Halie Loren didn't need much persuasion to join the lineup for Sunday's Symphony on the Land.
No wonder. Consider the way Rob Birdwell, the Corvallis musician who helps organize the annual fundraiser for the Greenbelt Land Trust, pitched it to the Eugene-based singer: You get a chance to play outdoors, in a beautiful setting on Corvallis' Bald Hill Farm, in a setting that encourages musical mixing and matching between various ensembles.
Loren was sold: "I never want to pass up an opportunity to play in a gorgeous place outdoors," she said in an interview this week.
And, "it's a great cause, the Greenbelt Land Trust," a Willamette Valley nonprofit conservation organization. "I love what they're trying to do."
The Symphony on the Land will showcase Loren and her jazz ensemble, along with a variety of other mid-valley musicians. The lineup includes the Sound of the Woods clarinet quartet, featuring Mike Curtis from Eugene; and the cello quartet Cellophoria, featuring Ann Grabe, Anne Ridlington, Noah Seitz and Dale Bradley.
It's the sort of musical grab bag that Birdwell has pulled together for previous incarnations of the Symphony on the Land.
And, if previous editions of the Symphony on the Land are any indication, Birdwell and his musical collaborators have some surprises in store for Sunday night. But Loren isn't spilling any secrets, other to suggest that something is in the works and that her ensemble plans to invite Birdwell and his trumpet to sit in on some selections.
Loren says her set will include an mix of original songs and selections from the great American songbook.
But the singer, who continues to build a busy musical career from her Eugene base, said the time has come for her to focus more on her own material: In fact, she said, she's working now on a CD project that will include all-original selections. All her previous albums have featured a mix of original songs and more familiar tunes.
And that's fine, but she said her influences extend beyond jazz: For example, lately she's been listening to artists such as the quirky singer-songwriter Regina Spektor; Becca Stevens, a vocalist and guitarist; and the jazz and soul singer Gregory Porter.
"I love jazz but that's not strictly what I do," she said. "I feel like I'm working to embark on a new journey."