PDX Jazz Blog

February 1, 2017
Cleaners2016

Next Tuesday!: Jazz in the Schools Art Exhibition at The Cleaners at Ace Hotel

Our annual Jazz in the Schools art exhibition will take place this coming Tuesday, February 7 at The Cleaners at Ace Hotel, 403 SW 10th St. in downtown Portland from 10am-8pm. Jazz in the Schools is an education outreach program PDX Jazz presented to 1,500 students in Portland area schools this year. During the program, students learn about jazz music’s major contributions to American history and culture and its connection to visual art — particularly the art found on classic jazz record album covers. Through the program, students listened to jazz while creating their own artistic interpretation of what jazz looks and feels like to them. The most outstanding creations will be exhibited for public viewing at the Cleaners on Tuesday February 7, as well as in the City Target windows from February 13 – March 1. A special exhibition will be shown at the Portland Art Museum in April. […]
January 30, 2017

Listen to “Jazz in the Schools” on OPB Radio!

In case you missed it, OPB’s “State of Wonder” aired a segment covering our “Jazz in the Schools” program this past weekend, and if you didn’t catch it live, click on the link below to check it out at the 24:54 mark. Enjoy, and thank you all for supporting everything we do at PDX Jazz! http://www.opb.org/radio/programs/stateofwonder/segment/chloe-eudaly-portland-winter-lights-festival-tony-furtado-sallie-tilsdale/
January 27, 2017
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PDX Jazz Executive Artistic Director’s Q&A with Maria Schneider

By Don Lucoff, PDX Jazz Executive Artistic Director This year the BIAMP PDX Jazz Festival will feature a number of large ensembles and big bands including Maria Schneider Orchestra, MONK’estra, The Ezra Weiss Monday Night Big Band, and The Mel Brown Big Band featuring Jon Faddis in tribute to Dizzy Gillespie.  Ezra’s band which will feature Portland’s top section players and soloists perform all original compositions. We have billed this performance to honor the rich tradition of Monday Night big bands that enjoyed important longstanding residences in New York over the past 30 years, the most famous being the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra.  I have many personal fond memories, especially hearing on a regular basis Gil Evans’ band at Sweet Basil as well as the Mingus Big Band at Time Cafe.  I caught up with Maria Schneider as she prepares for her debut Portland performance on Friday, February 17. What years […]
January 25, 2017

Jazz in the Schools on OPB Radio This Saturday!

PDX Jazz is pleased to inform you that OPB Radio will be running a segment on our “Jazz in the Schools” education program this coming Saturday during OPB’s “State of Wonder” show. The program airs on Saturday at noon and repeats on Sunday at 10am. We highly encourage you to tune in and check it out! OPB radio can be found at 91.5 on your FM dial. In the meantime, feel free to check out the JitS promotional trailer below.
January 10, 2017

UPDATED 2017 biamp PDX Jazz Festival Mailer

Hello citizens of Jazzlandia! The newly updated 2017 BIAMP PDX Jazz festival guide is here! This guide has all the latest information. We have added new shows, added exciting venues, and updated the schedule. We have provided a downloadable link. Physical copies are sent to your door or can be found across the Portland metro area. Downloadable PDF file HERE The 2017 PDX Jazz Festival begins February 16 – 26. Hope to see you there!
January 6, 2017
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In Review: Mary Sue Tobin & the Rebirth of the Cool Big Band at Fremont Theater

By former PDX Jazz President Tom Smith Good news for jazz in Portland! My fellow board member Joe Maita and I had a great night on Thursday enjoying a killer large ensemble at the Fremont Theater on 24th and NE Fremont, with Mary Sue Tobin and the Rebirth of the Cool Big Band. Songs of Gil Evans, Mingus and Horace Silver, among others. Really cool venue with great acoustics. I plan to attend the Quadraphones show here next Thursday!  We are having several shows at this venue during the Festival in February.  Check out our calendar for details!
January 3, 2017

RIP Jimmy Mak

PDX Jazz sends its heartfelt condolences to the family of Jimmy Makarounis. Your club was our organization’s heartbeat, our staff of life for so many opportunities and experiences. Portland musicians are richer for the opportunities you provided and your brand also transcended the Pacific Northwest as a name jazz lovers knew worldwide. When one goes to New York, its the Village Vanguard, but in PDX, Jimmy Mak’s was de rigueur.  I personally can’t thank you enough for your strength and encouragement of support for the way ahead in 2011.  I always looked forward to our regular meetings in the quiet morning comfortable club confines or a coffee nearby at the Pearl Street Bakery. Whether it was serious sports talk on the Pac 12 and your beloved Beavers or my Bruins or reminiscing on jazz, and the world at-large, you made my life at PDX Jazz all the richer. Don Lucoff, […]
December 28, 2016
lesteryoung

Listening to the History of Jazz: Tenor Sax Part 3 – “Sons of the President”

By Mark Montesano Last month we listened to tenor players that were influenced by Coleman Hawkins, the first major soloist on the tenor. This month we’ll listen to three of the first major players influenced by Lester Young (often referred to as “The President” or “Pres”, pictured above), the second major soloist on tenor. In contrast with Hawkins, Young’s tone was light and airy and his phrasing laid-back and unpredictable.  The use of space was as important as the notes he played.  Listen to his version of “Somebody Loves Me” with Nat “King” Cole, piano and Buddy Rich, drums. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_wBQe2hiaA Young helped bring jazz from swing to bebop, influencing every instrument. You can hear that influence on these three tenors. Wardell Gray (Feb. 13, 1921-1955) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wardell_Gray Born in Oklahoma City and moved to Detroit as a youngster and played in Earl Hines’ big band from 1943-46. Moved to L.A. where he […]
November 30, 2016

Listening to the History of Recorded Jazz: 2nd Generation of the Tenor Saxophone

Listening to the History of Recorded Jazz: The First 50 Years “Second Generation of the Tenor Saxophone” By Mark Montesano Last month we listened to the beginnings of the tenor sax as a solo instrument in jazz. Coleman Hawkins was the first major tenor sax soloist. Later, Lester Young brought a very different approach to the instrument which influenced a whole new generation of musicians.  This month we’ll listen to three of the great, Hawkins-influenced tenors. They had very different careers and unique contributions to the way the tenor is played. I will focus on two tenor sax settings: the warm ballad where the musician expresses deep feeling through tone and phrasing, and the uptempo “cooker” where he shows his technical virtuosity and adept rhythmic flow at a fast pace. Leon “Chu” Berry:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chu_Berry Born September 13, 1908. According to Coleman Hawkins, Berry was the only disciple that he felt that […]
November 30, 2016

Interview with Kamasi Washington on Oregon Arts Watch

Hello! Oregon Arts Watch just published  an interview with saxophonist Kamasi Washington who will be playing at Roseland Theater in Portland tomorrow night and it’s a very good read. You can check it out at the link below. Standing room tickets are still available for the show by clicking here. See you tomorrow night! Kamasi Washington preview: Epic jazz