PDX Jazz Events

Thursday April 9, 2015

Willie Jones III feat. Buster Williams, Gilbert Castellanos, Eric Reed & Ralph Moore

7:00 pm | Location: Jimmy Mak's | $20 ga / $25 reserved (7pm) | $15 ga / $20 reserved (9:30pm)

Willie Jones III / drums
Gilbert Castellanos / trumpet
Ralph Moore / saxophone
Eric Reed / piano
Buster Williams / bass

Following in the footsteps of Art Blakey, Billy Higgins and Philly Joe Jones, Willie Jones III is one of the world’s leading jazz drummers with his confident expression and inventive appreciation of swing. After receiving a full scholarship to California Institute of Arts and studying with the legendary Albert “Tootie” Heath, Jones has had fruitful career that includes being a semifinalist in the Thelonious Monk Jazz Drum Competition, co-founding Black Note, the Los Angles based jazz group, and playing with Kurt Elling, Arturo Sandoval and Roy Hargrove.  In 2013, he released his fifth album as a leader, The Willie Jones III Sextet Plays the Max Roach Songbook Live at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, which has garnered critical acclaim and solidifies his mainstay as one of the more groundbreaking jazz drummers on the scene.

“Jones is one of the most animated drummers on the New York scene, and the
vehemence his band brings to hopped-up classics…is front and center.”  - Downbeat

Friday April 17, 2015

The NPP All-Star Quartet: Bobby Watson, Donald Brown, Ray Drummond & Marvin “Smitty” Smith w/ opening performance by Devin Phillips & Darrell Grant

7:30 pm | Location: Alberta Abbey | $16 / $20 / $24 / $28

Bobby Watson / saxophone
Donald Brown / piano
Ray Drummond / bass
Marvin “Smitty” Smith / drums

The NPP All-Star QuartetDonald Brown, Ray Drummond, Marvin “Smitty” Smith and Bobby Watson – dates to 1988, when Drummond, Smith and Watson all played on guitarist Peter Leitch’s Portraits & Dedications. A year later, the group began to tour and as anyone would imagine, the music created on a nightly basis was spectacular. With the addition of pianist Brown, they have reunited as seasoned veterans as they reconvene to remember two of their close musical friends – pianists James Williams and Mulgrew Miller.  The group decided that each member should contribute some of their own compositions to each performance as well as including the compositions by Williams and Mulgrew.

“Watson has been producing some of jazz’s most
optimistic compositions…” 
- The New York Times 

Monday May 11, 2015

Jane Bunnett & Maqueque

7:30 pm | Location: Jimmy Mak's | $18 ga / 22 reserved (1 ticketed show w/ sets @ 7:30pm & 9:00pm

Jane Bunnett / saxophone, flute
Daymé Arocena / vocals
Danae Olano / piano
Yusa / bass, tres guitar
Celia Jimenez / bass
Yissy García / drums
Magdelys Savigne / percussion

For more than 30 years, Canadian flutist/saxophonist Jane Bunnett has been bridging the gulf between Cuba and North America by introducing jazz audiences to some of the finest musicians that the island has to offer. Through her longstanding ensemble Spirits of Havana, Bunnett has provided early opportunities to such future greats as Dafnis Prieto, Yosvany Terry, Pedrito Martínez, and David Virelles. Now, with her new sextet Maqueque, she introduces the world to some of Cuba’s most promising female musicians, injecting her own music with an invigorating dose of youthful energy in the process. On their recently released debut, Maqueque blends scintillating Afro-Cuban rhythms, folkloric influences, exhilarating jazz, and soulful vocals into an utterly intoxicating blend.

“Jane Bunnett and Maqueque… utterly shatters the
glass ceiling of Afro Cuban Jazz” - Boston Globe

Wednesday May 13, 2015

Avishai Cohen Trio

7:30 pm | Location: Jimmy Mak's | $18 ga / $22 reserved (1 ticketed show w/ sets @ 7:30pm & 9:00pm)

Avishai Cohen / trumpet
Omer Avital / bass
Nasheet Waits / drums

Voted a Rising Star three consecutive years in the DownBeat Critics Poll has earned trumpeter Avishai Cohen notoriety as a musician with an individual sound and a questing spirit. He is an ever-creative player and composer open to multiple strains of jazz and active internationally as a leader, co-leader and sideman. Triveni, the trumpeter’s current primary touring project, has been praised far and wide for its sonic telepathy. In addition to releasing his seventh recording as a leader, Dark Nights, Cohen also records and tours the world with the SFJAZZ Collective, Mark Turner Quartet, and with the 3 Cohens Sextet, his acclaimed family band.

“Cohen is a multicultural jazz musician, among whose ancestors is Miles Davis.
Like Davis, he can make the trumpet a vehicle for uttering the most
poignant human cries.” – The New York Times