Matt Boydston, “Going Places” CD release concert, with Sonnet Simmons and Dina Valenz – Tickets – Aladdin Theater – Portland, OR – September 20th, 2014

Matt Boydston, "Going Places" CD release concert, with Sonnet Simmons and Dina Valenz

Matt Boydston, "Going Places" CD release concert, with Sonnet Simmons and Dina Valenz

Sonnet Simmons, Dina Valenz.

Saturday, September 20th, 2014

Doors: 6:30 pm / Show: 7:30 pm

Aladdin Theater

Portland, OR

$15.00 ADV / $17.00 DOS

Matt Boydston
Matt Boydston
For singer/songwriter Matt Boydston, his music is as eclectic as a cross-country road trip that’s dotted with stops in New Orleans, Detroit, Nashville, and other great music hot spots. The Vancouver, Washington resident’s latest album Going Places is filled with twists of country twang, turns of “dirty” New Orleans blues, and even breezes of calypso rhythms floating through the air. Influenced by Lyle Lovett, Michael Buble and Lilly Allen, Boydston’s music and lyrics accelerate listeners’ emotions and deepest thoughts, leaving their mundane cares in the dust.
Boydston’s own travels through life’s peaks and valleys have paved the way for this unique project that cannot be packed into the into just one genre’s suitcase. The sixth child of a former New Hampshire farmer, Boydston credits both his parents’ love for music and his five older siblings’ different tastes in genres for his own musical style that is as colorful as a weather map in storm season. At age eight, Boydston and his family took an 11,000-mile crisscross-country RV trip from their New Hampshire home to various places including Knott’s Berry Farm where his father used to serve as both the park’s sheriff and head of entertainment. There he got to meet many of his father’s musician friends and, at a stop in Spokane; he became acquainted with the kid who would later become Eddie Money’s long-time drummer, Glenn Symmonds.
As an adult, the United States Army took Boydston to places like Egypt, Israel and Panama where much of his songwriting evolved. Following his stint in the Army he experienced a heartbreak that took him to the depths of Death Valley and emptied him of all his fuel for life. But upon meeting his wife Lynn, his self-proclaimed goofy, happy-go-lucky nature was restored, along with his joy. “Joy can be the catalyst to hope, happiness and change,” he says. “When joy rises, hopelessness, sadness and anger can fade, and in that brief moment lives can change. My goal is for my music to bring both joy and positive change in the lives of my listeners.”
The twists and turns Boydston has experienced in life are also reflected in the making of his latest album. Recorded in Nashville’s famed Blackbird Studio by Grammy-award winning engineer and producer David Hall (Gavin DeGraw, LeAnn Rimes, Frank Sinatra), Going Places has taken some different directions from Boydston’s original song compositions. With the addition of some of Nashville’s best session musicians and award-winning songwriters like Rachel Thibodeau (Billy Currington’s “Good Directions”) and Jason Sever (Luke Bryan’s “BuzzKill”), the album’s collection of songs hosts a variety of musical landscapes. “I understand the value of giving the customer a good product, and sometimes doing so results in a path that is different than originally imagined or planned,” says Boydston. “I don’t kick and scream when the map gets thrown out the window. I just keep going because there’s a good chance it’ll turn out better with a new direction, and I trust these true professionals to help me make this the best thing I’ve ever created.”
Sonnet Simmons
Sonnet Simmons
Combine Gwen Stefani’s electro pop beats interwoven with Fiona Apple’s lyrical aptitude and Sara Bareilles’ piano styling, and you encapsulate the sound of Sonnet Simmons’ self-titled debut EP.
Sonnet, whose name is derived from the Italian word, “sonetto” signifying a “little song” or “little sound,” delivers a fresh perspective of pop, illuminated with pulsating electronic beats and themes that connect across emotional lines and frame her eight-song debut. This ascending singer-songwriter first captivated national audiences with her song, “You’re So Good for Me,” which was featured in a Coca Cola/Lagoon Park campaign, hitting the Top 100 downloads list for Amazon, appearing on i-Tunes, and garnering over 40K downloads in its first month. In August of 2012, debuted the first in a series of three commercials featuring Sonnet singing the song, “O is the One,” which she co-wrote.
Despite her melodic and piano prowess, Sonnet wasn’t born into the music business or plucked from a reality show competition. Her life experience is much more colorful than your typical pop star. Throughout her childhood, Sonnet lived a gypsy-like lifestyle with her mother and sister, travelling around Europe and Asia. Born in Greece, she eventually travelled from Switzerland to India with various stops in between, changing schools five times before the end of 6th grade.
During her nomadic adventures when she was constantly moving from one place to the next, music was her solace, her rhythmical soul mate. After attending Hamilton Music Academy of Music (a performing arts high school in LA), she received a Jazz Voice degree from UCLA. Following graduation, she subsequently moved to New York with her first love, in hopes of making her dreams as a musician come true, only to realize that she needed to find her own voice before further embarking on her musical journey. “I thought writing was out of my grasp,” she recalls, “but it was the missing link.”
On September 25th this multi-faceted songstress will release her new self-titled EP, which includes eight new tracks that blend energetic dance anthems and compelling vocals, while incorporating traces of some of her greatest inspirations—Joni Mitchell, Ella Fitzgerald, and Ani Difranco. For this pivotal project, she enlisted a preeminent team of producers, mixers and composers who have all worked with such musical megastars as Michael Jackson, Adele, Beyonce, and Josh Groban.
With her upcoming EP, Sonnet examines male and female dynamics and shares the lessons she’s learned about love, life, and relationships. Her creative doctrine, so poignantly articulated by 13-century poet, RUMI, is “You have to keep breaking your heart until it opens.”
Dina Valenz.
Dina Valenz.
Emerging as a formidable artist these past few years on the SoCal music scene; the multi-talented performer has also played at numerous clubs and venues throughout Southern California, including recent gigs at the Portofino Hotel & Marina, the House of Blues Sunset, and the CAMP in Costa Mesa. She has also performed at many popular music festivals & fairs including the 2013 LA County Fair.  
The San Pedro, California native has a musical style in line with key influences like Alanis Morissette, Sheryl Crow and Jewel. Dina released her four-track debut EP in May of 2013, which was executive produced by veteran contemporary jazz singer-songwriter Mark Winkler (who also co-wrote with Dina the infectious jangling pop/rocker “Favorite Pair of Jeans”) and arranged by renowned jazz pianist/keyboardist Jamieson Trotter. Other tracks include the happy, carefree love song “All My Tomorrows,” the haunting, bluesy heartbreak tune “Miles and Miles” and the infectious and edgy, attitude driven “Skinny Bitch.” 
“My music is very much inspired by the pop music of the late 90s,” she adds, “and those were the artists who inspired me to pick up the guitar, sing and write what I feel. The four songs on the EP offer a pretty good spectrum of my writing these days. I feel like I’m in a great creative place and after going through many ups and downs, I’m writing about the things that have gotten me here.”    
Dina’s musical destiny began taking shape at age 12, when she picked up the guitar for the first time. She remembers practicing every day after school until her mother forced her to go to bed. “Ever since then,” she says, “my guitar and I have pretty much been inseparable.” Spending much of her lunch hours at school playing and singing for tips for the kids (Skittles, lunch tickets, etc.) she later participated in every performance and talent show she could sign up for. During her senior year, Dina played her first open mic night, where she had the opportunity to play six songs in a row. “I got all my friends out to see me and I was hooked!” she says.  
Dina is still hooked (and writing hooks!) – on the joy of performing for audiences, on singing and playing her guitar and writing more songs which she hopes to licensing to television and film as she builds her solo career. She says, “I’ve done a little of everything, from acting to writing screenplays to singing in bands and a cappella – and none of those experiences are as meaningful to me as writing and singing my own songs. The best part of the creative journey has been finding myself in the process. This is always going to be what my life is about.”