PDX Jazz Blog

March 21, 2017

Happy Women (In Jazz) History Month

From us to everyone in Jazzlandia, we hope that you are honoring and celebrating Women’s History Month! Thank you to all the women out there who have made a difference in jazz, and the entire world we live in. Sincerely, Marcia Hocker, Cynthia Plank, Diana Dearin, Deborah DeMoss Smith & Megan Morris (not pictured) The PDX Jazz Board
March 14, 2017

Incredible Journey Of Jazz Continues To Succeed In 2017

IJOJ was presented at four schools this year during the second week of February. Schools included: Woodlawn Elementary, Ivy Montessouri, Duniway Elementary, and Lincoln Highschool. The Incredible Journey of Jazz is a free, 60 – minute history of jazz program designed for students.  IJOJ offers students a musical introduction to one of America’s most treasured contribution to world culture. During the program students learn about the roots of jazz, its development in the United States, and its relevance to today’s musical culture. “IJOJ continues to be a most rewarding expierence as I witness the positive impact it has on students and faculty!” – PDX Jazz Board member & Education Chair,  Marcia Hocker  Below are some photos of the students –    IJOJ played to a full gymnasium at Woodlawn Elementary. ” I didn’t think I liked jazz before, but I do now!”, exclaimed one student.    IJOJ was met with […]
March 9, 2017

Notations from Jimmy Heath…Part II

Here’s Part II of the interview with saxophonist Jimmy Heath by Board member and KMHD Jazz radio Notations columnist Deborah DeMoss Smith. Heath performed to applause and roaring response at his performance during the 2017 PDX Jazz Festival. “Jimmy Heath is the crème de la crème of jazz. He’s written more than 125 compositions and has been on 100-plus albums. At the age of 90, the jazz legend and beloved saxophonist and big band leader continues, indeed, to keep the music alive…” READ MORE
March 3, 2017

Listening to the History of Jazz Blog: “What is Hard Bop?”

By KMHD Jazz Radio host Mark Montesano My radio show on KMHD is dedicated to a kind of jazz that started around the mid-1950’s through the 60’s called “hard bop”. Though categories can be limiting in appreciating music they are also helpful in understanding the history of music. This blog contains some classic recordings that defined that style we call “hard bop”. Bebop was developed around the end of World War II. Reflecting the times, it was high energy and complex. In contrast to swing it appealed to a much smaller audience. Here’s an example of some great bebop from some of its originators. Notice the speed, complexity and how it compares to simpler popular songs. Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Max Roach, “Koko:” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4rMiD8UUcd0 Hard bop was a reaction to bebop. It was designed to appeal to the broader audience that bebop lost. With the decline of swing, big bands, musicians […]
March 1, 2017

PDX Jazz Makes Top 50 Jazz Blogs on the Web!

Hello Citizens of Jazzlandia! I am pleased to announce that Feedspot has recently named the PDX Jazz Blog as #13 of the Top 50 Jazz Blogs on the web! It’s an honor to be held in such high esteem with these other fine jazz blogs. To see the full list, click here.
February 21, 2017

Vortex Magazine Interview with John Scofield

Vortex Magazine online recently posted an insightful interview with jazz guitar icon John Scofield about his Grammy® Award-winning new project Country for Old Men that will make its Portland debut this Friday at Revolution Hall during the PDX Jazz Festival. Tickets are still available! Walking the Lost Highway: A Conversation with John Scofield The Grammy-winning composer and guitarist talks ‘Country For Old Men,’ simple playing, and Paul Desmond ahead of his appearance at the PDX Jazz Festival on February 24 at Revolution Hall. By Nathan Rizzo John Scofield is nothing less than a giant of jazz guitar. Arguably the most visible—and prolific—pillar of a pantheon buttressed by the likes of Pat Metheny, Mike Stern and Bill Frisell, Scofield’s oblique, lyrical phrasing and ceaseless experimentation have guided him to the pinnacle of achievement within the genre: stints with kingmakers Gary Burton and Miles Davis, a trio of Grammy awards, and a […]
February 10, 2017

KMHD interview with Jimmy Heath

KMHD Jazz Radio recently posted an interview with NEA Jazz Master Jimmy Heath by OPB contributor and PDX Jazz Board Member Deborah DeMoss Smith in anticipation of his performance with his brother Albert “Tootie” Heath at the Biamp PDX Jazz Festival on Saturday, February 18 with Javon Jackson’s Sax Appeal! Great seats are still available and you can get yours by clicking here. “Jimmy Heath is the crème de la crème of jazz. He’s written more than 125 compositions and has been on 100-plus albums. At the age of 90, the jazz legend and beloved saxophonist and big band leader continues, indeed, to keep the music alive. He’ll perform at the PDX Jazz Festival February 18 at the Newmark Theatre. Part I of II If you could travel back in time, what era would you go to? Before me, it was the swing era and that held over into the bebop generation. Bebop […]
February 7, 2017

Our Artistic Director Interviews Portland Jazz Master Mel Brown

In anticipation of the world premiere of the 2017 Portland Jazz Master Mel Brown’s Big Band w/ Jon Faddis & the Jimmy Mak All Stars in just two weeks on Wednesday, February 22, PDX Jazz Executive Artistic Director Don Lucoff had a Q&A with Brown about this special show, the passing of our dear friend Jimmy Makarounis, and more. Feel free to read on… What is your recollection of Washington High School and the auditorium where you performed as a high school student? Did you ever think that what was then would now be Revolution Hall? I never thought Washington High School would ever close, let alone become a performance center. PDX Jazz is honored to have you as our Portland Jazz Master and we were pleasantly surprised that having a special big band performance will be your first time ever assembling one. We’re you surprised by the request? Any […]
February 7, 2017

ResortsAndLodges.com Q&A with Executive Artistic Director Don Lucoff

Thomas Schultz of ResortsAndLodges.com recently conducted an interview with our Executive Artistic Director Don Lucoff about the upcoming Biamp PDX Jazz Festival that should add some behind the scenes insight into what makes our annual celebration of jazz unique and of potential interest to those who live outside the Portland city limits. ResortsAndLodges.com is an online travel directory that specializes in highlighting unique properties around the world, reaching nearly 10 million travelers every year. Last year we reached over 633,000 travelers in Oregon alone. You can read the Q&A by clicking the link below. http://www.resortsandlodges.com/travelblog/b/pdx-jazz-festival/
February 1, 2017

Biamp PDX Jazz Festival Title Sponsor CEO Talks Jazz!

PDX Jazz benefits from the generous support of Biamp, who not only serves as our title sponsor for the annual PDX Jazz Festival, but also as a year round sponsor supporting not just our concerts but our education and outreach initiatives as well. For 40 years, Biamp has been making the best audio hardware and software for the professional AV market. If you’re waiting for a flight in Hyderabad, attending a convention in New York, or shopping in a mall in Beijing, Biamp technology is there. In spaces large and small, from everyday conference rooms to complex enterprise applications for universities and beyond, they manufacture products designed to optimize your audio landscape. Recently, Biamp CEO Matt Czyzewski wrote a nice, heartfelt blog about his personal affinity for jazz and his company’s commitment to supporting what we do. You can read it at the link below. http://blog.biamp.com/the-musical-side-of-pro-av/