“To say that the newest release from Coco Columbia is one hell of a wild ride would be an understatement."
-Eleven PDX Magazine (2016)
"Coco Columbia's sophomore album, When the Birds Begin to Walk, reveals itself as an astonishing 10-track gallery piece."
-Willamette Week (2016)
Music school dropout Coco Columbia burst onto the Portland music scene in 2014 with her debut, Kickstarter-funded album “The Weight.” Columbia set aside her passion for jazz drumming to teach herself how to write songs, record, make beats, and play piano. Having never performed live, she put together a group of young Portland jazz musicians to learn her material.
Columbia released her sophomore record, “When the Birds Begin to Walk” last August to critical acclaim in the Portland music scene. Her music fuses infectious indie-pop melodies, off-kilter rhythmic feels, dreamy-eyed electro-soul soundscapes, and jazzy harmony to create her own brand of bumpin' future-pop.
KILLIAM SHAKESPEARE - Philly x Portland Connection Tour
Killiam Shakespeare is a critically acclaimed music collective based in Philadelphia. Led by Steve McKie and Corey Bernhard - both seasoned musicians and producers whose status as artists are matched only by the caliber of performers they've collaborated with, including Bilal, DJ Jazzy Jeff, and John Legend. Versatility is synonymous with Killiam Shakespeare, who seamlessly blend jazz, funk, hip-hop, R&B and soul. The band prides themselves on their creative process and collaborations, which in turn translates into their progressive genre blending sound, as also noted "...breeds an eclectic palette that comes more from musical experience and community than outside sources." - Huffington Post
"If this band appeared in New York City, they'd be a sensation!" That was guitar great--and one-time Mel Brown bandmate--George Benson's reaction after hearing the Mel Brown B-3 Organ Group open for him in 2003. This true all-star band has been a sensation for a long time—including a 20-year run on Thursdays at Portland’s Jimmy Mak’s (The Oregonian dubbed them “Jimmy Mak’s signature group”). A collective resume that reads like a "Who's Who" of NW jazz, blues, and soul, this group has the talent and confidence to be completely spontaneous--from their blistering solos to their improvised arrangements and segues.
MEL BROWN -- An Oregon icon, has been labeled the "Gentleman of Jazz," with a career spanning a half century. The city of Portland proclaimed June 22, 1989 "Mel Brown Day" in recognition of Mel's achievements as a musician and educator, receiving the Governor's Arts Award in 2002. Mel first made his mark as a Motown staff drummer, recording and touring with the Temptations, Smokey Robinson, and many others. He subsequently spent ten years working with Diana Ross and other pop acts before giving up the road in 1991 and returning home to his first love: jazz. Mel has been a fixture in Portland ever since, leading groups six nights a week at Jimmy Mak's and other venues when he isn't backing jazz artists like Joey DeFrancesco and Benny Golson.
DAN BALMER -- Widely considered the defining sound of contemporary jazz guitar in the Northwest. Described by the Los Angeles Times as "the model of what a contemporary guitarist should be," Dan is one of the most original and creative artists to come from the fertile Northwest music scene. Dan has played and recorded with a long list of jazz greats, has released six CDs of his own, is a jazz educator and a noted composer. Dan leads his own groups and performs with jazz artists including Diane Schuur, Benny Green, and Jeff Hamilton.
RENATO CARANTO -- described as "one of Portland's most soulful jazz saxophonists" by The Oregonian," Renato is one of the most versatile, accomplished, soulful saxophonists anywhere. Arriving from the Philippines in '81 with only his horn, Renato has built an enviable career in Portland. After gaining a foothold in the local scene, Renato became one of the most sought-after jazzmen in the NW and beyond. In recent years, he’s toured with Grammy-winning jazz artist Esperanza Spalding and late country legend Merle Haggard. Talk about versatility!
LOUIS "KING LOUIE" PAIN -- "Portland's boss of the B-3" (The Oregonian) hails from San Francisco, where he played and recorded with a wide variety of top musicians: Tower of Power guitarist Bruce Conte, Santana saxophonist Jules Broussard, Edwin Hawkins vocalist Dorothy Morrison, and B.B. King saxophonist Bobby Forte. After moving north in '86, Louis continued the trend. His 2016 cd with vocalist LaRhonda Steele, “Rock Me Baby,” was honored by Downbeat as one of the “Best Albums of 2016.” Louis’ knack for playing exactly what's needed to further the song has made him Portland's "first call" organist.
Sidewalk Chalk will release their fourth full-length album on June 2nd on Ropeadope Records. An Orchid Is Born is produced by Grammy Award-winner Robert "Sput" Searight. This is the album that Sidewalk Chalk has truly always been trying to make -- a speeding bullet ripe with heat and rhythm that speaks to mankind's need to cheer in the darkest of moments and to choose love over inhumanity in all things. In the band's rebirth is an emphatic statement of purpose. This vibrant collection of transformative moments is a benchmark release for Sidewalk Chalk that marks the arrival of a powerhouse and proves that the Chicago sound machine is a phoenix rising.
Split into three movements - The Hope, The Loss, and The Birth - An Orchid Is Born shows the band's remarkable capacity for growth. They see that we cannot be reborn until we lose what we have, first treading in the well of despair that is a loss preceded by hope. In these three movements, Sidewalk Chalk has realized the best version of their band and, in the process, created their most important body of work.
The hard fought project encapsulates the latest chapter of the band's growth as a unit -- a period somehow beautified by a series of deep wounds that might have derailed a less focused collective. Little more than a year removed from the debut of their live album Shoulder Season, a seismic shift rocked the foundations of Sidewalk Chalk, refined their aesthetic and inspired a body of work that is as cathartic as it is the catapult necessary to push the rarefied groove at the foundation of their sound past its Chicago stomping grounds, to points across the globe
Soul Cypher Showdown, Hosted by Soundstage 1
107.5 the Breakout Show, w/ MC Rich Hunter
Featuring top local amateur guests w/ Dj Wicked
Rich Hunter the artist formerly and know as Risky Star is known for his cool laid back flow and summertime vibes mixed with meaningful soulful hooks. Previous albums include "Mind of a musician" and "Cool Breeze Vol. 1" available on iTunes. His latest album "Third Eye Inspiration" will no doubt have the cool laid back flow but only a few times on the album as he is concentrating on what he loves most as a singer songwriter. Encompassing the struggles of our human experience and bringing to light philosophies in which to navigate through them, he has created a soulful masterpiece that touches on love, loss, and empowerment in a time when we need it most.
FARNELL and Friends
Trumpeter Farnell Newton is one of the most versatile musicians in the Pacific Northwest, playing straight ahead jazz, smooth jazz, Latin music, soul, hip-hop, funk and more. Newton’s latest album, Back To Earth (Posi-Tone 2017), displays his love of jazz and features his all acoustic band of Portland based all-stars. Newton shows the jazz scene his love of the music with eight originals, a couple tunes by influential composers and one song by drummer Christopher Brown.
Newton was born in Miami, Florida, and moved to Philadelphia in 1992, where he at-
tended the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts. While in Phil-
adelphia, Newton also studied with his uncle, saxophonist/arranger Conny Murray andfrom his uncle Sunny Murray, who was one of the early avant garde's most inventive and influential drummers.
Newton graduated from the Denver School of the Arts after moving to Denver in 1994 and then moved to Ohio to study at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. At Oberlin, Newton studied music performance with an emphasis in jazz with Wendell Logan and trumpeter Kenny Davis. Newton performed with Aretha Franklin, James Moody, Muhal Richard Abrams, and Hugh Ragin while at Oberlin.
After graduating from Oberlin, Newton moved to Portland, Oregon, where he performed regularly with Billy Hart, Pete Krebs, Willy Vlautin, and Ricardo Lemvo. He got a master'sdegree in Jazz studies and Performance from Portland State University. When he is not teaching at PSU’s Jazz Department, leading his funk band The Othership Connection, or hosting his own jazz radio show at KMHD, he is touring, recording, and sharing the stage with Skerik, Lettuce, Slightly Stoopid, Karl Denson, Galactic, Nigel Hall, Mike Phillips, the DooDooFunk All-Stars, BET/CENTRIC Soul Train Award All-Star Band, & many more. Newton also hosts the popular Jam Of The Week podcast and runs the creative clothing line Northwest Soul Academy.
In the last few years, Farnell has been touring with three time Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter Jill Scott and with the Legendary Rhinestone Rockstar Bassist “Bootsy” Collins. In previous years, Farnell has performed with great musical artists, including Lalah Hathaway, Ron Isley, R. Kelly, Cee Lo Green, Fantasia, Gladys Knight, Charlie Wilson, Chaka Khan, Najee, Will Downing, Stevie Wonder, Earth, Wind and Fire, and many more.
Known as "The Northwest's King of Soul" and inductee to Oregon's Music Hall Of Fame, Andy Stokes has been sharing his soulful voice and undeniable musical mastery with the Northwest music culture for more than three decades. As the lead vocalist with the legendary funk band Cool'R, Andy signed with renowned A&M Records, and toured worldwide as a featured artist with the likes of The Stylistics, Michael Bolton, George Clinton, The Temptations as well as many others. The Acclaimed singer is now back with his solo debut entitled "Full Circle". The Album is in rotation on Radio Stations from coast to coast and is having a significant reception internationally - 'Full Circle' debuted at No.30 on the UK Soul Charts and climbed to 13 in one week. 'Full Circle' is a brilliantly crafted soulful journey emphasizing love, life and relationships, which will make any true R&B lover swoon.
The Urban Renewal Project is a Los Angeles based band that uses instruments of a bygone era to create a signature sound that blurs the boundaries between soul, jazz and hip-hop. The group features a big band horn section, a singer and a rapper who perform upbeat originals and fresh interpretations of everything from jazz standards to recent hits. They've toured nationally from New York's Rockwood Music Hall to the San Jose Jazz Summerfest, and their recordings have received airplay on tastemaking radio stations across the country, including KCRW-Santa Monica and WDCB-Chicago.
"In today's world, there are no musical boundaries," says Max ZT of 'House of Waters,' a trio that makes those words come alive as they incorporate elements of West-African, jazz, psychedelic, indie rock, classical and world music into their astonishingly unique sound.
Five years after their groundbreaking Revolution, House of Waters now returns with its eponymous follow-up. The album features Max on hammered dulcimer, Moto Fukushima on six-string bass and percussionist Luke Notary - Though now the band tours with Argentinian-born Ignacio Rivas-Bixio! The album also features virtuosic cellist Dave Eggar, flautist Sam Sadigursky and the singer Priya Darshini.
"Our music is a constant melting pot, which is so relevant to now," says Max. "It's like that last D'Angelo record or Kendrick's Butterfly...you know, that wasn't just rap, or hip-hop, or jazz, or soul, but it had all of that. It's an amorphous thing. It's how the future is going to be." Moto agrees: "We always just say what we do is 'good music.' If I need to say something to someone who's never heard of us, I just say, 'Please come to our show!"
House of Waters' music is both complex and easy to enjoy, a musical exploration that invites listeners to open themselves to new sounds. One of those sounds is that of Max's instrument, the hammered dulcimer, a percussion/stringed instrument that takes years of study and spans dozens of cultures around the globe. Most often associated with traditional American and Irish folk music, Max has taken the instrument in entirely new directions. "I've been playing it since I was 7," says Max. "And my folks reminded me I first fell in love with it when I was 2: I saw it performed at an exhibit opening, walked up to it, sat underneath and just listened to it for hours."
The album House of Waters marks the band's first record for GroundUP, the artist-friendly label started by Snarky Puppy's Michael League. "There was a lot of mutual respect and interest there," says Max. "I think we bring something unique to their roster." He laughs. "Not a lot of dulcimer trios out there."
Their GroundUP debut is a broad, cinematic piece, ranging from the slow burn of "La Semana," to the grand "Patience" and--a first for the band--a beautiful vocal assist by Priya Darshini on album standout "Hamza"
But to truly experience House of Waters, see them live. "It's the benefit of this band's versatility--we fit in so many different fields," says Max. To that end, you might experience the band at any number of huge jazz or folk fests. Possibly at an Indian classical show. And maybe opening for the likes of Pt. Ravi Shankar, Snarky Puppy, Jimmy Cliff or the performing arts ensemble KODO.
With musical and cultural influences that stretch from India and Senegal through Ireland and the heart of New York City, you have, as one critic noted, "The most original band on the planet."
Kenney started playing saxophone while attending public school in California. He began performing professionally at an early age. He has performed and visited over 50 countries. Kenney went to College and began to teach. After four College degrees and teaching, Kenney returns to perform music full time.
Voted "Northwest Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year" in the recent Seattle Earshot Jazz Golden Ear Awards, flugelhornist Dmitri Matheny has been lauded as "one of the most emotionally expressive improvisers of his generation" (International Review of Music). An honors graduate of the Berklee College of Music, Dmitri Matheny vaulted onto the jazz scene in the 1990s as the protégé of jazz legend Art Farmer. Since then he has garnered critical acclaim and a loyal international following, touring extensively throughout the United States, Europe and Asia, traveling to 19 countries. With over 100 recordings to his credit, Dmitri Matheny has released 11 albums as a leader. His latest is Jazz Noir, a fresh spin on crime jazz, film noir movie themes and timeless classics. The San Francisco Chronicle calls Matheny "one of the jazz world's most talented horn players."
"Dmitri Matheny is a jazz treasure. The lyrical Matheny has impressive chops, but it's his warmth and soulfulness that win you over." --All Music Guide
Dmitri Matheny Group JAZZ NOIR
Dan Gaynor keyboard
Chris Higgins bass
Michael Raynor drums
Tim Willcox tenor saxophone
Dmitri Matheny flugelhorn