Portland Jazz Festival

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

PDX Jazz Festival 2014 – HorizonBobby Watson & Horizon were joined by Portlander Devin Phillips (center) at the 2014 festival.
Photo by Mark Sheldon

The Portland Jazz Festival, from PDX Jazz, celebrates Black History Month with a series of concerts and events presented over two weeks every February. The festival returns Feb. 15-25, 2018 for its 15th iteration. Dedicated to preserving America’s indigenous art form by presenting internationally recognized jazz masters alongside local musicians, the festival always 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

The annual orgy of improvised music brings some of jazz’s greatest living stars, including a touching tribute to Geri Allen, the beloved American jazz pianist and composer who sadly passed away in June 2017. It also offers the chance to see rising young lions from Portland State University’s Jazz and Contemporary Voice program, Monk competition winner Yotam Silberstein and saxaphonist Ian Christensen, plus a parade of Portland’s finest jazz musicians like Pete Krebs, Ezra Weiss and Marilyn Keller.

This year’s festival will focus on the theme “Soulfully Vocal” — specifically, the language of vocalese. Made prominent by living legend Jon Hendricks and the incomparable Eddie Jefferson, vocalese is when a vocalist sings words note for note to a melody created by a soloist’s improvisation. The lineup for 2018 promises “serious fun” while renowned singers utilize their vocal talents to “emulate and improvise,” showcasing this audible art form throughout the festival.

2018 PDX Jazz Festival hotels

The following hotels partnered with PDX Jazz Fest to provide lodging during the festival:

From the Calendar

PDX Jazz Festival

Feb. 15–25, 2018

Multiple, Portland, OR

The PDX Jazz Festival arrives each and every February to recognize Black History Month, and to remind Portlanders and our many out-of-town guests what a…


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