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India Cooke
Montavilla Jazz Festival
Published: 14 August 2017

What is jazz? More importantly, where is it headed? At the Montavilla Jazz Festival (MJF), the future of the artform is at the forefront of the experience. With Portland artists from across the spectrum of musical expression, attendees will hear from pioneers creating new frontiers in jazz.

Now in its fourth year, MJF 2017 will be hosted at Portland Metro Arts, 9003 SE Stark Street, Portland, Oregon, on August 19–20, 2017. As a newly formed 501(c)(3) nonprofit, MJF’s mission is to support local artists while creating an accessible cultural experience for all.


Festival Details

Montavilla welcomes the Portland community to the air-conditioned comfort of Portland Metro Arts for the Montavilla Jazz Festival 2017.

  • Location: Portland Metro Arts, 9003 SE Stark Street, Portland, Oregon, on August 19–20, 2017. Both days the doors and box office open at 1:00 pm, with the festival starting promptly at 2:00 pm.
  • Tickets: General admission day passes will be available for purchase only at the box office during festival hours. Passes are sold on a sliding scale $15–30, and a portion of ticket sales benefit the Montavilla Schools Music Fund. Youth 12 and under are admitted free.
  • Parking: To help meet our urban sustainability goals, attendees are encouraged to use public and alternative transportation options. On-street parking is available in the neighborhood surrounding Portland Metro Arts.


Montavilla Jazz Festival 2017 Features Local Artists with World-Class Talent

“The artists featured at this year’s festival are truly creating new frontiers in jazz,” said Ryan Meagher, programming director of MJF. “Our goal is to support local jazz artists and provide a wonderful cultural experience for the community while shining a light on the need for music education. With the support of the Montavilla community, Southeast Uplift, festival sponsors, and the work of many volunteers, we are honored to present a dynamic music festival that is as unique as the city of Portland.”

Several extraordinary local musicians will perform new compositions as well as host visiting world-class musicians in their ensembles at MJF 2017. Check out the full artist schedule below and visit www.montavillajazzfest.com for more information on the artists performing at MJF 2017.

This year, the festival will feature Portland native Essiet Okon Essiet, now one of New York’s busiest bassists. In his festival performance, Essiet leads his own group, IBO, a project that mixes jazz harmonies with West African rhythms featuring Sylvia Cuenca, Rob Scheps, Randy Porter, and John JB Butler.

Additionally, top artists on the Portland jazz scene will be performing throughout the festival. Highlights include Rich Halley 5 with Vinny Golia; Blue Cranes; David Friesen Quartet; and Jasnam Daya Singh with the Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble (PJCE).

“Artistic expression is the foundation of a free-thinking and culturally rich society,” said Douglas Detrick, executive director of PJCE. “What we love about the Montavilla Jazz Festival is the encouragement from the community to take risks, explore new territories, and express ideas that can resonate across boundaries.”

PJCE will perform with Brazilian-born pianist and composer Jasnam Daya Singh and unveil his new composition, Ektah: The Unity Project. This new music brings together jazz, classical, and Brazilian music influences to explore the idea that, in Singh’s words, “unity is not a luxury or something we concern ourselves with when everything else is taken care of. Rather, I want to think of this word and concept, Unity, as possibly one of the most needed things in our existence.”


Schedule of Artists: Montavilla Jazz Festival 2017

Saturday, August 19, 2017 (doors open at 1 p.m.)


Sunday, August 20, 2017 (doors open at 1:00 pm)


New in 2017! Jazz Lounge & PROWUS Student Stage

With the support of our generous Jazz Lounge and Student Stage sponsors PROWUSKirsch DrumsEast Glisan Pizza Lounge, and Montavilla Brew Works, Montavilla Jazz Festival 2017 is excited to present performances by talented rising young local musicians. Student performances will be scheduled throughout both days of the festival inside Portland Metro Arts in our new air-conditioned Jazz Lounge!

Enjoy handcrafted Detroit pan (aka “square”) pizza by East Glisan Pizza Lounge and award-winning beer brewed by Montavilla Brew Works while listening to the next generation of local jazz artists perform between Main Stage sets.

Beverages are permitted in the air-conditioned theater performance space and Jazz Lounge.


Saturday Night After-Hours Jam Session at East Glisan Pizza

To celebrate the community spirit of the festival, we continue the tradition of hosting an after-hours jam session at East Glisan Pizza Lounge on Saturday (8/19) evening from 9:00 pm to midnight.

The session will be hosted by the Alan Jones Academy of Music as part of the acclaimed AJAM series of jam sessions and educational events. Musicians from across the city are encouraged to participate, with many festival performers participating on stage and hanging out in the audience.

East Glisan Pizza Lounge is located at 8001 NE Glisan Street, Portland, OR 97213.


Arts for All Program Keeps the Festival Accessible to Everyone

As one of America’s original art forms, jazz music has a strong legacy of being created by the people, for the people. It is important for the Montavilla Jazz Festival to continue the tradition by helping to make the festival accessible to everyone.

The Montavilla Jazz Festival is proud to be a member of the Arts for All program, administered by the Regional Arts and Culture Council. Everyone enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is eligible to purchase up to two (2) Montavilla Jazz Festival passes for $5 per pass when they present their SNAP Oregon Trail Card at the box office.


Community Support for Arts and Education

We are delighted to announce that Montavilla/East Tabor Business Association is a lead sponsor of Montavilla Jazz Festival 2017. Our shared vision of community building and support for youth education initiatives, like our Montavilla Schools Music Fund, is a perfect match for the festival and provides critical support for local budding artists.

Together, we are supporting a thriving, diverse community. In addition, we thank the Montavilla business community for their support, along with more than 50 sponsors of the festival, including our lead media partner, KMHD Jazz Radio (89.1 FM), and our Main Stage sponsors, Audix MicrophonesPortland Piano CompanySound Doctor PDX, and Revival Drum Shop.

In addition to an incredible lineup of emcees to support the event onsite, we are honored to have Nick Fish, Commissioner, City of Portland; Matt Fleeger, Programming Director, KMHD Jazz Radio (89.1 FM); and Stephen Rice, President, Montavilla/East Tabor Business Association, join us at the festival as special guest speakers.

The broad support from both the public and private sector, along with individual donors, volunteers, sponsors, and partners is a strong indication of the overwhelming positive support and sense of community in East Portland.


Get Involved and Stay Connected

If you are interested in getting involved in the festival for sponsorship or volunteer opportunities, please use the contact information listed below. A healthy artistic community creates a vibrant and open society. Please join us at the festival and support local jazz!


About Montavilla Jazz Festival

The Montavilla Jazz Festival is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that supports and strengthens local music culture and enriches the community by showcasing the best of Portland’s originally composed, progressive jazz.


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