On Sunday afternoons, the Hostel Café in Portland, Oregon provides a friendly setting for this Irish tune-playing session. The café’s courtyard makes a great place to play tunes in the fresh air, and the overhead canopies provide shelter from the rain and sun. If the weather gets too bad, the session can move indoors. The café’s menu has a good selection of hearty or light foods and hot and cold beverages. The tempo of the tune playing is mostly moderate, with ample time at the end of the session to pick up the tempo. Guests of the Hostel Café and the adjoining Portland Hostel are likely to settle at one of the nearby tables to enjoy the music.
- What: TrailJams & Friends Irish Tune Session at Hostel Café
- Where: Hostel Café, 1810 NW Glisan Avenue, Portland, Oregon. To find the session, walk through the café to the outdoor courtyard.
- When: Sundays, 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. (or so). Come earlier or stay later to have a meal or snack from the cafe’s menu.
- Parking & Public Transportation: On-street parking near the café is free on Sundays and usually easy to find within one or two blocks — except on “event days.” When there is a Timbers or Thorns match in Portland, event parking fees start 3 hours before the start of the match for some of the metered parking spaces near the café. On those days look for free parking north of Glisan Street or east of 18th Avenue. You can learn more about parking and event days on the PBOT Timbers Parking Map, and at the Public Parking in Portland page. Consider riding MAX light rail if you don’t want to worry about parking. MAX and busses run nearby, and there is a bike rack outside of the café.
- The Music: Most of the tunes at the session come from the Irish traditional repertoire. The tempo is mostly moderate but may pick up to a faster tempo occasionally, especially at the end of the session. The TrailJams Irish Session Tune List will give you an idea of some of the tunes that might be played at the session, as will the TrailJams Tune of the Week collection.
- COVID-19 considerations: Please be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 if you are joining this session — that is a request, not a requirement.
- Not sure what to expect? This session is a gathering of musicians to play traditional Irish or Celtic tunes. No audience is required, but guests of the café and the adjoining Portland Hostel are likely to settle in nearby to enjoy the music. The acoustic instruments played typically include fiddle, concertina, guitar, bodhran, tin whistle, flute, and mandolin. This video will give you an idea of what the session looks and sounds like.