Cathedral Park Jazz Festival

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This is a recurring event and we're showing the details from its most recent past occurrence. We'll update this page with future event info as soon as we get it. Please check back!
July 14–16, 2023
Cathedral Park
Portland, OR

The following description was submitted by the event organizer.

"Billed as the longest-running jazz-and-blues festival west of the Mississippi, this annual summer favorite is a prime showcase of Portland’s homegrown talent, natural beauty and neighborly charm. Picnicking families relax on a grassy slope nestled by the foot of the majestic St. Johns Bridge to enjoy the likes of trumpeter Farnell Newton (sideman to the likes of Jill Scott and Bootsy Collins), organist “King Louis” Pain, Pink Martini guitarist Dan Faehnle and former Motown drummer Mel Brown." – Oregon Arts Watch

The Jazz Society’s Cathedral Park Jazz Festival is a free concert open to the public and held over three days in mid-July at Cathedral Park at the base of the St. Johns Bridge in the Cathedral Park neighborhood of Portland. Nearing four decades of history, the festival is the longest-running jazz and blues festival west of the Mississippi River.

This major musical event in the heart of summer features the region’s best local jazz and blues musicians. It also fosters cooperation and pride in the North Portland neighborhoods of Cathedral Park and St. Johns and recognizes and promotes the community’s local businesses.

Preliminary performance lineup: Friday, July 14, is dedicated to the Blues, starting at 4:30 p.m.. Among the featured artists:

  • Singer, songwriter, and guitarist Mary Flower, considered a world-class finger-style guitarist and lap slide player who combines blues, folk, ragtime, swing and hot jazz. 
  • Terry Robb Trio, with drummer Gary Hobbs, bassist Dave Captein, and virtuoso blues guitarist Terry Robb, a composer, singer, and producer. Robb has released 15 albums, toured with Buddy Guy, Steve Miller, Robin Trower, and John Fahey, and won the Muddy. Captein has performed with Larry Coryell, Mose Allison, Wynton Marsalis and Tom Grant, and Hobbs has played with the Stan Kenton Orchestra, Bud Shank, Anita O’Day, and the Woody Herman Orchestra, to name a few.

Saturday, July 15, and Sunday, July 16, will feature a mix of jazz, soul and Latin performers starting at 1 p.m. Artists include:

  • Chuchito Valdés – Cuban-born pianist, arranger, composer, and bandleader Valdes has performed for large audiences in South America, Europe, and the U.S. He is a master of Cuban music (mambo, danzon, timba/salsa, and guaguanco) with a passion for American jazz and classical music.
  • 3 Leg Torso – Originally a trio, now a quintet with an original, eclectic sound that resists definition, 3 Leg Torso has released six CDs and composed music for films, TV and symphony orchestras. The quintet calls themselves “modern chamber pop music,” It says its music is influenced by tango, Eastern European folk music, other world music, chamber music, and rock and roll. Quintet members: Béla Balogh (violin, trumpet, piano, octave mandolin), Courtney Von Drehle (accordion, tenor sax, slide guitar), T.J. Arkko (percussion), and Bill Athens (double bass).
  • Ural Thomas and the Pain – Thomas topped the soul charts in the 1960s and was brought back to the live music scene by a group of young Portland musicians. A showcase for vintage soul and funk, this group always gets the audience dancing.