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The 2019 BIAMP PDX Jazz Festival – set for Wednesday, February 20 through Sunday, March 3 – includes a wide array of artists headlining the 16th annual event, which celebrates Black History Month. The Festival, which traditionally opens on a Thursday, will kick off a day early this year with an exciting performance by New Orleans trumpeter Christian Scott.

In honor of Blue Note Records 80th Anniversary, trumpeter Terence Blanchard returns with his E-Collective band, Farnell Newton will pay tribute to Donald Byrd, Eli Degibri pays tribute to Hank Mobley, and the annual Al’s Den residency will boast a week of Blue Note Records inspired performances by resident artists.

Darrell Grant will be honored as this year’s Portland Jazz Master, recasting the 25th anniversary of Black Art which will serve as the catalyst for his recorded career retrospective. Among the headline pianists and keyboardists set to appear are Patrice Rushen, Harold Mabern (special guest with Eric Alexander), Aaron Diehl, Matthew Whitaker, Orrin Evans’ debut with The Bad Plus, Jean-Michel Pilc, Francois Bourassa, Delvon Lamarr, Cameron Graves, Jovino Santos Neto, and Benny Green with Veronica Swift are also set to appear.

The “Double Legacy” show is a Portland exclusive featuring the Art Blakey Centennial Band led by Ralph Peterson Jr., and the Spirits Up Above Ensemble led by Steve Turre in memory of Rahsaan Roland Kirk. Freddy Cole will lovingly remember brother Nat @ 100!, and the legacy of the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra will be showcased for the first time in Portland.

The second weekend features performances in tribute to Michael Brecker and Grover Washington Jr., culminating with the festival debut by bass extraordinaire and GRAMMY® Award-winner Stanley Clarke, who last played in Portland in 2004.

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 The Mission Theater in the Northwest; to The Old Church in downtown; to the Alberta Abbey in the Northeast’s Alberta Arts district; and to the Aladdin Theater and Revolution Hall in the Southeast. We have also curated shows in Oregon Wine Country, and in communities beyond the region’s boundaries.

Education Programs

Jazz is an essential American art form. A priority of PDX Jazz’s mission is to provide educational outreach opportunities to Portland area students that will communicate the music’s essence and cultural significance while contributing to the growth of a new audience.

The PDX Jazz education initiative addresses three major concerns within our community:  1) the decreased funding for arts education in our public schools, 2) the importance of educating students and adults alike about the influential artistic contributions African-Americans made to American civilization during the 20th Century, and 3) contributing to the success of a vibrant arts scene. We focus resources towards high-need and at-risk urban and rural populations, particularly Title-One schools.  Emphasis is not placed entirely on the student as a performer, but rather the appreciation of jazz music from a historical, sociological and cultural perspective.