Portland Jazz Festival Archive

Portland Jazz Festival Opening Night – Maria Schneider Orchestra – February 2017

Portland Jazz Festival Opening Night – Maria Schneider Orchestra – February 2017

Portland Jazz Festival Opening Night – Maria Schneider Orchestra at Newmark Theater From time to time, Audiophile Audition will offer reviews of concerts or festivals of note.  This review is from the opening evening of the Portland Jazz Festival, earlier this year. Maria Schneider’s first ever west-coast tour allowed Portland Jazz fans a much anticipated opportunity to see her 18-unit band in performance. One envies those who experienced this music for the first time, as it hugely enlarges one’s sense of what is possible in the medium of jazz. It is oft noted that Maria Schneider’s music has its roots in mid-western Americana. Indeed, many of her famous pieces evoke landscape: farm and field, water and animal life. In this regard, she is jazz heir to Barber and Copland.  While her musical vision and sensibility are as distinctive as any of the great Jazz composers, a great part of her appeal is her affirmation of solid things, real experiences, the fragility of the connections and values that sustain life.   Yet her mastery of tonal color and her ability to conjure so much out her band is unique. In spite of hours of listening to her recordings and carefully attention to […]

Portland Jazz Festival Highlights 2013

Portland Jazz Festival Highlights 2013

For its tenth year of jazz in Portland, this year’s U.S. Bank festival, presented by Alaska Airlines, kicked off with a number of sold out shows. An imposing array of internationally-recognized and local musicians played a variety of jazz styles, and the festival’s recognition of Black History Month was seen in a number of community-wide initiatives tied in with the festival.     In addition to the headline performers on the main stages—which included recent Grammy-winner Esperanza Spalding, Barry Harris, Nancy King, Gerald Wilson, Patricia Barber, Steve Kuhn, Kenny Garrett, Jack De Johnette, Terri Lyne Carrington, Geri Allen, the Art Abrams Swing Machine, the Blue Cranes, the Afro-Cuban All-Stars and SexMob— there were simultaneous performances by local musicians at various watering holes around the city.                   One of the highlights was the February 22nd concert at the Newmark Theater: “The Jazz Message: Celebrating Art Blakey. The assembled sextet consisted of Javon Jackson, tenor sax; Bobby Watson, alto sax; Curtis Fuller, trombone; Eddie Henderson, trumpet; George Cables, piano; Buster Williams, bass; and Lewis Nash, drums. There are occasional nights in which the stars align and the jazz gods look down upon us lowly […]

Audio News for October 26, 2012

Artists for Portland Jazz Festival Feb. 15-24 Announced; Bluetooth Low-Energy Profile Creates New Opportunities; HDTT to Offer 384K/24bit Downloads; MartinLogan Launches Noise-Isolating On-Ear Headphones; Belkin Devices Aim for Simple, Affordable Home Remote Control

February 2012 Portland Jazz Festival Reviews

February 2012 Portland Jazz Festival Reviews

Enrico Rava & Tribe – Friday, Feb. 18 – Winningstad Theater Local pianist Tony Pacini opened for Enrico Rava with his trio, including our star drummer Mel Brown. He followed a rough theme of Italian-American jazz since that fit both the Rava concert and his own background. Adding Enrico Rava and his current band, Tribe, to this year’s Portland Jazz Festival was a coup for Managing Director Don Lucoff.  Rava, age 72, a long-established trumpet artist for the ECM label, had never been to Portland before. It was reported that he had not been on the West Coast at all for several decades. (Having Rava perform the night before as part of the first concert of the Spring season of SFJAZZ certainly helped facilitate Rava’s entrée to the Portland scene.) Rava has been known for many years as an introspective trumpeter noted for his moody, film noir-type recordings which bring a comparison to mid-50s Miles Davis, especially with Rava’s use of the mute. However, Rava’s concert on Saturday, Feb. 18, in the intimate confines of the Winningstad Theater, fell into a different bag. Much like Roy Haynes (who performed later in the Festival), Rava seems to have been invigorated by […]