Willamette University presents Emmy-Nominated musician and storyteller John Doan with his acclaimed “Christmas Unplugged – Reclaiming the Holiday Spirit” program. Imagine stepping into a time machine with Dr. Who to experience the world when people actually entertained themselves and each other. That is what it may feel like entering the performance site that has been transformed into a period parlor. The immersion experience is heightened by group sing-alongs and whistle-alongs, archival photographs, and by hearing the very sounds of a century ago on period instruments common then (harp guitar, classical banjo, various zithers) but rarely if ever heard today. Emmy nominated for “Best Entertainment Special of the Year” John’s physical comedy interspersed with fine musicianship makes for a fun filled evening for all ages.
This year, Christmas Unplugged – Reclaiming the Holiday Spirit is on tour throughout the Pacific Northwest, bringing fun, laughter, stories, and beautiful music from across the centuries into our concert living room. It is a beautiful celebration of fun, family, laughter, and music, and you are invited to join us in this annual tradition.
For over 25 years, Emmy Nominee John Doan has been bringing the magic of Christmas explored through stories, songs, and musical instruments from today’s modern digital to the ancient past where the music we made was our entertainment.
We are especially excited about the Christmas tour this year as it includes the lovely Egyptian Theatre which was built in 1925 and retains all the original thematic detail throughout the building. The Holiday time travel will thus not only be on stage but in the charm of this newly renovated theatre. You will not be able to resist the nostalgia and warmed of an old fashioned Christmas.
Imagine stepping into a time machine with Dr. Who to experience the world when people actually entertained themselves and each other. That is what it may feel like entering the performance site that has been transformed into a period parlor. The immersion experience is heightened by group sing-alongs and whistle-alongs, archival photographs, and by hearing the very sounds of a century ago on period instruments common then (harp guitar, classical banjo, various zithers) but rarely if ever heard today. Emmy nominated for “Best Entertainment Special of the Year” John’s physical comedy interspersed with fine musicianship makes for a fun filled evening for all ages. Continue reading
The following is a report from the road as John Doan begins his 2014 concert tour of China.
When leaving the Seattle airport to China the concert tour began to seem so real and no longer an idea. The line for the plane was filled with Chinese people speaking to each other in Mandarin. The silence surrounding my host family Hougquan, Li, Yilin and Guo Guo was lifting as we were beginning to enter their world.
The plane was literally shoulder-to-shoulder with people except for first class that was sparsely occupied. People had money enough for air travel but these are a practical people use to long lines and enduring inconvenience. During the flight Chinese faces were aglow from individual screens watching a marathon of movies both in Chinese and Hollywood ones with English subtitles.
After each movie I checked the flight map to see our route up north into the arctic arcing over Alaska and Siberia and down across frigid expanses of barren snow covered mountains and remote ice covered lakes and waterways. This impassible region still defined the old barriers of place and people prohibiting any to pass through on ground or boat especially this time of year yet we leisurely passed above it all at 40,000 ft. and at -70 below freezing!
We landed in Beijing at a modern airport amongst the glow of lite streets, freeways and buildings as far as the eye could see through the man made fog that clung to the ground. Deplaning onto the tarmac we were confronted by the reality of the December cold causing all to bundle up as we walked fifty yards to an incredibly long and wide bus that transported us to another terminal in the airport.
From the archives…
In this national television interview by Shannon Woodland with John Doan about the Victorian Christmas show, now called “Christmas Unplugged.”
Celebrating its 27th year, this annual tradition is a musical journey back through time, much like Doctor Who, to a time when we made our own entertainment through stories and song.
In old times, people would have zithers, guitars, or banjos, making their own music…anyone in the household could play these.
I’ve found so many instruments, so many artifacts from this time past that have a certain charm to them. They all tell a story about who we were.
…music is a great equalizer. It is something beyond words. It is non-verbal and parodies our emotions…
The annual John Doan Christmas Show, “Christmas Unplugged: Reclaiming the Holiday Spirit” is on tour throughout the Oregon State area now.
I’ve been taking you on a journal tour of European Tour 2013. So far we’ve revisited our arrival and adventures in Paris, played with fast cars and harp guitars in Le Mans, and exploring more of the french countryside with castles, toys, and of course more harp guitars. After having our fun in France entertaining all with story and song, we moved on to Florence, Italy. The next part of this journal tour of Europe revisits Pisa, Italy, for more concerts, great food, and harp guitars – oh, and a once leaning tower.
After performing in Florence I took a train to Pisa. It is the local custom to not look at each other on the train.
International guitarist and rising star Andrea Valeri invited me to come and record with him on his latest CD project (he is very proud of the monument that was erected as a tribute to his first initial).
I’ve been taking you on a journal tour of European Tour 2013. So far we’ve revisited our arrival and adventures in Paris, played with fast cars and harp guitars in Le Mans, and exploring more of the french countryside with castles, toys, and of course more harp guitars. After having our fun in France entertaining all with story and song, we moved on to impress and be impressed with Italy.
Once in Venice we took a Ferrari looking high speed train to Florence. The city is simply eye popping and a photographer’s paradise.
So far in this journal of my European Tour 2013, we’ve revisited our adventures in Paris and played with fast cars and harp guitars in Le Mans. Now we’re visiting an ancient castle, toy museum, and more playing with harp guitars.
The next leg of the tour brought me to the northeast of France into the Alsace region on the border or Germany and Switzerland. This is a lush green expanse of mountains and rivers littered with scores of small rustic villages. It is here where Yaouen lives with his family in the shadow of ancient castles and winding rivers.
After Paris we drove to Le Mans, a city known for car racing, ancient buildings and doors, obscure building regulations, and now for hosting the first International Festival for the Harp Guitar.
I was honored to be among such great international players.
I recently went with my wife Deirdra on a six-week concert tour in Europe. We began with a transcontinental fight to Paris numbing the boredom with nine hours of non-stop movies.
As Gorilla travellers we like to travel in style, or at least in comfort, so we bring with us on the plane an inflatable back rest called “First Class Sleeper.” It makes your economy seat feel like first class (as long as you don’t mind looking like you are going river rafting upon arrival).
Once in Paris we headed to the Eiffel Tower (Deirdra appears to be balancing it on her nose).
(Bath, UK). — Emmy nominee and master harp guitarist John Doan with family roots to Bath and Burton, will perform at the Chapel Arts Centre, St James’s Memorial Hall as part of his European Tour 2013. Chapel Arts Centre is located at Lower Borough Walls, Bath, BA1 1QR. The show is scheduled for 8pm on Tuesday, May 21, 2013. Tickets are advance: £8.00, Door: £10.00. For more information, call the Chapel Arts Centre at 01225 461700.
A “Celtic Pilgrimage with John Doan” features music from John’s award winning recording “Eire – Isle of the Saints” (Winner of “Best Celtic Album of the Year”) and Wayfarer (also nominated for the same title).
Master harp guitarist and storyteller John Doan is a Bard for the 21st Century bringing back soulful and provocative musical sketches from a pilgrimage to the most sacred sites of the British Isles. “Thin Places,” as they were once called, were believed to be where the space between heaven and earth, and past and future, were thinly divided. John shares what he found there inspired by breathtaking landscapes, historic ruins, and dynamic stories underlying the faith and vision of a people who shaped the world we have come to call our own. He now leads his audiences back down ancient paths to locations made famous by St. Patrick and the “Twelve Apostles of Ireland” along winding roads to secluded sanctuaries and by boat to remote island retreats. Adventurous, thoughtful, and renewing, this is a journey memorable for its achingly beautiful moments and encouraging spirit. Continue reading