PDX Jazz Festival

The 15th annual Biamp PDX Jazz Festival presented by Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty is set to commence Thursday, February 15 through Sunday, February 25 with 30 featured concerts at venues throughout the Portland metro region.

The 15th anniversary edition will acknowledge the originally hip and wonderfully wacky world of jazz vocalese, highlighted by Grammy Award-winner Kurt Elling and his homage to mentor, 95-years-young Jon Hendricks with daughters Michele and Aria Hendricks performing along with Portland stalwarts Randy Porter and Nancy King, and a performance by the Portland State University Jazz Vocal Ensemble under the direction of Sherry Alves.

A nod to hipsterism will be penultimate when Richie Cole, the last living link to Eddie Jefferson’s pioneering legacy, makes a rare PDX appearance joining Harlem-based Allan Harris to fete the deceased singer on his 100th birthday. Keeping it local and very real on the subject of scat is the Bobby Torres Ensemble with vocalist Sean Holmes paying respect to the legacy of Al “Breakin’ Away” Jarreau. Always a great hang at Al’s Den, the annual themed residency curated by Mary Sue Tobin of free nightly programs by Portland based artists will spotlight singers, scatters and swingers.

The loss of pianist Geri Allen this summer was emotionally hard and sent shock waves through the jazz community as she touched so many of us in a myriad of meaningful ways. She also left an indelible mark on the festival with her stirring performance in tribute to Alice Coltrane in 2015 and as the centrifugal force in the trio collective, ACS which made their west coast debut here in 2013. It was the pioneering pianist’s wish that Ravi Coltrane play for her in Portland and we are humbled by this auspicious occasion. States Esperanza Spalding, “Geri was and is a divine prism of pure heart and artistry.” Terri Lyne Carrington recalls, “You are an inspiring maverick an exemplary creator that I’m proud to have been able to call my friend and bandmate. You’ve positively touched so many and my life and art will always reflect your vision and influence.” Darrell Grant, who worked with her a decade ago at Reed College, speaks of Allen in reverential terms as his singular most important influence.

PDX Jazz Festival

States Executive Artistic Director, Don Lucoff, “Frankly from a programming standpoint, it’s seamless to bring back a bevy of perennial headliners who graced our stages these past 15 years, but we chose rather to focus and blend on who has not appeared and should be here with select returnees that speaks to the emerging, established and legacy careers of Charles Tolliver and New Music Inc., Miles Electric Band, Ben Allison, Scott Amendola, Abdullah Ibrahim & Ekaya, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Jazz By 5, Mostly Other People Do the Killing, Dave King, Russell Malone, Rachel Flowers, Tigran Hamasyan, Marcus Roberts, and Lisa Fischer, Yotam Silberstein, among others.

“Many of our esteemed resident artists will appear in a variety of special situations including the David Friesen Reunion Trio, Randy Porter with Nancy King, Trio Subtonic featuring Dan Balmer, Devin Phillips Trio, Domo Branch Quintet, Portland Jazz Master Art Abrams, Tahirah Memory, Bobby Torres, UP Jazz Ensemble, PSU Vocal Jazz Ensemble, George Colligan with Buster Williams and Lenny White and Dan Gaynor and Gordon Lee.

“PDX Jazz partners with a variety of selected venues: Revolution Hall, Newmark and Winningstad Theatres, Classic Piano, The Mission Theatre, The Old Church, Mississippi Studios, Jack London Revue, University of Portland, PSU, Al’s Den and White Eagle Tavern,” continues Lucoff.

Free music will also be heard in over a dozen hotel and restaurants throughout the city. We welcome the continued year-round partnership with Soul’D Out Music Productions and their special programs of Snarky Puppy and Lettuce, the enduring support from KMHD Radio and our many sponsors, members and supporters.”

The 15th annual Biamp PDX Jazz Festival presented by Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty was co-founded in 2004 with Travel Portland to establish a cultural tourism initiative in the metro Portland area, and to celebrate Black History Month through education and outreach programming.

We are excited to be partnering with Travel Portland and PDX Jazz Festival to attend and cover a few shows this year. There are many free events, and paid. I’ve gone ahead and put an * next to free events for you. For more events: www.pdxjazz.com/events/2018-02

Here is a roundup of what to look forward to for opening weekend:

PDX Jazz Festival

February 15

*Kurt Elling, Michele & Aria Hendricks, Kevin Fitzgerald Burke: Jazz Conversation

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm, PSU’s Lincoln Hall, 1620 SW Park Avenue
Jazz conversation featuring festival vocalists Kurt Elling, Michele & Aria Hendricks, Kevin Fitzgerald Burke hosted by PSU Professor Sherry Alves and PSU Vocal Choir.

Portland Jazz Master Art Abrams & His Swing Machine Big Band

7:00 pm, Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark Street
For Portland Only Portland Jazz Master Art Abrams will harness his life-long passion for the swinging sound of west coast cool with two exemplary Los Angeles based living jazz icons, Ernie Andrews and Barbara Morrison. They’ll recast arrangements by Lenny Niehaus, Terry Gibbs, Bill Holman, Lou Levy and the Capp Pierce Juggernaut Big Band. Section leaders and long-time Abrams band soloists Paul Mazzio, John Nastos, and Dave Parker who were on hand for the previous Sinatra and Kenton festival programs will be featured. Buy Tickets

Don McFarlane and The Originals

7:00 pm – 11:00 pm, Wilfs Restaurant, 800 NW 6th Avenue
”The Originals” featuring Don McFarlane, Jules Auger, Klaus Ferguson The Originals…Straight ahead piano jazz in the tradition of Red Garland, Ahmad Jamal and Oscar Peterson. Don plays piano, Jules on bass and Klaus keeps the drum beat. Reservations suggested at 503.223.0070 Full dinner or casual bar menu available beginning at 5pm. Under 21 also welcome. Minimum service of charge of $18 per person, food or beverage. Buy Tickets

Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble w/ Special Guest Edna Vazquez

7:30 pm, The Old Church, 1422 SW 11th Ave.
The Portland Jazz Composers’ Ensemble is a 12-piece jazz chamber orchestra which commissions and performs original works by its members and by other jazz composers in the Portland music community and beyond.
Edna Vazquez is a Portland-based Latin American singer-songwriter who performs original compositions that pay homage to her international influences with a passion that comes through in every note of her music. Buy Tickets

An Evening with Scott Amendola

8:00 pm, Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi Avenue
Scott Amendola, Jeff Parker, and Paul Bryan all met nearly 30 years ago at Berklee College of Music. Musically minded in symmetry, Scott, Jeff, and Paul knows how to make 3 sound like one. The trio will embark on music composed by Amendola, some choice covers, and venture into the unknown. Buy Tickets

*Mike Dilon Band & Amadla

10:00 pm, The Goodfoot, 2845 SE Stark St
How many artists have been praised a “punk rock provocateur,” “jazz vibraphone visionary,” and “percussion virtuoso” in the same sentence? There’s only one: Mike Dillon. Whether through his affiliation with artists like Les Claypool, Primus, Rickie Lee Jones, and Ani Difranco, or collaborations such as Nolatet, Garage a Trois, The Dead Kenny G’s, Critters Buggin or bands he has led, including Mike Dillon Band, Mike Dillon’s New Orleans Punk Rock Percussion Consortium, Billy Goat and Hairy Apes BMX, the Texas-native has set his own standard for 25 years now. life-is-not-a-football-600×600 Over the past decade, Mike Dillon has released a number of acclaimed albums, intertwining a range of influences from Zappa-esque eccentricity to Fishbone punk funk, D.C. Go-Go to Milt Jackson-influenced vibraphone majesty.

PDX Jazz Festival

February 16

Kurt Elling & Friends / Swing Jon Hendricks

7:00 pm, Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark Street
For Portland Only Kurt Elling lives and breathes Jon Hendricks. Check out Kurt Elling, Jon Hendricks, and Al Jarreau with the Metropole Orkest perform at the North Sea Jazz in 2011 below. They have recorded, scatted, and soulfully swung audiences worldwide with a hipness factor of unparalleled heights. And what better way to thank his mentor by having his two daughters on stage. Nancy King who last appeared at the festival with Kurt a decade ago will be reunited on two songs. The PSU Jazz Vocal Ensemble under the direction of Sherry Alves will perform a segment of Hendricks songs expressly arranged for this program. Buy Tickets

*Richard Arnold & The Groove Swingers

7:00 pm – 11:00 pm, Wilfs Restaurant, 800 NW 6th Avenue
“Richard Arnold & the Groove Swingers”, led by Richard Arnold on lead vocals, and supported by an “all star” rhythm section featuring keyboards, upright bass, percussion and sax, will bring a touch of class and excitement to any and all of your clientele’s musical tastes! “Richard Arnold & The Groove Swingers” are able to perform various styles from Jazz to classic Standards, Swing, Blues and Motown to classic R & B. Richard Arnold’s rich and powerful bass and baritone vocals are reminiscent of such greats as Lou Rawls, Frank Sinatra, Billy Eckstein, Joe Williams, and Barry White, to name a few.

*Anson Wright Trio w/ Mike Horsfall & Bill Athens

7:00 pm – 10:00 pm, Aloft Portland Airport at Cascades Station, 9920 NE Cascades Pkwy

*Annette Lowman Trio

8:00 pm, SouthFork, 4605 NE Fremont St

*PDX Side Hustle

Not Exactly Jazz Series @ White Eagle Saloon
9:00 pm – 11:00 pm, White Eagle Saloon, 836 N Russell St

Delvon Lamar Organ Trio

9:00 pm, The Jack London Revue, 529 SW 4th Ave
A Unique 60’s & 70’s Vintage Soul Trio With the Sounds of the Hammond B3 Mixed With Tasty Guitar Lines & Old School Style Pocket Drumming. Buy Tickets

David Sánchez / Carib

10:00 pm, Winningstad Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway
GRAMMY award-winner David Sánchez is recognized around the world as one of the finest saxophonists of his generation. His mastery of the instrument is undeniable and his sound unmistakable. Combine that with Sánchez’s deep-seated knowledge of both Jazz and Latin music, and the traditions that mold them, and the results are extraordinary. Buy Tickets

*Euge Organ Trio

Not Exactly Jazz Series @ White Eagle Saloon
11:00 pm – February 17 | 1:30 am
White Eagle Saloon, 836 N Russell St
The Euge Organ Trio is a groove oriented, soul-jazz group hailing out of Portland, Oregon. The group is sure to keep audiences both moving to the groove and eagerly anticipating whatever might come next out of their free-spirited improvisational approach.

PDX Jazz Festival

February 17

Charnett Moffett / The Art Of Improvisation: Solo Bass Works

4:00 pm
Classic Pianos, 3003 SE Milwaukie Ave.
Whether as the leader or in a supportive role, Charnett Moffett’s intense and energetic solos inspire audience ovations around the world. Whether touring with his band or with his show-stopping solo bass project, Solo Bass Works, Charnett’s astounding virtuosity and heartfelt approach to performing have made him a favorite at jazz festivals worldwide. Buy Tickets

*Mike Gamble / Solo Guitar

5:00 pm – 7:00 pm, The Mark Spencer, 409 SW 11th Ave
Mike Gamble is an adventurous guitarist and multi-instrumentalist whose work with electronic modes of composition are integrated endlessly into his setup. Gamble has spent the last 15 years immersed in the creative jazz, experimental rock and improvised music scene primarily in NYC, with close ties to New Orleans, Burlington, Boston, San Francisco and the Pacific Northwest. He has had the pleasure of recording over 20 albums and touring the states, Canada, and Europe with his critically-acclaimed guitar trio The Inbetweens, Counter Record’s Cougar, and alongside doom-metal originators Earth.

Luciana Souza & The Dave King Trio

7:00 pm, Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark Street
Grammy winner, Brazilian Jazz singer, and composer Luciana Souza returns to the stage with Word Strings, her new project on words and poetry, featuring guitarist Chico Pinheiro and bassist Scott Colley. Buy Tickets

*Ben Graves & Nat Hulskamp

7:00 pm – 10:00 pm, Aloft Portland Airport at Cascades Station, 9920 NE Cascades Pkwy
The Brazilian Guitar Duo, Ben Graves, and Nat Hulskamp deliver a variety of styles from their experiences in jazz, flamenco, middle eastern and South American music. They perform sambas, choros, and bossa novas from legendary Brazilian composers such as Luis Bonfa, Djavan, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Milton Nacscimento and Ivan Lins. Their performances are full of beautiful melodies, Brazilian rhythms and guitar interplay.

*Devin Phillips & Friends

7:00 pm – 11:00 pm, Wilfs Restaurant, 800 NW 6th Avenue
The Jazz Society of Oregon presents their 2015 JSO Hall of Fame Concert honoring this year’s Hall of Fame inductee, Devin Phillips. Phillips musical talent is immense and he is dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in his work. The Jazz Society of Oregon is proud to recognize Devin’s tremendous talent and his contributions to jazz education by honoring him as our 2015 Hall of Fame inductee. Even though he’s relatively young, and has decades of work ahead of him, the addition of Devin Phillips to the JSO Hall of Fame celebrates what he’s accomplished so far as well as the promise of accomplishments to come.

Ben Allison & Think Free

8:00 pm, Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan Street
In a career that spans nearly 30 years, bassist/composer Ben Allison has developed his own instantly identifiable sound, solidifying an international reputation as one of the leading voices of his generation. Buy Tickets

The Dynamic Ms. Faye Carol

8:00 pm, The Jack London Revue, 529 SW 4th Ave
The Dynamic Miss Faye Carol, The Bay Area Queen of Jazz and Blues and her dynamite young pianist Joe Warner continually thrill and delight audiences with swingin’ sounds, luscious ballads, funky grooves and down home blues. After beginning her career with gospel music, Faye Carol made her name singing with Oakland blues and funk legend Johnny Talbot & De Thangs before founding her own trio and gaining infamy in San Francisco’s jazz, blues, and cabaret clubs of the 1970s and 80s. Now five years in the making, Faye Carol and Joe Warner are intergenerational collaborators rapidly become known as The Dynamic Duo. Buy Tickets

*Clay Gibseron & Bill Athens

8:30 pm – 11:30 pm, The Benson at The Palm Court, 309 SW Broadway

*Heavy Sugar w/ John Mazzocco, Alan Hagar, Carlton Jackson, Satellite Malone

Not Exactly Jazz Series @ White Eagle Saloon
9:00 pm – 11:00 pm, White Eagle Saloon, 836 N Russell St

*Shelly Rudolph & Chance Hayden

9:00 pm – 11:00 pm, Bluehour, 250 NW 13th Ave
Shelly Rudolph is a maker of soul music in the broadest, genre-inclusive definition, a fine and sultry singer and songwriter with a sense of adventure and a desire for discovering and conveying emotional truth. As a “robust and captivating vocalist” (Jazz Times), she has dazzled audience around the globe, including New York, Los Angeles, Japan, Korea, the West Indies and Portland, which she now calls home. Shelly’s most recent album, Water in My Hand, has garnered praise from regional and national publications: “Water in My Hands is a stunning album, intoxicating and stimulating, a mature work from an old soul artist”(Montecito Journal). Guitarist, composer, arranger and producer Chance Hayden has maintained an active presence as a stalwart player throughout Portland, Oregon’s diverse musical communities since 2005.


9:15 pm, Roseland Theater, 8 NW 6th Avenue
Lettuce: Produced by Soul’d Out Music Productions in partnership with PDX Jazz. Buy Tickets

Julian Lage Trio

10:00 pm, Winningstad Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway
Portland, OR 97205 United States
Julian Lage is an American guitarist, composer & arranger living in NYC. Often categorized as a jazz musician, his music is rooted in both traditional & acoustic forms. He was the subject of an Academy Award-nominated documentary “Jules at Eight”. Buy Tickets

*Skerik Band

10:00 pm, The Goodfoot, 2845 SE Stark St
Portland, OR 97215 United States
Sax-master, Skerik, returns with his crack band in tow for another scintillating goodfoot show. Skerik is a founding member of Critters Buggin, Garage a Trois (which has included Stanton Moore, Charlie Hunter, Mike Dillon and Marco Benevento), Crack Sabbath and The Dead Kenny G’s. He’s an original member of Les Claypool’s Fancy Band and Frog Brigade, Bobby Previte’s Ponga and Coalition of the Willing and Joe Doria’s McTuff. In the 1990s he was also a member of Tuatara (with Peter Buck) and Seattle-based Sadhappy. He has toured with Fred Wesley, Mike Clark and The Headhunters, Wayne Horvitz (Zony Mash), Mad Season and Roger Waters.

Dmitri Matheny

11:00 pm, The Jack London Revue, 529 SW 4th Ave
Portland, OR 97204 United States
First introduced to jazz audiences in the 1990s as the protégé of Art Farmer, Matheny has matured into “one of the jazz world’s most talented horn players” (San Francisco Chronicle). The soulful sound of Dmitri’s horn garnered praise from critics and audiences alike, drawing frequent comparisons to Miles Davis, Chet Baker and–not surprisingly–to Art Farmer. Upon Farmer’s passing in 1999, Matheny acquired his mentor’s copper-bell flugelhorn. Today, Dmitri leads the Dmitri Matheny Group, “an all-star jazz band featuring some of the most accomplished musicians in the western United States” (All About Jazz). Matheny has toured extensively throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. Buy Tickets

*Midnight’s Children

Not Exactly Jazz Series @ White Eagle Saloon
11:30 pm – February 18 | 1:30 am, White Eagle Saloon, 836 N Russell St
Midnight’s Children is a new funk/r&b/soul band hailing out of Portland, OR. They play a grooving mix of originals and covers spanning a variety of styles and generations.

PDX Jazz Festival

February 18

*Mary Kadderly & Dan Gildea / Jazz Brunch!

10:30 am – 1:00 pm, Nel Centro at The Hotel Modera, 1408 SW 6th Ave

Bill Frisell: A Portrait with Bill Frisell In Person

1:00 pm – 3:00 pm, The Hollywood Theater, 4122 NE Sandy Blvd
Bill Frisell in attendance for Q+A with local film composer Mark Orton! A character portrait of anti-archetype guitar hero, Bill Frisell, this nuanced film traces the ideas and processes that shaped Frisell’s music and provides rare insight into the mind and personality of one of the significant musicians of recent decades. Full of live music, revealing stories, and intimate access to the normally reclusive Frisell, various collaborations are followed from development to fruition, including the last ever performance of the Paul Motian Trio with Frisell and Joe Lovano. Also featuring Bonnie Raitt, Hal Willner, Paul Simon, Nels Cline, Joey Baron, Jim Hall, Jason Moran, Mike Gibbs, John Zorn, Jack DeJohnette, Ron Carter and John Abercrombie. Buy Tickets

Amina Figarova / Harlem Awakenings

2:00 pm, Classic Pianos, 3003 SE Milwaukie Ave.
Amina Figarova was born in Baku, Azerbaijan, and as a child studied to be a classical concert pianist. In the late 1980s, she entered Rotterdam Conservatory to pursue jazz, coming to the United State in 1989 to complete her formal education at Boston’s Berklee College of Music. Buy Tickets

Randy Porter Plays Cole Porter w/ Special Guests Nancy King & David Friesen Reunion Trio

4:00 pm, Winningstad Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway
Jazz pianist Randy Porter has a refined understanding of improvisation and the spontaneous communication between musicians. As a Steinway Artist, Randy Porter draws from a rich palette of sonorities found within his imagination and the depths of the piano. Buy Tickets

*Vespers – Mike Horsfall Trio

5:00 pm, St. James Lutheran Church, 1315 SW Park
W/ Special Guest Renato Caranto

Please visit www.pdxjazz.com for more information. 

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