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Siletz Bay Music Fest Again Brings Diversity, Innovation to Central Oregon Coast on Aug. 25

Published 08/16/23 at 5:31 a.m.
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

(Lincoln City, Oregon) – A central Oregon coast tradition returns for its 32nd year, as Friday, August 25 kicks off the famed Siletz Bay Music Festival and its ambitious ten days of a diverse range of classical and jazz. This one, like many seasons before it, stretches genre boundaries and offerings, providing contemporary and chamber music, sprinklings of jazz and some native American pathways. 11 concerts and 50 musicians will perform at five different locations in Lincoln City. (Above: performer Mei-Ting Sun)

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Artistic director Yaacov “Yaki” Bergman is again at the helm of the prestigious festival, known for its wide range and sometimes unconventional rosters. This year looks to be another sonic adventure.

Virtuoso artists abound, many of them returning, joining new faces who at times have edges to push and distinctly modern slants. In addition to iconic much-beloved selections from the classical canon, performances will place an emphasis on diversity and innovation with a world premiere piece, a Latin jazz night, a multi-media music-and-art performance, the symphonic poem, “How Can You Own the Sky,” based on Native American storytelling, and chamber music by three women composers.

As is tradition, two concerts at the central Oregon coast festival are free.

Yaki Bergman said he has a “big tent” approach to the Festival’s programming.

“The Siletz Bay Music Festival is the embodiment of different musical traditions that are equally profound. By blending genres together in one festival, we create the opportunity for amazing creativity. It’s quite incredible that we can bring such a multi-genre approach into fruition,” said Bergman.

Five different venues host the Lincoln City favorite. Performances will once again be staged at the Lincoln City Cultural Center, the Congregational Church and at Newport’s Pacific Maritime Heritage Center. And for the first time, orchestral performances will take place at Chinook Winds Casino Resort and a free concert will take place at Lincoln City’s Regatta Park.

Moreover, a large array of stellar musicians are making the trek to the central Oregon coast, thanks to Bergman. Returning to this year’s festival will be such world-class artists as pianists Mei-Ting Sun and Michele Chow, violinists Asi Matathias, Tosca Opdam, Anthea Kreston and James Stern, cellists Katherine Schultz and Jason Duckles and violaist Miriam English Ward, who have all performed on recordings and in prestigious concert venues around the world. Exciting new faces include the 18-year old multi-instrumental wunderkind Michele Bushkova, who will be featured on violin and piano, acclaimed flutist Amelia Lukas, native American storyteller, drummer and dancer Brent Florendo and Grammy-winning pianist-composer-arranger Daniel Freiberg, whose extraordinary background in the field of Latin jazz will add a new dimension to this year’s contemporary musical offerings.

The festival began in the 1980s and hasn't missed a beat, even when the pandemic forced it to go virtual. It saw its first performances as an informal series of salons held in the home of Sergiu Luca, a part-time Oregon coast resident and professor of violin at Houston’s Rice University. For more information, full schedule and to purchase tickets, visit

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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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