PDX Jazz Blog

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 […]
May 16, 2016

PDX Jazz receives $10,000 grant from National Endowment for the Arts

Hello! We have some exciting news to share with you – PDX Jazz recently received a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in support of the annual PDX Jazz Festival. We are very gracious for these funds and it’s support like this to keep live jazz an ongoing thing in Portland. We were recently in the news about this along with several other cultural nonprofit entities in the Pacific Northwest receiving $1.2 million in funds from the NEA. To read the article published in The Oregonian on Friday about who all received these funds (including us), please click here. Enjoy, and thanks!
May 13, 2016
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Six Questions with Jaleel Shaw

Name: Jaleel Shaw Residing Location: Paterson, NJ Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram Past and present about Jaleel Shaw: Saxophonist born and raised in Philly that grew up loving and listening to all music from Charlie Parker, A Tribe Called Quest, John Coltrane, D’Angelo thus started playing saxophone at age 9 and got serious at age 11… by age 13 decided to be a professional musician. Graduated from Berklee on a scholarship with a dual degree in Music Education & Performance. Attend Manhattan School of Music also on a scholarship to gain a Masters in Performance. Since then has performed w/ Roy Haynes, Dave Holland, Roy Hargrove, the Mingus Big Band, Jimmy Cobb, The Count Basie Orchestra, Christian McBride, Tom Harrell. 1. What or who made you fall in love with jazz? I guess in a way, my mother is the reason why I fell in love with music in general. She […]
May 11, 2016

“Sting: The Jazz Remix”: New look at a past master in Oregon Arts Watch

Hey everyone! In anticipation of tomorrow night’s “Sting: The Jazz Remix” concert featuring Darrell Grant, Marilyn Keller and All 4 Naught here at The Alberta Abbey, music writer Angela Allen conducted an interview with Darrell Grant about the show and gave the show a sweet feature article in Oregon Arts Watch. You can read it by clicking here. Tickets are still available for purchase by clicking here. Enjoy, and we hope to see you tomorrow night! “Sting: The Jazz Remix”: New look at a past master “Sting: The Jazz Remix”: New look at a past master
May 11, 2016
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Six Questions with Darrell Grant

    Name: Darrell Grant Website Residing location: Portland, OR Musical past and present in one run-on sentence: performer, composer and PSU professor, has built an international reputation as a stellar pianist and versatile musician whose four previous recordings have topped jazz charts.   1. Besides being musically talented, do you have any hidden talents? According to my son I tell really good stories. 2. What has been your greatest artistic success? Making music that connects with people is a success. Having someone tell me that my ‘Spirit’ album got them through a surgery was gratifying. Having my music be the inspiration for a Reconciliation Concert featuring Bishop Desmond Tutu… But being a parent trumps all of those. 3. What or who made you fall in love with jazz? I loved being able to play what I heard in my head. I also loved that unlike classical piano, I got to primarily perform […]
May 9, 2016
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The Fader: Why Jazz Will Always Be Relevant

Happy Monday everyone! In the most recent issue of The Fader music magazine, writer Greg Tate wrote this excellent article about why jazz is still relevant in 2016 and why the music world needs jazz more than ever. The author neatly ties together all kinds of historical references and frames it in the scope of the modern musical landscape. Read the article for yourself by clicking the link below, and feel free to tell us what you think by leaving a comment. Thanks, and enjoy! http://www.thefader.com/2016/05/05/jazz-will-always-be-relevant?utm_source=f?utm_source=f&utm_medium=tw&utm_campaign=share
May 2, 2016

Jazz is for the whole family

This past weekend PDX Jazz celebrated the International Jazz Day 2016 weekend with not one but two concerts, both of which were joyous occasions in their own right. Saturday afternoon we hosted a free community event featuring the Incredible Journey of Jazz Ensemble that was attended by adults and children alike. Mainly presented to kids in Portland public schools, this was a rare occasion that the IJOJ show was presented to the general public. For those who don’t already know, the Incredible Journey of Jazz is a music education program that tells the story of jazz music from its African roots, its place in modern culture and its evolution between those two pillars by means of narration, live performance and audience participation. The show was a lot of fun and very well received. The next night Portland got very international with a one-off west coast performance by Nik Bärtsch’s all-acoustic […]
April 25, 2016

The White House to Celebrate International Jazz Day This Weekend

As you may know, this coming Saturday April 30 is International Jazz Day, established by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, complete with concerts and sundry celebrations all over the world. A month ago it was announced that 5th Annual International Jazz Day Global Concert will be held at The White House with Michelle and President Barack Obama playing host to dozens of artists the night before, portions of which will make up a one-hour event the night before entitled Jazz at The White House to be broadcast the following night on ABC television at 8PM. Some of the artist participating in The White House event include Joey Alexander, Terence Blanchard, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Chick Corea, Jamie Cullum, Kurt Elling, Aretha Franklin, Buddy Guy, Herbie Hancock, Zakir Hussain, Al Jarreau, Diana Krall, Hugh Masekela, Christian McBride, John McLaughlin, Pat Metheny, Marcus Miller, Dianne Reeves, Lee Ritenour, Wayne Shorter, Esperanza Spalding, Sting, […]
April 14, 2016
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Next Thursday: Free Screening of OPB’s “Jazz Town”

Hello! Just one week from tonight, Oregon Public Broadcasting in conjunction with PDX Jazz will be presenting a free advance screening of the “Jazz Town” documentary at PCC Cascade’s Moriarty Auditorium. The program is a new installment in OPB’s Oregon Experience series that examines the eruption of music and nightlife in North and Northeast Portland in the 1940s and ’50s. A colorful and significant chapter in the city’s cultural narrative, this short-lived period is largely unknown to many Oregonians. As Portland’s African-American population swelled after World War II, newcomers to the city came with a shared passion for rhythm and blues and contemporary, danceable jazz. Their options for entertainment were limited due to segregation. Presented largely through first-hand accounts from local residents, “Jazz Town” showcases the music and the parade of musicians that helped to put Portland on the jazz map. Free and open to the public, the screening event is first come, first […]
April 11, 2016
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This Thursday!: Celebrating Clifford Brown at Alberta Abbey

Hello! Hope everyone’s week is off to a good start. And if you’re already feeling the work week blues, PDX Jazz will give you something joyous to look forward to this Thursday with our first  show of the Spring 2016 season Joy Spring: Celebrating Clifford Brown, a two-set concert featuring some of the Pacific Northwest’s finest musicians interpreting Brownie’s signature tunes including “Daahoud”, “Cherokee” and of “Joy Spring” among many others. Joy Spring will put the spotlight on Seattle-based trumpeter Charlie Porter, a fantastic player who has toured the world as a bandleader and sideman who has performed with  Joe Zawinul, Paquito D’Rivera, Chuck Israels Jazz Orchestra and Alan Jones Sextet among others. Also joining Porter on stage this Thursday will be David Evans (saxophone), Dan Gaynor (piano), Tom Wakeling (bass) and Christopher Brown (drums), all brilliant musicians in their own right. Tickets are still available. We hope that you will join us this […]