Andrew Oliver is a pianist, composer, and occasional trumpeter from Portland, Oregon. He started piano at the age of 3, and grew up playing classical piano and cello, before delving into the realm of improvised music while in high school. He lived in New Orleans from 2002 until 2005, where he studied jazz at Loyola University. After evacuating from Hurricane Katrina in the summer of 2005, he returned to Portland and resumed his studies at Portland State University.
His original group, the Andrew Oliver Sextet released 2 albums to critical acclaim in the Northwest (“Otis Stomp” on Diatic Records and “82% Chance of Rain” on OA2) before disbanding in 2010. After traveling to Africa in 2007 as part of the U.S. State Department’s “Rhythm Road: American Music Abroad” program, Andrew founded The Kora Band, a Seattle-based group blending West African traditions and jazz, featuring Kane Mathis on the kora, a 21-string traditional harp from West Africa. The group’s second album “Cascades (OA2 Records) won “2010 NW Jazz Album of the Year” from Earshot Jazz and peaked at #12 on the U.S. World Music Radio Charts. The Kora Band continues to tour the West Coast and is preparing another recording project for the fall of 2012.
Andrew received a scholarship to study at the renowned Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music in 2009. In addition to studies with luminaries such as Dave Douglas, Tony Malaby, and Joshua Redman, Andrew and 5 other musicians from the U.S. and Canada met there and co-founded the group Tunnel Six, which has since toured Canada and the U.S. three times including appearances at Eastern Canadian festivals in 2011. With support from the Canada Council for the Arts and Portland Regional Arts and Culture Council, they released their debut album “Lake Superior” in 2011 on OA2 Records. The title track, a composition of Andrew’s, was awarded a 2010 ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award.
The Oregon Arts Commission awarded Andrew a 2011 Fellowship and a Career Opportunity Grant allowing him to travel to New York for studies with the well-known composer John Hollenbeck in the spring of 2011. The influence of this fortunate opportunity was partially felt in the new score he wrote for the 1966 Japanese film “Gamera vs. Barugon” which was commissioned by Portland’s FILMUSIK, an organization pairing new music with old films. That score was performed by his trio The Ocular Concern, which has been performing in the Portland area for the past 2 years.
Andrew also is the co-executive director and founder of the Portland Jazz Composers’ Ensemble, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in Oregon which commissions and performs new works by local jazz composers for 14-piece ensemble and works to encourage the creation and dissemination of jazz and creative music in the region.
In addition, Andrew can be found performing with New Orleans native Devin Phillips, with the raucous old-time/swing band The Bridgetown Sextet, on trumpet with the Krebsic Orkestar, a Balkan style brass band, and composing and performing with the Alex Krebs Tango Quartet, which creates new music for the thriving tango dancing scene in Portland.
PDX Jazz Series
PDX Jazz @ The Mission Theater: Andrew Oliver’s Composers’ Ensemble Performing Newly Composed Original Compositions and Selected Works of Dave Douglas
7:30 pm | Location: Mission Theater & Pub | $15 day of show