2016 lineup set for Biamp PDX Jazz Festival

The 13th Annual Biamp PDX Jazz Festival is set to commence Thursday, Feb. 18 through Sunday, Feb.  28 with 30 featured concerts at venues throughout the Portland metro region. Tickets exclusively available to PDX Jazz members beginning October 4, and to the general public November 2.

This year’s 11-day celebration will also boast the second annual Jazz Forward Competition, a high school competition drawing students throughout the western region. In partnership with Portland State University, the JFC was created to establish a scholarship program in the tradition of other prestigious regional events held in Reno, Nevada; Monterey, California and Moscow, Idaho. Finalists will compete in seven categories (two college level solo categories have been added) and the winners will receive main stage exposure.

The thematic centerpiece performances are two For Portland Only concerts featuring special guest Ravi Coltrane in celebration of his father’s 90th birthday and mother’s influence and artistry. Friday, Feb. 26, The Africa Brass Ensemble, under the direction of Portland Jazz Master Charles Gray, will re-imagine the five singular pieces from John Coltrane’s debut impulse! sessions. Anchoring this performance is Philadelphia pianist and McCoy Tyner inspired, Orrin Evans and his esteemed rhythm mates. On Saturday, Feb. 27, Ravi will pay tribute to his revered mother, Alice Coltrane, in a highly anticipated program titled, Universal Consciousness, featuring Reggie Workman (a prominent collaborator with John and Alice Coltrane), pianist Geri Allen (she and Alice are both Detroit natives), harpist Brandee Younger and drummer Andrew Cyrille.

“This will be the first themed Festival since 2011,” said Don Lucoff, states executive artistic director, in a recent news release. “I can’t think of a more fitting figure than John Coltrane, who transcends jazz music and serves as a guiding influence for so many human beings in their daily lives. Through the ensuing generations, Coltrane has served as a cultural touchstone, and it’s an honor to have his son, Ravi Coltrane represent his cherished legacy, and pay loving tribute to his mom, Alice Coltrane.

“We are presenting music for the first time during the Festival at Revolution Hall, Alberta Abbey and Al’s Den. We look forward to nine exciting shows at Jimmy Mak’s, including the anticipated return of Portlander Nicole Glover, our popular PDX Piano Perspectives series including Chano Domínguez, Brandee Younger, David Goldblatt, Aaron Goldberg and the American Pianist’s Association’s 2015 Cole Porter Fellow – Sullivan Fortner. Six shows at the Newmark and three at the Winningstad Theatres, complimented by free Jazz Conversations, music in the Art Bar Atrium of P5, and various hotels and restaurants throughout the downtown corridor.”

Coltrane’s mastery will be reflected through legacy performances in special groupings through tribute projects: Gary Bartz (Coltrane Rules) and Javon Jackson/Jimmy Cobb (We FOUR); Olé Coltrane featuring the Bobby Torres Ensemble with special guest Azar Lawrence, the West Coast debut of Reggie Workman’s RW WORKz, and a week-long residency of nightly Coltrane tributes from top Portland performers.

The BIAMP PDX Jazz Festival was co-founded in 2004 with Travel Portland to establish a cultural tourism initiative in the metro Portland area, and to celebrate Black History Month through education and outreach programming.

jazz music performances United States

2013 U.S. Bank Portland Jazz Festival to celebrate enduring jazz legacy

The 2013 U.S. Bank Portland Jazz Festival, presented by Alaska Airlines, will be Friday, Feb. 15 through Sunday, Feb. 24 at venues throughout Portland, Ore. The 10th anniversary celebration will include a heady mix of world and West Coast premieres and For Portland Only performances with a series of concerts featuring an imposing array of internationally recognized and local musicians playing a wide-range of jazz styles. Education and outreach, as always, amplify the festival’s recognition of Black History Month through a series of community-wide initiatives.

This year’s headliners are NEA Jazz Master Jack DeJohnette in a For Portland Only special quartet configuration featuring Ravi Coltrane, Matt Garrison and George Colligan; The Jazz Message Celebrating Art Blakey in a world premiere featuring Javon Jackson, Bobby Watson, Eddie Henderson, Curtis Fuller, George Cables, Buster Williams and Lewis Nash; The west coast premiere of ACS featuring Geri Allen, Terri Lyne Carrington and Esperanza Spalding; Afro Cuban All-Stars and Alfredo Rodríguez; Steve Kuhn Trio featuring special guest Devin Phillips;Kurt Rosenwinkel Quartet; Kenny Garrett Quartet; Patricia Barber Quartet; Sexmob Plays Fellini; Portland Jazz Master Nancy King with Steve Christofferson and Glen Moore; Barry Harris Trio; Matt Wilson’s Arts & Crafts; Gerald Wilson leading two Portland ensembles; Scott Hamilton Quartet; Art Abrams Swing Machine Big Band In Tribute to Stan Kenton featuring Rebecca Kilgore; The Blue Cranes; and more.

“This year’s vast programming of 17 ticketed shows reflects the eclecticism that is uniquely Portland,” said Don Lucoff, States Managing Director, in a news release. “In our 10th anniversary, we welcome back festival favorites Portland Jazz Master Nancy King, Esperanza Spalding, Patricia Barber, Afro Cuban All Stars, Scott Hamilton, and Rebecca Kilgore. A rare PDX appearance by NEA Jazz Master Jack DeJohnette and The Jazz Message celebration of Steel City icon Art Blakey enhance a robust roster, a drum feast for the ages, as we host the top drummers in jazz throughout the festival: Lewis Nash, Joey Baron, Terri Lyne Carrington, Justin Faulkner and Matt Wilson in the City of Roses.”

Other festival highlights include: Berlin-based Kurt Rosenwinkel playing Portland for the first time,Gerald Wilson’s first PDX appearance since 1949 when he last played lead trumpet in the Count Basie band at McElroy’s Ballroom, the PDX debut by Cuban pianist Alfredo Rodríguez, Art Abrams premiering his 20 strong aggregation in tribute to Stan Kenton, featuring Rebecca Kilgoreand a long overdue PDX appearance by 83-year-old NEA Jazz Master Barry Harris.

Community outreach programming including the Student Stage is set to take place at Portland State University on February 16 and 17, “The Incredible Journey of Jazz” school program, Jazz Conversations and more to be announced soon. For more information, go to, like PDX Jazz on Facebook or follow on Twitter.