PDX Jazz Blog

August 16, 2016

Author Bob Nietsche to Conduct Jazz Conversation with Stanley Cowell

We’re a month away from iconic veteran jazz pianist Stanley Cowell‘s debut concert in Portland, and we’ve got a special addition to the show that you won’t want to miss. Robert Dietsche, author of the 2005 book Jumptown: The Golden Years of Portland Jazz 1942-1957, will be conducting a rare Jazz Conversation with Cowell regarding his hometown of Toledo, the influence of Art Tatum on his piano playing, the groundbreaking Strata-East Records sound he helped pioneer, and more prior to the beginning of Cowell’s second set at The Old Church on September 16. Dietsche has taught courses in jazz history at Oregon colleges and universities and was the longtime host of “Jazzville” on Oregon Public Broadcasting radio. His writings about jazz have appeared in numerous publications, including Jazz Journal, The Oregonian, Willamette Week, Pittsburgh Press, and The Toledo Blade. If you haven’t gotten your tickets for this fantastic event yet, you can do so […]
August 15, 2016
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The Westerlies debut “Saro”

Earlier today, NPR Music posted up the first single from The Westerlies’ eponymously-titled new album that will be out on October 7 on Songlines Recordings. The song, “Saro”, is based off a 17th century British ballad known as “Pretty Saro”, and the song has previously been recorded by Bob Dylan, Judy Collins and Pete Seeger. The Westerlies’ version is a rare rendition that has no vocals, yet their take on the song’s melodies are quite lyrical, warm and gorgeous.  Check out the song by clicking the link below, and don’t forget to come see The Westerlies when they perform with Dave Douglas at The Old Church in Portland on Friday, October 28! http://www.npr.org/sections/deceptivecadence/2016/08/15/488665481/songs-we-love-the-westerlies-saro
August 4, 2016
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Listening to the History of Recorded Jazz: 12 Tragic Trumpet Heroes

Listening to the History of Recorded Jazz (1917-1967): Blog #2: 12 Tragic Trumpet Heroes By Mark Montesano Every culture has its stories about tragic heroes who are gifted and use that gift to achieve something extraordinary. In the process, they bring back something new to the human community, but they also suffer and often die in the process. Many jazz musicians who have been extraordinarily gifted and create a new approach to playing also have died young. An unusual number of these players have been trumpeters. Part of appreciating jazz and its history is celebrating the heroic lives of the many prodigies who breathed new life into the music and died young. Give a listen to these trumpeters and get to know these remarkable men   Buddy Bolden: One of the first influential New Orleans trumpeters. Committed to a mental institution at 30 as a result of acute alcoholism. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddy_Bolden. No […]
August 3, 2016
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JazzCorner “InnerView” with Chico Freeman

JazzCorner.com producer Reese Erlich recently conducted a 30 minute “InnerView” with tenor sax innovator and legend Chico Freeman about his decision to move to Europe more than 10 years ago, his explorations of the musical traditions of Eastern Europe and Africa, his experiences living abroad, his new record Spoken Into Existence on Jive Music, and his triumphant return to the US earlier this year. This interview is a fascinating listen, and it really gives some insight into what makes Freeman tick musically and personally. Likewise, it also serves as an ample precursor to his first west coast performances in over a decade next week, including his two shows for PDX Jazz next Friday, August 12, at Jimmy Mak’s in Portland. Click on the link below to listen now. Enjoy! http://www.jazzcorner.com/innerviews/
August 1, 2016
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PDX Jazz: Neighborhood Spotlight Article on Portland Patch

Hey everyone! PDX Jazz was recently featured on a Neighborhood Spotlight article on Portland Patch. This Q&A interview is with PDX Jazz’s resident Box Office & Membership Manager Gary Spencer, and is a short and light read. Click on the link below to check it out. http://patch.com/oregon/portland/neighborhood-nonprofit-spotlight-gary-spencer-pdx-jazz-festival
July 12, 2016
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Listening to the History of Recorded Jazz, 1917-1967: Blog #1

We’re excited to announce the arrival of a new monthly blog series that will be featured here on the PDX Jazz website, and we hope you will find informative and fun to read. This series is created and written by Mark Montesano, a friend of the PDX Jazz organization. About the author: Mark Montesano is a retired professor at Arizona State University. While at ASU, he developed a one-credit honors course called “Listening to the History of Jazz: The First 50 Years of Recorded Jazz (1917-1967)”. He began listening to jazz in the early 1960’s starting with his father’s Ahmad Jamal, Oscar Peterson, and Stan Getz albums. A few years later, he was gifted a copy of Miles Davis Live at the Blackhawk and a stack of Downbeat magazines and he was hooked on exploring both the exciting innovations of that time and jazz’s great traditions. While his high school friends were […]
June 30, 2016
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PDX Jazz Fall Concert Lineup Announced Next Week!

Hello Citizens of Jazzlandia, Many of you have probably already heard that PDX Jazz will be welcoming legendary jazz pianist McCoy Tyner back to Portland for the first time in a decade on October 18. Well, that’s not the only treat we have in store for you this autumn as we will be announcing our full Fall 2016 concert season lineup next week on Wednesday, July 6. We will be having 12 concerts from September through December, many of which feature internationally renowned jazz artists who will making their Portland debuts. Keep an eye out for more information here on the website or through next Wednesday’s email newsletter. If you’ve yet to sign up for our newsletter that provides information on our concerts, education and outreach initiatives as well as events going on in the community, you can do that by clicking here and scrolling to the bottom of the […]
June 22, 2016
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Branford Marsalis & Kurt Elling: Members Only Presale NOW!

Hey everybody! In case you haven’t heard, our special Members Only presale for our first concert of the 2017 PDX Jazz Festival featuring Branford Marsalis Quartet & Kurt Elling together on the same stage at the same time is happening RIGHT NOW through Tuesday, June 28. If you’re already a Member, you can grab tickets here. If you’re not already a Member, you can become one by clicking here. Don’t miss out on your chance to get Best Seats First before the show goes on sale to the general public and avoid having to pay service fees, plus your Membership gets you no service fees on any tickets purchased for a year, discounted tickets to select events, special reserved seating for Members for select events and more depending on Membership level. Thank you very much for your interest and enthusiasm for what we do at PDX Jazz!
June 20, 2016

Jimmy Mak’s Jazz Club Finds a New Home

Hello! Some of you may be aware of the rumors that legendary jazz club Jimmy Mak’s (with whom PDX Jazz presents many of our concerts) is being forced out of its longtime home at 221 NW 10th Avenue in Portland later this year. Well, fear not, as the club has found a new home right across the street at 228 NW 10th Avenue and will open the doors at its new location in October or November. For more information on this news, click here to read the full article.  
May 25, 2016
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Universal Consciousness: The Spiritual Awakening of Alice Coltrane

It was just about three months ago that PDX Jazz presented a once-in-a-lifetime concert entitled Universal Consciousness: A Tribute to Alice Coltrane that featured an assemblage of jazz heavyweights including Ravi Coltrane, Pharaoh Sanders, Brandee Younger, Geri Allen, Reggie Workman and Andrew Cyrille performing Alice’s music to a sold out crowd at the Newmark Theatre who roared their approval of said performance with multiple standing ovations. Coincidentally, earlier this month Red Bull Music Academy published an article titled “Universal Consciousness: The Spiritual Awakening of Alice Coltrane” that details Alice’s musical beginnings as a child, her early days playing in the jazz scene, her kinship with husband John Coltrane, her spiritual journeys (literally, figuratively and musically), her daring use of the harp as a jazz instrument, the impact of her music during its time and the ongoing effect felt by contemporary musicians today. It’s extremely well written and researched, and even […]