Portland Jazz Festival

The annual festival celebrates the rich local jazz scene and attracts international stars.

Charles McPherson and the Randy Porter Trio at the 2012 Portland Jazz FestivalCharles McPherson and the Randy Porter Trio at the 2012 Portland Jazz Festival
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    The Portland Jazz Festival celebrates Black History Month with a series of concerts and events presented over two weeks every February. Dedicated to preserving America’s indigenous art form by presenting internationally recognized jazz masters alongside local musicians, the festival includes education and outreach programs that extend into Portland’s schools and neighborhoods, as well as a generous offering of free performances.

    “We strive to produce a festival that reflects the fabric of a vibrant jazz community … there is no city of a similar size in America that boasts such a wealth of talented artists as Portland.” – Managing Director Don Lucoff

    In its 12th incarnation (Feb. 18 – March 1, 2015) the festival will include a record number of 30 headline concerts, including:

    • Brazilian singer Bebel Gilberto, daughter of legendary Bossa Nova singer/guitarist Joao Gilberto, opening the festival (Feb. 18).
    • ’70s pop star Freda Payne (Band of Gold) making her foray into jazz, performing both jazz and Motown classics at Jimmy Mak’s in “My Town is Motown” (Feb. 19).
    • Harvard University professor and MacArthur Genius Grant recipient pianist Vijay Iyer making his return to the festival (Feb. 20)
    • Trumpeter extraordinaire Nicholas Payton teaming up in a swinging double bill with pianist Billy Childs, who will present his tribute to famed singer/songwriter and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Laura Nyro (Feb. 22).
    • NYC to PDX Project, led by local pianist Darrell Grant, showcasing local musicians that made their way from the Big Apple to find a home in Portland (Feb. 24).
    • Pianist and singer Joe McBride performing with the Mel Brown B-3 Organ Band in “What’d I Say, for Brother Ray,” a soulful tribute to Ray Charles (Feb. 26).
    • Legendary bass player and NEA Jazz Master Ron Carter performing a double bill with virtuosic pianist Benny Green (March 1).
    • Blues giant and great guitarist/singer/organist Lucky Peterson closing the festival (March 1).

    Performances are held at multiple venues, from the Newmark and Winningstad theaters at Portland’5 Centers for the Arts in downtown Portland, to the acclaimed jazz club Jimmy Mak’s in the Pearl and the historic Aladdin Theater, a former vaudeville house.

    The 2015 festival will include a tribute to Frank Sinatra, celebrating the 100th anniversary of his birth. Special performances will include:

    Each year, the festival honors a “Jazz Master” — in 2015, writer Wayne Thompson will serve as the Portland Jazz Master, honoring his many years as a jazz journalist and support of the art form. Thompson will curate a performance of his own with local and national musicians (Feb. 25).

    2015 PDX Jazz Festival hotels

    The following hotels have partnered with PDX Jazz Fest to provide lodging during the festival (Feb. 18 – March 1, 2015):

    Ace Hotel

    Aloft Portland Airport at Cascade Station

    The Benson Hotel

    Hilton Portland & Executive Tower

    Hotel Modera

    The Heathman Hotel

    Mark Spencer Hotel

    Hotel Monaco

    Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront

    River’s Edge Hotel & Spa

    RiverPlace Hotel

    The Westin Portland

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