2014 Christmas Unplugged John Doan Concert Schedule

John Doan in concert with his popular Victorian Christmas Show playing electric guitar

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. Harp Guitar, Mandolin, and acoustic guitar collection - John Doan.

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.

“Christmas Unplugged – Reclaiming the Holiday Spirit” will be featured in this year’s Annual Dicken’s Festival in Tacoma, Washington, at the Center for Spiritual Living.

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

Part 5: John Doan’s Southeast Asia Tour to Phan Thiết – From Dragon Fruit to a Dragon Festival Parade, a Secret Concert and Secret Beaches, sleeping in a restaurant and other Adventures on Buses and Motorcycles

Map Ho Chi Minh City to Phan Thiet

Phan Thiết is due west of Ho Chi Minh City a mere 125 miles but 6 and a half hours by bus!

7. I Call Out Smile But They Just Honked Their HornsIt takes that long because there are no freeways, just surface streets filled with mopeds and various other obstacles!

John Doan harp guitar on Bus Vietnam

On the bus I could lay down but there was not much room to store my harp guitar. A nice boy who was getting off at the next stop offered to hold it for me.  Although the thought crossed my mind that this was one way to introduce the harp guitar to Vietnam I decided to hold on to it for the duration of the trip. Continue reading

China 2014 Tour: Welcoming Arrival in China

The following is a report from the road as John Doan begins his 2014 concert tour of China.

12/28/13

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!

John Doan Arrives Beijing walking off the airplane at the airport.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.
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The 2013 Christmas Unplugged Tour: Updated

John Doan on stage with the Christmas show.

The 2013 Christmas Tour is on with concerts all over the Pacific Northwest and afar.

For specifics, check the calendar for tour dates and ticket information.

John will be performing an updated version of his popular, Emmy-nominated live show, “Christmas Unplugged: Reclaiming the Holiday Spirit” in Oregon state in Lake Oswego, Salem, Silverton, Tualatin, Portland, and Lincoln City throughout December. It’s fun for children of all ages.

People are concerned about the isolation in this digital era of Individual entertainment choices (according to a recent American Academy of Pediatrics study children ages 8 to 18 average more than seven hours daily using some kind of entertainment media). John worked over the past year to revamp the show a bit to reach out to a wider audience, still bringing the fun and laughter along as he takes you on a historical journey back to a time when we entertained ourselves with stories and music, through to today, a time when we are retreating behind technology, reminding us that we need to make this season and every season a time for stories, laughter, and music.
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Harp Guitar Workshop, May 26, 2013, Scotland

John Doan will be presenting a one hour seminar on the Harp Guitar, exploring the various styles and techniques associated with this historical string instrument at the Edinburgh Guitar and Music Festival. This is a premiere international event in Scotland bringing together a diverse group of musicians, artists, and music professionals to educate and entertain.

The seminar will be Sunday, May 26, 2013, and is a rare opportunity to see and study with the master of the harp guitar and other stringed instruments.

John Doan Harp Guitar Moscow Lecture.

For more information, see the announcement of John Doan seminar at the Edinburgh Guitar And Music Festival and book your tickets immediately as this seminar is expected to fill fast.

More information on John’s upcoming European tour coming soon.

For more information on educational offerings, see John Doan’s workshops and classes and considering bringing one or more to your special event, festival, or group.

Victorian Christmas Tour 2012

John Doan Victorian Christmas Concert with harp guitar in front of fire place.This year celebrates the 26th annual tour of John Doan’s Victorian Christmas Concert. This year’s tour includes Oregon, California, and Arizona. Tickets sell out fast, so get yours now.

The festive concert is a live version of Doan’s Emmy-nominated Public Broadcasting television special, which re-enacts what it might have been like to celebrate Christmas a century ago. “The show explores how Victorians invented many Christmas traditions we remember and quite a few we have forgotten,” said the Willamette music professor. “The 20-string harp guitar, classical banjo and ukelin are just a few of the original instruments that will be featured. The aim is to recapture the feeling of a time before radio and TV when our ancestors provided most of their own musical entertainment at home, especially during the holidays.”

Doan plays more than a dozen turn-of-the-century instruments once popular in American parlors, on vaudeville stages and in mandolin orchestras. He explains their history in a entertaining and often zany fashion, shows slides of old catalogues and archival photographs, and leads the audience in singing (or whistling) many of our most beloved carols. John will include several arrangements from his CD, “Wrapped in White: Visions of Christmas Past.”
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John Doan Concert Tour in Europe 2012

John Doan Concert Poster for Moscow and St Petersburg in Russia and then Ukraine 2012John Doan will be touring in Europe this coming May starting off in Ukraine cities of L’viv and Kiev. Various concerts are scheduled in Germany and Austria and will also include performances in Russia as well. Concerts, workshops and lectures will be conducted in L’viv, Kiev and in Moscow. It will also include many firsts.

John Doan will be formally debuting the 20 string harp guitar Saturday May 5th and Sunday May 6th in concerts in Ukraine, where copies of his Elliott/Sullivan harp guitar will be made in a factory in L’viv. John will soon be posting videos and blog entries about his visit to the Trembita instrument factory of L’viv that will be the first company to manufacture this version of the harp guitar worldwide in cooperation with Jay Buckey Music.

In Russia John will be playing on Thursday May 17th at their first NAMM show (National Association of Music Marketers) and it will be quite the honor to also play elsewhere in the city in the beautiful concert atmosphere of the former 18th Century Roman Catholic Church of Mary Magdalene on Sunday May 20th. His performances in Moscow will introduce the harp guitar in performance for the first time, and he will be performing for the first time ever in Berlin, too.

The Bandura, a Ukrainian stringed instrument that shares various similarities to the harp guitar, is a much beloved national instrument. John will be consulting with Jay Buckey and others on developing more 21 string harp guitars based upon his original Elliott/Sullivan harp guitar, hopefully helping Ukrainians expand their vision for the Bandura into the 21st century! The first concert May 6th will feature Jay Buckey and two Ukrainian vocalists, Alla, and Peter, in cooperation with Trembita instrument factory of L’viv, and celebrating the harp guitar worldwide.

John Doan will perform in Kiev, the capitol of Ukraine, opening with Revatsky Boys Choir under the direction of its chief conductor Aida Zaytseve.

On Friday, May 11th and Saturday, May 12th, 2012, John plays in Germany at the Paul-Gerhardt-Haus in Schwerte and Aula der Realschule in Olpe as part of the international guitar night featuring Fancois Sciortino (France), Andrea Valeri (Italy), and Stefan Moenkemeyer (Germany). Even though John by himself will have more strings on his harp guitar that all the other guitarists combined each of them are so amazing that they will sound like they have as many strings and more than John. Be forewarned, guitarists attending may be inspired to do violent acts to their guitars after seeing this concert. The sponsors take no responsibility for the well being of such guitars.
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