Dedicated to top-tier jazz in a city we love.
PDX Jazz is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. It is the only non-for-profit jazz presenter in Portland, Oregon. PDX Jazz is Portland’s Jazz Organization, presenting both internationally acclaimed and local Portland jazz artists in concert, additionally through jazz education and outreach programs there is an ongoing effort to develop new audiences for jazz . PDX Jazz produces the annual US Bank Portland Jazz Festival presented by Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air each February.
Since its inception in 2003, and with its first event presenting jazz master Wayne Shorter in February 2004, PDX Jazz has presented major jazz attractions, including Sonny Rollins, Pat Metheny & Brad Mehldau, Esperanza Spalding, and Israeli bassist Avishai Cohen, outside of the February festival.
Since 2006 PDX Jazz has presented over 300 performances featuring northwest jazz artists with an even greater emphasis placed upon ensuring that local Portland musicians had a strong voice that would be heard within the city’s cultural landscape with such ongoing series as PDX Jazz @ RiverPlace (RiverPlace Hotel); PDX Jazz @ The Art Bar (Portland Center for the Performing Arts); PDX Jazz @ River Fest (S Waterfront); and the new and highly popular PDX Jazz @ Tony Starlight’s (NE Portland).
In 2005, PDX Jazz forming a working partnership with its sponsors and the City of Portland in forming NOLA2PDX, a thorough effort to provide transportation, housing, financial support, and most importantly jobs for displaced New Orleans musicians after Hurricane Katrina. In December 2005, over 55 New Orleans musicians and family members came and settled in Portland, and eventually became a major part of Portland’s music scene. By January, a NOLA2PDX jazz venue was established at the old Billy Reed’s in N Portland, exclusively presenting Portland artists from New Orleans. While many of these individuals have moved on and/or returned to New Orleans, 9 of these musicians have remained in Portland and have become a vital influence on local culture, including Devin Phillips, Andrew Oliver, Tom Sandahl, Jesse Young, and others.
More recently, PDX Jazz formed the Portland Jazz Orchestra under the direction of PSU Music Professor Charley Gray and trombonist Lars Campbell in order to further jazz arrangements for a large ensemble. The Portland Jazz Orchestra is comprised not only of Portland’s finest jazz musicians, but each member is a full time music educator, and the orchestra offers workshops and master classes for student musicians throughout the area. Since 2007, Portland Jazz Orchestra has offered a season of diverse work with such special guests as Arturo O’Farrill and Kenny Werner, and now offers a full subscription series.