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Review: Portland Jazz Festival 2013

10th anniversary features several sold-out shows

Javon Jackson, Portland jazz Festival 2013
Gary Versace of Matt Wilson's Arts & Crafts on accordion, Portland Jazz Festival, 2013

This year, the Portland Jazz Festival celebrated its 10th anniversary with one of its most diverse and ambitious line-ups to date. From Kurt Rosenwinkel to Kenny Garrett, Patricia Barber to Esperanza Spalding, Portland’s Blue Cranes to New York’s Matt Wilson, the 10-day event represented a cross-section of what’s happening now in Jazz. And, with an array of jazz legends including bop pianist Barry Harris, 94-year-old conductor Gerald Wilson and drummer Jack DeJohnette, (all NEA Jazz Masters), the festival certainly had its share of big names as well.

The Festival opened up with a sold-out show from the Afro Cuban All-stars. Shortly after the band’s pulsating Latin rhythms flooded the interior of the packed house at Portland’s Aladdin Theater, the audience was up out of their seats and dancing in the isles. The show continued in this manner for two raucous hours, until the (sweaty, grinning ear to ear) audience flooded the streets of southeast Portland.

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