorium in Pendleton. More information on that show is at or

◗ Dori O'Neal: 582-1514;