Celebrating the Centurions

John Berks “Dizzy” Gillespie, Thelonious Monk and Buddy Rich – jazz iconoclasts in their own right, had imposing personalities to match their innovative muse. We celebrate their collective musical spirit from many vantage points: Gillespie’s protege, Jon Faddis will guest with the world premiere big band assembled by Portland Jazz Master Mel Brown. Gillespie is further remembered through a week-long residency by Portlanders at Al’s Den below the Crystal Hotel.

Thelonious “Sphere” Monk another modern jazz progenitor often joined Gillespie as a Giant of Jazz during their post-bop period. Monk will be remembered through his son, TS Monk’s Sextet paired with John Beasley’s MONK’estra. Beasley is the protean pianist and Musical Director of the Thelonious Monk Institute. 

Bernard “Buddy” Rich personified Brooklyn; tough and cool, mean and sweet, but above all he was indomitable. John Santos and Alex Conde arrive to join Bobby Torres for a Latin sojourn, titled Descarga Monk. Alan Jones will recast those Gretsch drum night battles with classic Rich re-arrangements featuring Carlton Jackson, Mel and Christopher Brown and Jones’ nimble sextet.

Come celebrate a century of innovation while we look back and move forward.

The PDX Jazz Festival

The PDX Jazz Festival is a multi-venue series of jazz events presented each February within Portland, Oregon. Nationally and regionally supported as a cultural tourism initiative in celebration of Black History Month, PDX Jazz Festival is dedicated to preserving America’s indigenous art form by presenting internationally recognized jazz masters alongside local jazz musicians. A series of jazz education and outreach programs that extend into Portland’s schools and neighborhoods is at the heart of the annual event.

Presented by PDX Jazz

In addition to the PDX Jazz Festival, PDX Jazz produces a variety of year-around performances that feature acclaimed national and international jazz musicians, as well as the renowned talent of Portland’s musician community. Our programming brings jazz to many of Portland neighborhoods; to Jimmy Mak’s in The Pearl; to The Old Church in downtown; to the Alberta Abbey in the Northeast’s Alberta Arts district; and to the Aladdin Theater in Southeast. We have also curated shows in Oregon Wine Country, and in communities beyond the region’s boundaries.

Special Thanks

Thank you to co-founder and sponsor Travel Portland and year-round partners Biamp, RACC, Argyle Winery, Jimmy Mak’s, Classic Pianos, and the Alberta Abbey.