Pianist George Colligan To Make Portland Debut PDX Jazz Tuesday, December 13 @ The Mission Theater- 8pm

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Pianist George Colligan To Make Portland Debut

PDX Jazz @ The Mission Theater

Tuesday, December 13 @ 8pm

PSU Professor, and recent New York Transplant, to Perform

Originals and the Works of Piano Icon Andrew Hill

PDX Jazz, the presenting organization of the Portland Jazz Festival in partnership with the Mission Theater, along with The Crystal Hotel and our media sponsor KMHD Radio, is set to present the final PDX Jazz @ The Mission Theater show of 2011 with George Colligan on Tuesday, December 13th at 8pm. Colligan, who joined the music faculty at PSU this fall, will be joined by: guitarist Dan Balmer, bassist Eric Gruber, drummer Todd Strait, and special guest pianist Kerry Politzer. For this Portland debut performance, Colligan, an esteemed composer, will play trumpet and melodica on original compositions in addition to performing compositions by the late pianist and former PSU Professor Andrew Hill.

Colligan earned a reputation as an elite session performer and sideman in the New York area during the late 1990s appearing on upwards of 100 CDs. Most recently Colligan has toured and performed with artists such as Cassandra Wilson, Miguel Zenón, Don Byron, Gary Bartz, Jack DeJohnette, Michael Brecker, Ravi Coltrane, and many others. He is a Chamber Music America/Doris Duke Foundation grant recipient who just released his 22nd recording, Living For The City. Colligan was a faculty member at the Julliard School for two years and an assistant professor at the University of Manitoba for two years before moving to Portland. Colligan enthused, “I am very excited to join the PSU Jazz Department Faculty. So far, everything has been great. I love the University, the community, and Portland as a city could not be more perfect.”

Concerning Andrew Hill, Colligan remarked, “he was an important and unique figure as a composer and pianist. More young jazz musicians should be aware of him. I hope that this concert will spark some renewed interest in his music.” Hill became one of the most prominent jazz pianists of the 1960s playing with central figures of the era like: Roland Kirk, Elvin Jones, Freddie Hubbard, Tony Williams, Eric Dolphy, Joe Henderson, and Bobby Hutcherson among countless others. Hill recorded many classic albums for the Blue Note label and was the only artist to record for the storied imprint on three separate occasions. In the 70s Hill moved to Portland where he taught as an associate professor at PSU and established a summer jazz-intensive program.

Colligan plays in a style that is down-to-earth, technically gifted and impressively improvisational. Some of his influences include Miles Davis, Chick Corea, McCoy Tyner, Wayne Shorter, Thelonious Monk, and Herbie Hancock.


“As a creative artist, he’s really up there…. In terms of technique, knowledge of music and improvisational creativity, there aren’t a whole lot of cats from his generation that are any better than him. As a matter of fact, I can’t think of any.”
- Don Braden, JazzTimes

 December 13 starting at 8pm

Pianist George Colligan @ The Mission Theater


  • George Colligan – piano
  • Kerry Politzer – guest piano
  • Dan Balmer – guitar
  • Eric Gruber -bass
  •  Todd Strait – drums


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