"Artichoke Music changed my life and lots of others too!"

In some ways, his music career came full circle in 2004 while teaching guitar at Artichoke Music. He was asked to lead the Saturday Song Circle, so he dusted off his treasure trove of folk songs and jumped in with both feet. Little did he know that this decision was about to usher in a life changing experience. When Artichoke Music announced its pending closure in 2006, Richard seized the opportunity to manifest his vision. This forty year old Portland institution housed a music store, a school and a remarkable concert space. Richard and Jim, took the reins of Artichoke. They bought the business, donated it to a newly formed nonprofit organization and transformed it into a vibrant music community called Artichoke Community Music.

"Everything I was as a human being and musician was called on during those Artichoke years. I can honestly say that I came into my own during those years. I taught literally hundreds of people to play and sing. I learned more about music, art and the human condition from my experiences there than all of my other life experiences combined."

"We invested every penny we had and every ounce of our being into that very special music community. I was surrounded by incredible people and wonderful musicians. Working side by side with Jim and my friend Dan’l in those early years were magical times. Every day other friends dropped by to jam around the community table in the store. Late nights at Café Artichoke, after the concert ended, we’d pass songs around the table with a whole host of local friends like Paul Sanchez, Don Wheatley, Dan Rhiger, Scott Docherty, Suzan Lundy and so many others.

There aren’t many places left around the country where musicians are heard – really heard. I met so many incredible people who make their living touring the country, living in their cars and sharing their songs. Touring musicians like Monica Taylor, Goh Kurosawa, and Joyce Woodson were blown away to experience a true listening room. Artichoke Café is really a special place."

Dance with me now in the Yellow Café
Nobody here it’s the end of the day
Wrap your arms around me and pull me in tight
We twirl together all through the night


From Yellow Café (about Artichoke Café 2008) by Richard Colombo and Jim Morris


Artichoke taught Rich a lot in those seven years. The experience also gave him hope for the future.

"There are some wonderful young musicians that give me hope for the future, among them are Cole Carr, Chris Barron, Joe Seamons and Megan Cronin. I learned so much from these talented young artists."


Richard & Jim In the Press
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Posters & Ads from Richard's Time
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