About the Band - The Purple Herons

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About the Band

Greta Arell
Keyboard, vocals

Greta plays keyboard and sings.  She’s the closest thing to a music director we have.  Her diligence and passion for music is what led her to ask Jim about teaming up, which is where the band got its start.

When she’s not playing with the band, Greta teaches music and serves clients as a music therapist.  Her other interests include hunting for mushrooms, hiking, and seeing how much band gear she can pack into the back of her Prius.


Jim with his harp guitar

Jim Dorman
Bass

Jim is a musician, teacher, and podcaster who used to be a juggler. But instead of juggling balls or clubs, now he juggles notes. In addition to bass, he also plays a variety of guitars, the Japanese koto, and harp guitar.  He plays these as a solo musician at venues around Oregon and Washington.

When he’s not playing music, Jim works underwater as a tour guide aboard the USS Blueback. He also serves as a mentor to other musicians in the Bandmakers program and is the creator of The Acoustic Pedestrian, a podcast that focuses on bringing people together through art & other creative pursuits.


Jackson Smood II
Guitar, vocals

Jackson’s commitment to guitar began at age 10 after seeing a live acoustic version of “Hotel California” and thinking, “I have to be able to do that.” His formal jazz training came by way of independent study with former Berklee and Musicians Institute faculty for over a decade. He keeps busy teaching guitar privately, doing session and “side-man” work, and playing in several groups throughout the Portland area. Jackson is also a songwriter and amateur keyboard player.

When not practicing, he enjoys going to the dog park with his English Bulldog, Lucy and reading science-fiction.


Wendell Lijauco
Drums & percussion

Wendell began his career as a drummer while in college, playing with various bands in the Philippines. His skills garnered the attention of Princess Velasco, a Filipino acoustic artist. Wendell played with her band from 2010-14, helping out on three albums as well as playing live on tour.

After moving to San Francisco in 2014, Wendell played in a number of Christian churches in the Bay Area and played with Suburban Outlaws, a rock cover band.

He moved to Oregon in the summer of 2019 and since then has been playing in various churches around the Portland Metro area, and now with us! When he’s not playing drums, Wendell enjoys traveling, hiking, playing badminton and watching movies with his wife. We are excited to have his good vibes and his musical spirit.