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Photo of the Jazz Society of Oregon’s free Cathedral Park Jazz Festival 2023.  The 2024 festival, presented by Oregonians Credit Union and Jazz Society of Oregon (JSO), will take place July 19-21, 2024 in beautiful Cathedral Park, in a natural amphitheater under the spectacular St Johns Bridge in Portland, Oregon.  There is no admission charge. (photo credit: Chris Lazarus)
By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 30 May 2024

The final lineup and schedule of performances has been announced for the free Cathedral Park Jazz Festival [CPJF] featuring local jazz, blues, soul and Latin artists for the 44th year of the festival, taking place on Friday through Sunday, July 19-21.  Cathedral Park is located under the historic St Johns Bridge in North Portland.

Friday, July 19 is dedicated to the Blues, starting at 4:30 pm.

Saturday, July 20 and Sunday, July 21 features a mix of jazz, soul and Latin performers starting at 1 p.m .on both days.

Highlights Friday night include the Tyrone Hendrix Love Train band,  and on Saturday the Mel Brown B-3 Organ Group which will perform a Tribute to Les McCann. Nearly every member of the group led by Portland’s own “Gentleman of Jazz” Brown played with the late McCann. Jujuba – the 10-member Nigerian Afrobeat group Jujuba combines the rhythms of Afrobeat legends Fela Kuti and King Sunny Ade with the godfather of soul, James Brown, and features Talking Drum master, Nojeem Lasisi. Percussion, rhythm, and horn sections create a sound designed to bring audiences to the dance floor.

 Keep it free: volunteers, sponsors, donations needed

“It’s always inspiring to see how this free long-running community event attracts support from local businesses and government agencies”, said Yvonne Lerch, CPJF managing director.  “Sponsors and donors are essential to helping keep this festival free.  The CPJF planning committee is seeking volunteers and additional sponsors and donations.”

Information about the Cathedral Park Jazz Festival, sponsorships, volunteer opportunities and the performers can be found at https://jazzoregon.org/2023-festival.

Final Performance Lineup and Schedule

Friday, July 19:

  • 4:30pm-5:30pm – The four-piece Jr. T Blues Band with Tevis Hodge, plays an eclectic mix of Piedmont, Delta, Texas, urban and country blues, jug band, jazz, and folk music.
  • 6pm -7pm – the soulful R&B band, Fenix Rising led by saxophonist/blues vocalist Fenix Sanders, has performed weekly for nearly 20 years at Portland’s Blue Diamond.
  • 7:30pm-8:30pm – Ms. Vee and a Badass Band, led by singer, musician, writer and comedienne, Valyria Lewis and under the direction of jake Koprowski, will play a Soul Blues-Souther Soul sound that marries soul, funk, and R&B. Ms Vee has won numerous awards in the US and internationally.
  • 9pm-10pm – The five-member band of singer/songwriter/harmonica player Johnny Wheels and the Swamp Donkeys plays Blues blended with R&B, soul, jazz, funk and rock. A childhood accident that left Wheels paralyzed from the neck down did not deter him from pursuing his love of music.

 cathedral park jazz festival mid
Percussionist, songwriter, session musician and record producer Bobby Torres, who toured for 10 years with Tom Jones, then formed his own Latin jazz group in Portland.

Saturday, July 20:

  • 1pm-2pm – AJAM Student Ensemble will play straight-ahead jazz (genre of jazz that developed in the 1960s, with roots in the prior two decades). The ensemble is part of The Alan Jones Academy of Music, a private music education institution for all ages in Portland, founded by drummer, composer, and Berklee alumni Alan Jones.
  • 2:30pm-3:30pm – Alan Jones’ Social Music Born in Portland, drummer/composer Jones started touring in Europe at age 16 with Amsterdam-based organist Count Dutch. Jones has recorded with international stars like Kenny Wheeler and Lee Konitz, as well as local Portland legends such as Jim Pepper and Ralph Towner.
  • 4pm-5pm – Jazz singer and composer Lauren “Lo” Steele incorporates soul, gospel, blues and modern R&B and will sing original songs from her first album, “Happy Girl”.
  • 5:30pm – 6:30pm - Cojunto Berretin is a group of top tango musicians, playing traditional Argentine tangos, milongas, and valses for social dancing. Among its members are some of Portland's top jazz musicians, members of the Oregon Symphony, and Tango Berretin founder/dancer/teacher, Alex Krebs. The group has performed at tango festivals across the country and has released seven albums.
  • 7pm-8pm – Onion, an instrumental quintet creates an orchestrated jazz fusion sound of original compositions with layers of jazz, rock, hip-hop, and funk, inspired by groups like Return to Forever.
  • 8:30pm - 9:45pm – Tyrone Hendrix’ Love Train band: Innovative drummer/multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer Tyrone Hendrix, cousin of Jimi, blends soul, funk, and jazz. Hendrix performed with artists, such as Prince and Stevie Wonder.

 cathedral park jazz festival mid2Jazz singer and composer Lauren “Lo” Steele incorporates soul, gospel, blues and modern R&B and will sing original songs from her first album, “Happy Girl”.

Sunday, July 21:

  • 1pm-2pm the Yugen Rashad Soul Jazz Project, led by self-taught musician and award-winning Portland broadcaster Rashad, who performs from behind his keyboard while playing bass with his left hand emphasizes improvisation.
  • 2:30pm-3:30pm Internationally renowned jazz pianist and multi-instrumentalist, composer, teacher and bandleader George Colligan will play with his trio, featuring Zyanna (new vocalist).
  • 4pm - 5pm – Bobby Torres Ensemble, led by percussionist, songwriter, session musician and record producer Torres, who toured for 10 years with Tom Jones, then formed his own Latin jazz group in Portland.
  • 5:30pm-6:30pm - Mel Brown B-3 Organ Group will perform a Tribute to Les McCann. Nearly every member of the group led by Portland’s own “Gentleman of Jazz” Brown played with the late McCann.
  • 7pm- 8pm Jujuba – the 10-member Nigerian Afrobeat group Jujuba combines the rhythms of Afrobeat legends Fela Kuti and King Sunny Ade with the godfather of soul, James Brown, and features Talking Drum master, Nojeem Lasisi. Percussion, rhythm, and horn sections create a sound designed to bring audiences to the dance floor.

 cathedral park jazz festival midMel Brown B-3 Organ Group will perform a Tribute to Les McCann. Nearly every member of the group led by Portland’s own “Gentleman of Jazz” Brown played with the late McCann.

Keep it free: volunteers, sponsors, donations needed

“It’s always inspiring to see how this free long-running community event attracts support from local businesses and government agencies”, said Yvonne Lerch, CPJF managing director.  “Sponsors and donors are essential to helping keep this festival free.  The CPJF planning committee is seeking volunteers and additional sponsors and donations.” Information on the Cathedral Park Jazz Festival, including news on sponsorships, volunteer opportunities and the performers can be found at https://jazzoregon.org/2023-festival

Current sponsors include: Oregonians Credit Union, RACC (Regional Arts & Culture Council), Portland Events & Film, METRO, Port of Portland, Stoller Family Estate, Aeronet, Cedar House, Argyle, Sunbelt Rentals, Bob’s Cold Storage, Portland Piano Company, Rose City Self-Storage & Wine Vaults, Solmedia, Trade Show Supply, Ace Hardware St Johns, and Camelia Grove Kombucha. Major underwriters are Oregonians Credit Union, RACC, and the Jazz Society of Oregon.

Those interested in sponsoring the Festival, check out https://jazzoregon.org/become-sponsor or email [email protected] .   Donations can be made at www.jazzoregon.org/donate-now .

Volunteers may sign up on the Jazz Society of Oregon website by emailing [email protected] .

Background - Cathedral Park Jazz Festival

This year marks the 44th consecutive year of the Cathedral Park Jazz Festival, managed for the past ten years by the Jazz Society of Oregon.

“This free, non-profit music festival was started by a group of volunteers seeking to commemorate the construction of spectacular Cathedral Park,” said Rita Rega, creative director of this year’s festival and President of the Jazz Society of Oregon. “It provides the best in jazz music, blues, Latin, and soul from around the greater Portland/Vancouver community.

“In fact, the Cathedral Park Jazz Festival is both the longest-running free annual jazz festival west of the Mississippi – and Portland’s longest-running annual community event,” noted Rega.

About the Jazz Society of Oregon

               The Jazz Society of Oregon is an all-volunteer non-profit organization 501(c)(3) whose mission is to promote the local jazz scene in Portland and the rest of Oregon. The Society supports jazz education and local charities, as well as fostering a greater appreciation of the music, while promoting diversity and inclusion.

               Information on the Cathedral Park Jazz Festival, including news on sponsorships, volunteer opportunities, and the performers can be found at https://jazzoregon.org/2023-festival

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