The store was founded in 1971 by Judith Cook-Tucker. Judith chose Artichoke for the name because "artichokes are all heart." During the first ten years, the company passed to Jim Fuller, Gary Haggerty, Bill Bulick and Jamie Haggerty.
The Kate Power & Steve Einhorn Years
In 1981, Steve Einhorn took over stewardship. For the next 26 years, he and his wife, Kate Power, grew and nurtured Artichoke into the wonderful community gathering place it is today.
Artichoke was originally located on NW 21st Street; after a few years, though, Steve moved the shop to 35th and SE Hawthorne, pioneering the new trend of cool shops in the Hawthorne District.
Artichoke moved to its current location at 3130 SE Hawthorne in 1997. The new facility gave Steve and Kate the elbowroom they needed to accommodate all of the talking, laughter, storytelling and music-making that have characterized the store since the beginning.
The new space also allowed Steve and Kate to create practice rooms for teachers, as well as a magnificent performance space called the Backgate Stage (now Cafe Artichoke). Over the years, the stage has hosted musicians from around the globe, including Odetta, Dave Van Ronk, Tom Paxton, Kevin Burke and David Grisman.
Portland was lucky to have kept Steve and Kate behind the counter at Artichoke for all of these years. Because both are remarkable musicians, however, their desire to perform and record finally took center stage in 2006. When they announced that they were closing the store, Portland's folk community responded with shock. What would it do without their musical home?
To contact Steve and Kate, sign up for their newsletter, and keep up-to-date about their classes, concerts and activities, go to: www.qualityfolk.com.
The Richard Colombo & Jim Morris Years
In late 2006, Richard Colombo, a professional musician and dedicated Artichoke teacher and Song Circle leader, decided to follow a lifelong dream to create community through music.
With the support of his partner, Jim Morris, he stepped forward and offered to take over the Music School and Performance Space.
Artichoke Music is no ordinary business. It is a community.
In January 2007, Richard and Jim also decided to take over the operation of the retail store. This gave Steve and Kate the opportunity to get out from behind the counter and make music full time.
Artichoke Community Music was officially awarded 501(3)c status in August 2007. Managed by a dedicated board of directors, it continues the work Steve and Kate began of "building music community one heart at a time." Artichoke Community Music transitioned into the Artichoke Community Music Foundation in early 2009 and is focused on funding music programs that promote and preserve the folk music tradition. We fund programs that take folk music to schools and underserved populations.
Although they are not behind the counter anymore, Kate and Steve remain a part of the community by performing on the Artichoke Cafe Stage, conducting regular workshops, and teaching through the Music School.
The store remains the place to come to in Portland when you need a little music in your life. As the hub of a thriving community of folk musicians in the Pacific Northwest, it offers a rich selection of folk instruments lovingly made by North American craftsmen, as well as a growing selection of vintage instruments.
In 2011, we celebrated 40 years of Artichoke Music all year! To commemorate the milestone, we released the first in a series of compilation CDs, featuring some of Portland's best songer/songwriters who frequent Cafe Artichoke. The CD is called Artichoke Nights Volume 1, and is available for sale at Artichoke Music and online from CD Baby. Click Here for more information.
Click here to see photos from our CD Realease Party!