Festival headliner Charlie Hunter, others to perform for the “PDX Afrobeat Breakdown”

PDX Jazz and the 2012 U.S. Bank Portland Jazz Festival, presented by Alaska Airlines, announce Charlie Hunter and the “PDX Afrobeat Breakdown” at the Crystal Ballroom at 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012. The guitar phenom’s Solo Jam opens the night followed by performances from Portland artists Scott Pemberton with a surprise special guest, Ben Darwish’s COMMOTION, and Jujuba. The program will explore and “breakdown” the historical Afrobeat discipline as a pivotal root in the modern funk and jam band experience which combines the improvisational character of jazz with the raunchiness of funk and flavor mixture of African tradition (BBC).

“This marathon program is unprecedented in the festival’s history, whereby three local bands are sharing the stage with a headline artist,” said Don Lucoff, PDX Jazz managing director in a  recent news release. “What better showplace than the Crystal Ballroom to present Hunter and three of Portland’s most funky and groove oriented bands than the storied venue that served as one of the Grateful Dead’s favorite performance spaces outside of The Bay Area.”
  
Charlie Hunter has established himself as one of the premier modern fusion/jazz-rock artists. Hunter will often find a funk groove and turn it into an amplified, wah-wah pedal induced free jam that competes with saxophones, keyboards and even violins. Since the early 1990s, Hunter has released 17 acclaimed albums featuring his dizzying technical and virtuosic 8-string guitar playing. Hunter has collaborated with preeminent names such as Christian McBride, Michael Franti, Norah Jones, Kurt Elling, Mos Def and even took lessons from master guitarist Joe Satriani.
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