Daniel Deardorff remembered in memorials this weekend

‘Songs and Stories in 3D’ takes place at Fort Worden

PORT TOWNSEND — A memorial concert in tribute to Daniel Duane “3D” Deardorff is planned at the Madona MindBody Institute at 7 tonight.

Deardorff — singer, songwriter, musician, producer, mythologist, author, storyteller and visual artist — died Sept. 19 of natural causes stemming from post-polio sequelae, said his partner, Judith-Kate Friedman. He was 67.

The concert, “Songs and Stories in 3D,” will be on the first floor at the institute at 310 Battery Way in Fort Worden State Park. It has wheelchair access through the ramped entrance on the building’s south side. Accessible parking and toilet facilities will be available.

The concert is offered on a pay-as-you-can basis, with no one turned away for lack of funds. Donations of $20-$60 will be accepted. All proceeds will support the Mythsinger Legacy Fund, now carried forward as a project of Songwriting Works Educational Foundation.

Reservations to reserve seats are recommended though not required. Call/text 360-643-1961.

Tonight’s concert will serve as a prelude to two other events honoring Deardorff, who had lived in Port Townsend for about 20 years.

A Celebration of Life Remembrance Ceremony will take place at 3 p.m. Saturday at Madrona Mindbody Institute with a potluck feast. Dancing will follow at 6 p.m.

On Sunday, those interested in the future of Deardorff’s work can join in 3D’s Legacy: a Community Conversation at noon (call/text for location to 360-643-1961).

Those who wish to participate in this conversation virtually can do so through online video conferencing platform Zoom at this url: zoom.us/j/2307331534 or attend remotely via either of these phone: +16699006833, 2307331534# US (San Jose) +16465588656, 2307331534# US (New York). Meeting ID: 230 733 1534.

Tonight, Northwest musicians, storytellers, and writers will raise their voices in tribute to Deardorffm celebrating his artistry and his local and global impact, organizers said.

Performers are 3D’s longtime musical collaborators and friends including Friedman (songwriter, singer, producer and Deardorff’s life partner), Nancy Rumbel (grammy-winning composer, ocarina, oboe, and English horn), Brian Rohr (storyteller) and Aimée Ringle (singer, songwriter, storyteller), Jim Valley (Rainbow Planet, Paul Revere and the Raiders), musicians Tracy Spring, Michael and Vickie Townsend, Matt Sircely, Joe Breskin and the Unexpected Brass Band.

The program will include renditions of Deardorff’s songs and the 10,000-year-old mythic stories he carried.

Deardorff began his career touring for Seals and Crofts as their opening act throughout the 1970s. Over the next 40 years he performed throughout the United States and Canada, in South and Central America and the United Kingdom, released duo and then solo albums and produced albums for dozens of artists including Tingstad and Rumbel, Jim Valley, Michael Tomlinson, and Tickle Tune Typhoon, organizers said.

A survivor of two kinds of polio from the age of 17 months who moved via a wheelchair, Deardorff also became a pioneer for the rights of persons with disabilities, organizers said. In 1977, he performed and spoke at the first ever White House Conference on Disability with President and First Lady Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter.

In the 1990s, when the effects of polio sequelae forced him to retire from the music business, Deardorff moved to Port Townsend, authored “Video Talk: The Other Within: The Genius of Deformity in Myth, Culture, and Psyche,” (North Atlantic Books), and eventually began to teach internationally.

He founded the Mythsinger Foundation and began offering courses in myth and ritual, hosting monthly story nights, and mentoring younger generation tellers.

In his last eight years, Deardorff combined music and digital technology as health changes limited his mobility and public appearances, organizers said.

He composed and recorded dozens of new songs and stories using an iPad home studio. These recordings include an album’s worth of unexpected covers of John Lennon songs (Blue Lennon), a collection of songs detailing Deardorff’s experience as a polio survivor (Polio: A Blues Album), and explorations into the poetry, music and duende of flamenco music and “deep song.”

A full-length concert video, “Love Dogs: An Evening with Daniel “3D” Deardorff and Judith-Kate Friedman” recorded live at Key City Public Theatre (Valentine’s Day 2015) will be the first of these yet-to-be-published projects to be released this spring.

For more information, or to make a tax-deductible contribution to the Mythsinger Legacy Fund, contact Friedman at [email protected] or 360-385-1160.

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