Portland cellist’s coffee benefits Oregon Symphony

Posted on: January 7, 2010

In Tuesday’s (1/5) Oregonian (Portland, Oregon), David Stabler writes, “What happens when a guy from the Bronx who played cello in the mighty Metropolitan Opera Orchestra moves to Portland? He joins the coffee army, of course. … At 51, Kagan isn’t your typical young tattooed roaster on his way to bigger things. His dream is modest: to roast every day and to combine music and caffeine somehow, possibly by running a coffee bar out of a small concert hall friendly to chamber music. … In Portland, he subs for the Oregon Symphony and co-founded the Portland Cello Project, a loose confederation of cellists that plays clubs, coffeehouses and concert halls.” In a sidebar, Stabler also reports, “For every bag of ‘Symphony’ coffee that Justin Kagan sells, he donates $2 to the Oregon Symphony. … Last month, Kagan was able to write a Christmas check to the Oregon Symphony—whose budget is $15 million—for $134. … Elaine Calder, Oregon Symphony president, wrote in an e-mail from Budapest, ‘Justin’s decision to sell ‘Symphony’ beans and donate $2 for every pound sold to the Oregon Symphony was a complete surprise and a delightful new source of support. And yes, I have tasted the coffee, and it’s terrific.’ ”

Posted January 7, 2010