Booking & Promo



A Celtic inspired quartet offering dynamic vocals, 3-part harmonies, scorching hot fiddle, funky upright acoustic/electric bass, tight acoustic rhythm guitar, and drums, St. James's Gate specializes in a wide range of Irish Music, including beautiful Irish ballads and waltzes, faster than lightning jigs and reels, traditional pub songs and contemporary Irish music. They also incorporate bluegrass, polka, Cajun, and classic English/American rock and folk songs in their broad and exciting repertoire.

St. James's Gate actively plays venues throughout the Pacific Northwest, including Kells (Portland and Seattle), Galway Bay Irish Pub (Ocean Shores, WA), and Biddy McGraw's (Portland), as well as private parties and festivals.

"Hey you all, I just wanted to tell you how much fun we had because of your terrific music making. Thank you so much … Our pals raved about you. It was heaven and I am so glad that everyone (including me) danced like maniacs." - from a happy bride

"Saint James’s Gate provided the music for my daughter’s wedding held outdoors on a summer night near Portland. They were fantastic. The music was so powerful, and the band had a wonderful rapport with our guests. We all danced and sang together as the evening slipped away much too quickly. They are definitely very talented musicians who love the music they make." - Doug from Indiana.

"Your band is so incredible--a true gift that we had you at our wedding ... We are going to track you down in Portland and In SF for more fun." - from another happy bride.

"Thanks again for your help at [the] wedding this weekend. You all were the easiest musicians I've ever worked with at a wedding, and the music was superb too. I'll definitely recommend you to other couples looking for wedding music." - from a satisfied minister.

Thank you!! We had an amazing time and loved your music. You guys really made it a great party, we are so happy that we were able to have you! All of our guests continue to talk about how great the band was and how they were impressed by your ability to play music that everyone could enjoy. So, thank you very much for making our night even better. - from yet another happy bride.

"[We are] emailing you to let you know how happy we were with your performance. Everyone loved the music and thought you guys were great. I particularly felt the ceremony music was perfect and exactly what we were hoping for." - from a satisfied groom

Contact info


bassface67 @ gmail.com

Cost, Terms, and Special Services

Prices are quoted individually based on date, time, location, length of engagement and amplification requirements. Advanced booking recommended and contracts required. St. James's Gate can also provide beautiful acoustic music to enhance your wedding ceremony, a P.A. system for toasts and announcements, and recorded music during breaks. Allow St. James's Gate to help you arrange the perfect music for both ceremony and reception.

Demo and sample song list available upon request.

Percussion and keyboards may be arranged upon request.

Griff Bear Ocker

Griff “griff bear” Ocker (griffbear.com) has been an active performer for 30 years, playing many styles of music, including Celtic, Bluegrass, Blues, Jazz, Rock, and Classical. He began to study classical violin at age ten, and played and competed through high school, where he was a member of the national award winning Boardman High School Symphonic Orchestra. Griff studied violin performance at Youngstown State University, and received a Bachelor of Music, followed by two years of study in the Master of Music Program at the University of Virginia. His studies included both classical and jazz, as well as electronic and computer music. While living in Virginia, Griff began playing Bluegrass and Old Time music “in the hills” and at festivals in the Appalachian Mountains, winning a second place prize in the open fiddle division at the first festival he ever attended. This was the pivotal beginning of a long connection with folk music and the fiddle.

Griff moved to Oregon in 1993 to attend (and barely complete) law school, and started playing Celtic music with fellow law student Cary Novotny, with whom he co-founded the popular group Cul An Ti in 1994. Since then, griff has been a regular attraction in Northwest Irish venues, as part of Cul An Ti, Hobnail and now St. James’s Gate. He also enjoys playing and touring as one half of the Blues/Americana “Powerhouse Duo” with Lap-Slide Guitar Player Dylan-Thomas Vance, as well as occasional performances with Portland’s musician run Rose City Chamber Orchestra, and sporadic stints with the mysterious jam-band “Bahttsi.”

Griff currently lives in Portland, Oregon, where he performs regularly, operates Bear’s Den Recording Studio, spends time with his family, and works with runaway youth.

E-mail griff bear: griffbear@stjgate.org

Dennis Elmer

Drummer Dennis Elmer first studied music with his father, who was a professional Jazz drummer. Playing gigs on the drums from an early age he went on to receive a Bachelor of Music in performance from Marylhurst College. He has Performed, recorded and toured nationally for over 20 years with ensembles including; Cozy, Brothers of the Balidi, Mitch Woods, Knife-Boy&Tid-Bit and Henry Moon. Dennis came to St James Gate because of his love of dance and folk music.
Currently Dennis teaches, is a member of the St James Bach cantata choir, performs regularly, records and produces music. Dennis lives with his wife, who he loves, and two cats.

Matthew Rotchford

Surrounded by a musical family that enjoyed many styles, Matthew developed his eclectic tastes and decided early on that the bass was the instrument for him. Matt completed a Bachelor of Arts in Music and Performing Arts Administration from Eastern Washington University while studying under the Russian double bassist Roma Vayspapir. Matt performed throughout the Northwest with various rock bands, jazz trios, and various ensembles. Matt has had the pleasure of performing with such varied and outstanding musicians as Michael Hedges, Wynton Marsalis, Arnie Carruthers, Merle Saunders, Vince Littleton (SuperDiamond), Merv Rosell, Lionel Hampton and many other musical luminaries.

Matt performed and recorded with current Nine-Volt Mile vocalist Jason Elliott in the first incarnation of St. James’s Gate, writing, performing and singing all-original material in venues throughout Portland. The group was an outstanding foundation for what was to become the varied Celtic and rock-n-roll incarnation of the current St. James’s Gate.

Matt’s long collaboration with fiddler Griff Ocker began in the seminal cabaret-“what-is-it,”-jam band Bahttsi, and opened up the world of (“I saw the light…”) bluegrass as well as renewed appreciation for Irish music in general. In addition to St. James’s Gate, Matt also performs with a number of other great musicians including pianist Tom Rheingans, drummer Mark Burdon (Vagabond Opera, Boka Marimba), vocalist Ricki Hisaw and singer-songwriter Dylan-Thomas Vance. Matt enjoys spending time with his family, friends and adding to his strange album collection (the coveted Ethel Merman Disco Album is just one fine example.

Hammond Ashley Upright - 1981
Kay Doghouse - 1942
Status Series II Electric Bass
(my first Status was stolen in 2004.)
For info on that click here.

E-mail Matt: mpr @ stjgate.org

Dylan-Thomas Vance

Portland, Oregon lap steel slide guitarist, singer and songwriter Dylan-Thomas Vance brings an open-country pioneering spirit to his music which incorporates his extensive knowledge of jazz with elements of country blues, roots, folk, and Americana.
E-mail Dylan: dylan @ dylanthomasvance.com

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