JASON MARSALIS - Two Shows: 730pm and 10pm
From a tender young age it was clear that Jason Marsalis had what it took to be great. Jason is the son of pianist and music educator Ellis Marsalis and his wife Dolores, and the youngest sibling of Wynton, Branford and Delfeayo. Together, the four brothers and their patriarch Ellis, comprise New Orleans venerable first family of jazz. Ellis and Dolores began to cultivate Jason's interest in music at age three, with the purchase of a toy set of drums. By age six, not only had Jason gotten his first real drum set, but he was also taking lessons from the legendary New Orleans drummer James Black. At age seven he was sitting in with his father's jazz group, as well as playing with his trombonist brother Delfeayo. Jason was progressing so rapidly as a drummer that in 1984 his father started using him consistently on engagements.
Throughout his high school years he continued to hone his skills by playing gigs with his father and brothers, as well as studying orchestral percussion techniques at the venerable Eastern Music Festival. Shortly after graduation from NOCCA in 1995, Marsalis ascended to the drum throne of a new group lead by virtuoso pianist and former sideman for Wynton Marsalis, Marcus Roberts. Despite a demanding touring schedule with Roberts, Marsalis furthered his educational goals by attending Loyola University in New Orleans, as well as studying composition with notable classical composer, Roger Dickerson. While Marsalis made appearances with such international jazz luminaries as Joe Henderson and Lionel Hampton, he was visible on the New Orleans scene working with a diverse cross section of bands from Casa Samba (Brazilian), Neslort (jazz fusion) Summer Stages (children's theater), Dr. Michael White (traditional jazz) and many others.
In 2009, the Marsalis Family would receive the NEA Jazz Masters award. In June of that year, the family would appear at the White House and the Kennedy Center to do a tribute show to their father. The concert was made into an album entitled, "Music Redeems". Later that year, Marsalis would release his first new album in 9 years and his debut album on vibes, "Music Update". In 2010, the bassist from the Lionel Hampton Orchestra, Christian Fabien, called him to participate in a recording session with drummer Ed Littlefield and pianist Reuel Lubag. The made two records, Christian's "West Coast Session" and Ed's "Walking Between Worlds". The latter would include folk songs from the leader's native Alaskan Tlingit tribe from his hometown of Sitka, Alaska. That project inspired the group to be named the Native Jazz Quartet, a group that would arrange folk songs into jazz tunes. Their first recording of that concept was "NJQ Stories", recorded in 2012. Also in 2012, Marsalis was involved in another genre-breaking collaboration as the Marcus Roberts Trio released an album with banjoist Bela Fleck. The combination of jazz and bluegrass was entitled "Across the Imaginary Divide" and the unit toured successfully that year. Marsalis also managed to do a performance on various percussion at the 2012 Essence Music Festival in New Orleans with Aretha Franklin.
Read more about Jason Marsalis on his profile...
EarthCry is Anthony Thogmartin of Papadosio's solo musical project, serving as an outlet for his more eclectic and electronic musical ideas. It is also a launchpad for experimental genre mashing, modular synthesizer wiggling, frequency blending, and odd instrument combinations. Staying true to live roots, an EarthCry show can consist of any combination of live instruments, mixing, slicing, looping, and cutting over arrangements that come out differently every time. All the while, electronic controls are always facing the crowd to encourage a deeper experience of interaction.
Ever relevant singer/songwriter Tahirah Memory is a Portland, Oregon native. Raised by a willful, loving and resourceful mother, and shaped at an early age by the vibration and melodic hands of her jazz trumpeter father, Tahirah asserted her love for music extremely early in her childhood. Some of her fondest memories begin in her toddler years attending summer festivals in the parks to hear her father play funk, jazz, and soul music under the hot summer sun. Singing full voice in the empty hallways after school at age 8, to make use of the amazing acoustics, and reinventing music videos or creating showcases to perform for family became frequent occurrences. Listening to r&b vocalists on vinyl and emulating their every note, created a love undeniable for the classic love song.
Described as having "...a beautiful instrument, a truly warm and gorgeous sound..." audiences have been inclined to feel as though they come away from a performance post an intimate conversation rather than crowded venue. One listener says there is a "...natural honest element...as though singing is an extension of her breathing." The dynamic tones, soulful melodies and cryptic but honest references truly show Tahirah's ability to relate to an audience using her voice to "...creatively and musically express feelings behind songs in ways that delight and surprise and move..." With fibers in a jazz-rooted father, a chaotic upbringing, an intense sense of feel, a love for old soul, an open ear for all music, and a respect for current rhythm and blues, Tahirah's sound is unlike any other, sounding
Even though most would assume that singing is what she's always done, Arietta acknowledges that her mother never pressured her or her sister to sing. "We grew up with music, it was always a part of our lives but Mom didn't push us into the industry. She gave us freedom and choice to be whoever we wanted to be." A glimpse into the powerhouse that she'd become came by way of a stage appearance in the "Red Beans and Rice" play. "Even close friends were shocked; they didn't know I could sing like that." While others were shocked at her vocal prowess, Mz. Etta was dealing with her own type of shock. "I had really bad stage fright." However, as an original member of the famed Doo Doo Funk All Stars, Arietta eventually grew more comfortable in the spotlight and her talents quite easily manifested into greatness. Arietta worked closely with the late Obo Addy and she credits him, amongst others, for helping her "work outside the box". Addy's friendship and mentorship was a blessing, even leading to her learning different Ghanaian dialects. Ms. Ward is featured on Obo's last recording, which was released in September 2015. Arietta has also shared the stage with many local turned national and international stars including Liv Warfield and Esperanza Spalding, Thara Memory, Jarrod Lawson, Curtis Salgado, Lloyd Jones, Farnell Newton and far too many more to name. By trade, Arietta is a licensed cosmetologist and spends her days as an educator in the field. It's not really a secondary career but instead, a compliment and conjunction of her life as an artist. "Singers and Stylist actually have a lot of commonality" she says, flashing her warm smile that reminds you of a woman filled with wisdom well beyond her years. "In both fields, you have to create. " The steady income from the cosmetology career gave Arietta the stability she needed to raise her now 22 year old son. "Music money comes and goes but in Portland, you can make it - you can definitely make it." As she plans to release her first solo album in Spring 2018, Arietta seems destined to be among those who will not only make it, but make it big. The album will not only stand as a testament to Ms. Etta's unrivaled vocals, but it will also serve as a tangible contribution to the continuation of a legacy. "I am indeed, my Mother's child. All the music, all the songs, these are my stories. They're stories that need to be told, and I am here to tell them." While many labels of style exist, Arietta doesn't define herself by any particular genre. Some would call her neo soul, others jazz, and still others R&B. But Mz. Etta is more focused on content and the responsibility that she believes every artist has. "Be mindful of how you deliver. Be mindful of your intent while delivering your messages. When you open your mouth - always hold that intent in the highest positive vibration possible. Artist are healers, music has healing power. Music is sacred." And from that sacred and healing space, we meet Arietta Ward. A name you're bound to be hearing for a long time; a name that, like her Mother, will be spoken of in reference to legendary music royalty for a long time coming.
"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.
The Transcendental Brass Band mixes it up with their soulful trademark " Freestyle Street Funk " on their new release with tunes like the New Orleans classic "Bourbon Street Parade"all the way over to the Afro Pop of the Daktari's, the Jazz of John Scofield,Stanton Moore, Bob Dylan to the arena Rocking 160 Million Dollar Chinese Man. The title First Take says it all about this project as it was a studio sit down affair recorded without a click track and few overdubs. Rhythm tracks and solos were played together on the first take to capture the feeling of a Live TBB performance. The studio - sit down environment gives the band a chance to stretch out with full guitar set up and drum kit, along with clarinet. The result is a funky and cohesive presentation of the bands musicianship, versatility and butt shaking grooves. It's modern, It's old school, Shake it and dance and your ears will feel happy with "Horn filled Goodness." A bit of NOLA meets FELA , Jimi and Roland Kirk. Funky freestyle party music. "In the Tradition " Bon Temps Roule' !!
Chicago-born poet and emcee Michael (Mic) Crenshaw fell in love with music at a young age while living in Minneapolis. His teenage years were challenging as he actively confronted white supremacist gangs that were a growing part of the hard-core music scene. He eventually chose to escape the violence and moved to Portland, where he quickly became one of the most respected artists in the Northwest, and his community efforts have had both local and international impact.
In addition to his highly-acclaimed work in spoken work and Hip Hop, Mic co-founded GlobalFam, a non-profit (EducationWithOut Borders 501c3) project to create and maintain a computer center for disadvantaged youth in Burundi, Central Africa. Over 400 people have received free training, and it is now expanding, generating revenue and creating jobs. Mic also partnered with Education WithOut Borders (EWOB), which supports education, music and art initiatives in Portland and beyond and serves as an umbrella for the local Books For Prisoners chapter and GlobalFam itself. GlobalFam has blossomed into a music label, production, promotion, artist management, and education company providing mainstream entertainment that supports Social Justice Activism.
Mic has released numerous solo albums and been part of various Hip Hop projects. To his credit he has opened for Public Enemy, Immortal Technique, KRS-1, Mos Def and The Roots to name a few. Mic played the Bibo Festival in Halle Germany and the SWAG Jam in Berlin in 2015 and recently toured multiple cities including LA, (http://www.laweekly.com/slideshow/dead-prez-mic-crenshaw-echoplex-6476682) Oakland and Seattle 2016 with Dead Prez. Crenshaw just returned from Trinity International Hip Hop Festival in Hartford Connecticut U.S. where he was helping to establish a U.S. college touring network for African artists who participate in the Afrikan Hiphop Caravan.
Mic is Currently the Lead U.S. Organizer for the Afrikan Hiphop Caravan and tours annually throughout Africa with African Hip Hop collectives.
David Barber is a rapper and jazz musician focused on thought-provoking lyricism and soulful, rhythmic delivery.
Radio Phoenix- The diverse interests of the Portland-based jazz/funk trio range from backdoor Internet programming (keyboardist Benjamin Spriggs) to theories of perception (bassist Zac Alden) to something equally unusual (drummer Lee Hauser). A year before the trio established itself as Radio Phoenix, Alden and Spriggs had met while performing with PSU's Latin Ensemble. They gigged and recorded together with multiple drummers for nearly a year before Alden and Hauser met in a band formed by vocalist/composer Damen Liebling. Hauser sat in on a jam featuring Alden, Spriggs, and notable Portland rapper Jah'di. Unbeknownst to the musicians, a crowd had formed outside the rehearsal space, and the unexpected applause after the group's first improvised jam solidified Hauser as the third and final member of Radio Phoenix.
The band picked the name "Radio Phoenix" as the term refers to a galaxy that has formed from the collision of two previous galaxies - and space is awesome.
Rebecca Kilgore is an American jazz vocalist based in Portland, Oregon. She has been called "one of the best interpreters of the Great American Songbook."
Kilgore has performed with jazz pianist and composer Dave Frishberg, trombonist Dan Barrett, tenor saxophonist Harry Allen, and many other musicians.
In 2010 Kilgore was inducted into the Oregon Music Hall of Fame
Drummer/composer Barra Brown (Shook Twins, Ages and Ages, Old Wave, The Wishermen) and bassist/beat maker Alex Meltzer (Coco Columbia, Two Planets) construct sample based beat music inspired by classic beatmakers like J. Dilla to more modern/jazz stylings like Robert Glasper and Flying Lotus. Pulling from their backgrounds in jazz, Korgy & Bass move expertly between composed and improvised beats in their live shows. The band pushes the boundaries of what a duo can do with samplers, bass, drums, and two synths and often invite MCs to freestyle during their sets.
Guitarist Ed Taylor has released a sweet collection of Smooth Jazz tunes that are cool and breezy. The Tacoma, WA resident is well known in the Northwest for his jazz guitar stylings. However, jazz was not always his thing... Taylor began his playing at the young age of 13 - He grew up in Los Angeles and was heavily influenced by George Benson, the Rolling Stones and the Beatles. Taylor says, "At the time I didn't know squat about playing guitar, but I could feel it." TAYLOR MADE features some funky grooves ("Seven Inch Drop" and "Funky Stitch"), silky smooth vocals ("Enough For 2" and "Romantic Moments"), Latin-influenced jazz ("Sunset In Mexico"), and Smooth Jazz ("Sexy Threads," "Patterns" and the Smoothjazz.com Radio pick, "Shorts, Socks & Sandals"). The Ed Taylor Band features Taylor on guitar and vocals, Dennis Blackmon on keyboards, Kevin England on trumpet and flugelhorn, Willy Fisher on drums and John Roberts on bass. Put a little Northwest jazz in your music collection and pick up TAYLOR MADE by Ed Taylor.