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Biamp PDX Jazz Festival Announces Initial Lineup

The 18th annual festival will be held February 18-27, 2021 in Portland, Oregon

Harold López-Nussa
Harold López-Nussa

The 2021 Biamp PDX Jazz Festival opened ticket sales this past week for an adaptation of the long-running festival based in Portland, Oregon. Now in its 18th year, the festival will be hosted at the Jack London Revue, which has been revamped with state-of-the-art technology to allow for the type of virtual or online shows that presenters are forced to produce during the pandemic.

Chris Doss, the PDX Jazz Executive Director, says in a press release given to JT, “The team at PDX Jazz is committed to serving the community of Portland with exceptional one-of-a-kind experiences. In addition to preparing to safely host ‘live’ audiences at the upcoming festival, PDX Jazz has bolstered the virtual experience and launched new online membership that starts at $50 annually. Evolution and celebration of live performance are central to our mission and, with some courage, ingenuity, and persistence, we are excited to share that Portland will have a jazz festival in 2021.”

Beginning February 18 and continuing through February 27, every performance will be streamed to the web in real time, with limited in-person and online tickets available. (PDX Jazz members can watch every festival show online for free.) To keep with COVID guidelines, capacity is limited to 50 guests per show. The festival begins with the Opening Night Celebration featuring Pink Martini Cabaret with China Forbes and Thomas Lauderdale, which will be livestreamed for free from the Biamp World Headquarters.

Other ticketed performances include Harold López-Nussa, livestreaming from Havana; Judith Hill; a gospel-inspired performance by Saeeda Wright, Alonzo Chadwick, and Arietta Ward; and Wayne Horvitz’ The Royal We, who will close out the festival. Two jazz films—Herb Alpert Is… and Buster Williams: Bass to Infinity—will launch online mid-week, and “The American Refrain: Jazz and Modern Music,” an educational work commissioned by PDX Jazz and arranged by trumpeter Noah Simpson, will have its world premiere during the festival.

Additional shows and events are to be announced. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit