Saxophonist Reggie Houston has played with some of the biggest names in music – from the Neville Brothers to Peter Gabriel. Ever since moving from his longtime home in New Orleans to Portland in 2004, the musician and teacher has been immersed in the local music scene.
On Sunday, Houston continues his regular gig with Reggie Houston's Box of Chocolates at the New Orleans' inspired Eat Oyster Bar at 3808 N. Williams Ave. from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Box of Chocolates – featuring Freak Mountain Ramblers lead Turtle Vandemarr – is just one of the many acts Houston has joined in the City of Roses. Something "straight out of a New Orleans bistro jam," Houston says the Box of Chocolates exemplify the kind of music he loves to play – off the cuff, infectious jams.
"We have the opportunity to play what the mood strikes us," he told The Skanner News.
Since Katrina devastated the city of New Orleans in 2005, Portland has become home to a number of refugee musicians – many who came to the city after an offer from the Portland Jazz Festival. But Houston came before the tragedy – a "non-participatory survivor" that comes with its own form of survivor's guilt.
He's made a full investment into becoming a Portland musician, jamming Mel Brown at Jimmy Mak's, DK Steward, and others; becoming a regular with Vandemarr, as well as singer Janice Scroggins and bassist Ben Jones. The trio of Scroggins, Jones and Houston have a regular summer gig at Cannon's Rib Express, 5410 NE 33rd Ave. every Sunday from June 6 to September from 5 to 8 p.m.
He also leads The Reggie Houston Arkestra and the Earth Island Band.
Classically trained and with an ear for "every facet of Americana Music" Houston is also a man with a taste for classic southern fare. He's teamed up with Carrie Ann Schubert of the Beaverton Bakery to craft traditional Creole candies.
"I love Creole cooking," he says, admitting that his diet has improved since moving to the health conscious Pacific Northwest.
Check Out Houston's website at http://reggiehouston.com