PDX Jazz Festival Announces Lineup for 2018

11-day festival in Portland to include tributes to vocalese with Kurt Elling, Richie Cole, Allan Harris and others

Kurt Elling image 0
Elliot Mandel

Kurt Elling

The PDX Jazz Festival has announced its lineup and schedule of performances for the event taking place from Feb. 15 until Feb. 25 in Portland, Ore. The festival, celebrating its 15th anniversary, features a diverse collection of artists and projects, including some special themed tributes. Kurt Elling will pay homage to one of his mentors, the late Jon Hendricks, with a concert featuring his daughters Michele and Aria Hendricks performing along with Portland stalwarts Randy Porter and Nancy King, and a performance by the Portland State University Jazz Vocal Ensemble under the direction of Sherry Alves.

Another vocalese legend, Eddie Jefferson, will be the focus of a concert featuring his former colleague, saxophonist Richie Cole, along with singer Allan Harris, while Al Jarreau and his Breakin’ Away album is remembered with a set from the Bobby Torres Ensemble with vocalist Sean Holmes.

On the instrumental side, Terri Lyne Carrington, Ravi Coltrane and Esperanza Spalding perform together in remembrance of their mentor and compatriot, Geri Allen, who died earlier this year. “Geri was and is a divine prism of pure heart and artistry,” Spalding said in a press release received at JT.  Carrington addressed Allen directly in her statement about the late pianist: “You are an inspiring maverick an exemplary creator that I’m proud to have been able to call my friend and bandmate. You’ve positively touched so many and my life and art will always reflect your vision and influence.”

The festival includes a set of special double bills, including: Marcus Roberts & Russell Malone; Lisa Fischer and Grand Baton & Tahirah Memory; Regina Carter “For Ella” & Bill Frisell/Thomas Morgan; Luciana Souza’s Word Strings & Dave King Trio; George Colligan Trio & Ethan Iverson.

The 2018 edition of the festival also retains its mandate and emphasis on local and regional talent. “Many of our esteemed resident artists will appear in a variety of special situations, including the David Friesen Reunion Trio, Randy Porter with Nancy King, Trio Subtonic featuring Dan Balmer, Devin Phillips Trio, Domo Branch Quintet, Portland Jazz Master Art Abrams, Tahirah Memory, Bobby Torres, UP Jazz Ensemble, PSU Vocal Jazz Ensemble, George Colligan with Buster Williams and Lenny White and Dan Gaynor and Gordon Lee,” said the festival’s executive director, Don Lucoff. “PDX Jazz partners with a variety of selected venues: Revolution Hall, Newmark and Winningstad Theatres, Classic Piano, the Mission Theatre, the Old Church, Mississippi Studios, Jack London Revue, University of Portland, PSU, Al’s Den and White Eagle Tavern. Free music will also be heard in over a dozen hotels and restaurants throughout Portland.”

Among the festival’s unique partnerships is its year-round relationship with Soul’D Out Music Productions, who will present Snarky Puppy and Lettuce, connecting the festival to Portland’s well-known alternative music scene and audience.

For more information about the PDX Jazz Festival, visit the PDX Jazz website.