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February 2018

PJCE with Edna Vazquez @ Columbia Center for the Arts

February 17, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Columbia Center for the Arts, 215 Cascade Ave
Hood River, OR 97031 United States
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March 2018

PJCE “From Maxville to Vanport” @ Eastern Oregon University

March 2, 2018 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Eastern Oregon University, One University Boulevard
La Grande, OR 97850 United States
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A live performance of the The Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble’s (PJCE) “From Maxville to Vanport” featuring poetry by Renee Mitchell, music by Ezra Weiss, and video by Laura Lo Forti. This piece of community-guided music incorporates the stories of two unique towns in Oregon’s history, Maxville and Vanport, in songs for Marilyn Keller with our 12-member jazz ensemble. Maxville and Vanport both had significant multicultural populations at a time when Oregon was particularly unfriendly to non-white residents, and their histories deserve to be heard and better understood by all Oregonians. The Portland Jazz Composers’ Ensemble is a 12-piece jazz chamber orchestra which commissions and performs original works by its members and by other jazz composers in the Portland music community. The PJCE has received support from the OCF’s 2015 Creative Heights and Small Arts programs, the Regional Arts and Culture Council, and the Oregon Arts Commission. Now in its tenth year, the PJCE has commissioned more than 50 composers, and produced more than 30 concerts of original works.

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April 2018

PJCE “From Maxille to Vanport” @ Eastern Oregon University

April 12, 2018 @ 7:30 pm
Eastern Oregon University, One University Boulevard
La Grande, OR 97850 United States
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Free!

(PORTLAND, OR)—Supported by the Oregon Community Foundation’s Creative Heights program, the Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble’s (PJCE’s) concert of original songs and film shorts inspired by the stories of the multicultural populations of Maxville and Vanport, Oregon debuts in April 12–14, 2018 in La Grande, Enterprise, and Baker City, Oregon and May 26, 2018 at Portland, Oregon’s Vanport Mosaic Festival. This collection of songs and short films produced by composer Ezra Weiss with writer and speaker S. Renee Mitchell providing lyrics and vocalist Marilyn Keller performing with the PJCE accompanied by shorts by filmmaker Kalimah Abioto to celebrate the shared history of African-American Oregonians, focusing on two towns that represent distinctive viewpoints of the state’s under-discussed Black history. Tickets to PCJE’s concerts are on sale now and are available online at pjce.org. It isn’t widely known, but among the homesteaders, loggers, ranchers, and other hardy folks who were Oregon’s early settlers, African-Americans played vital roles. Songs like “Oregon Sounds Like Freedom” weigh the relative freedom of living Oregon against the hardship of staying in the Jim Crow South. MAXVILLE TO VANPORT may leave listeners wondering if the dangerous work falling logs in the woods of Wallowa County was worth the pain of leaving one’s birth community. The project invites the audience to ponder these questions through joyful music composed by Portland jazz composer and pianist Ezra Weiss. Writer, speaker, and self-styled creative revolutionist S. Renee Mitchell has written lyrics featuring legendary jazz vocalist Marilyn Keller. The songs will be interspersed with two short films by Kalimah Abioto focused on the work that women did in Maxville, and a young boy playing in an imagined Vanport who encounters rushing waters that foreshadow the flood that destroyed the city in 1948. PJCE Executive Director Douglas Detrick serves as artistic director for the project which employs a five-member creative team aiming to speak with the communities that are connected to these stories, not for them. The team drew heavily on records and research of Gwendolyn Trice, Executive Director of Maxville Heritage Interpretive Center, whose father worked at Maxville. MAXVILLE TO VANPORT’s public events are: April 12, 7:30 pm, Groth Hall, Eastern Oregon University, One University Boulevard, La Grande, OR 97850 - Concert, Free admission, no ticket required. April 13, 7 pm, OK Theatre, 208 W Main St, Enterprise, OR 97828 - $20 general, $15 senior & veteran, $10 students, Tickets available online. April 14, 5 pm social hour, 6 pm dinner, 7 pm concert, Grand Ballroom, Baker Heritage Museum, 2480 Grove St, Baker City, OR 97814 - $50 includes concert and dinner, tickets available online, or by calling 541-523-5369. May 26, 7 pm, Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR 97211 - Concert, $35 preferred GA, $25 general, $20 senior & veteran, $5 Arts For All tickets available at the door day of show only. Tickets available online or by calling 503-764-4131. Other events not open to the public include: April 12, 1 pm, OK Theatre, Enterprise, OR | Concert for Wallowa County students April 13, 1–2 pm, Josephy Center, Joseph, OR | Improvised performances for art students The year-long project that began with community discussion events in Portland and Joseph in the fall culminates in a performance tour to La Grande, Enterprise, and Baker City, as well as a studio album, a short documentary film and a performance in Portland in conjunction with the Vanport Mosaic. The project was generously funded by the Oregon Community Foundation’s Creative Heights program and was sponsored by the Oregon Historical Society. Project partners include Vanport Mosaic, Josephy Center for the Arts, Crossroads Carnegie Center for the Arts, Eastern Oregon University, and the OK Theatre. ABOUT THE CREATIVE TEAM Lyricist: S. Renee Mitchell is an award-winning writer and published author, multimedia artist, social justice advocate, and teacher/facilitator. Mitchell's more than 25 years of journalism experience has groomed her exceptional communication, analytical and grant-writing skills, yet, Renee is also a community-grounded visionary. She is the 2015 Yolanda D. King Drum Major Award winner in recognition of dedicated community service; was the librettist of “Sherman: A Jazz Opera;” has published a novel, children’s story, and several small-press zines; and teaches writing to children as the leader of the Saturday Academy Social Justice Camp as well as many other Portland institutions. Composer: Ezra Weiss has recorded seven albums as a bandleader, most recently “Before You Know It,” recorded live Portland, and composed songs and book for Northwest Children’s Theatre’s “Alice in Wonderland.” He has led his own bands at major venues throughout the U.S., including several week-long engagements at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Dizzy’s Club. He has won the ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award three times and has been listed in DownBeat Critics Polls in the Rising Star Arranger category. He currently teaches at Portland State University and holds a Bachelors in Jazz Composition from the Oberlin Conservatory and a Masters in Jazz Piano from Queens College. Vocalist: Marilyn Keller is a singer who performs a diverse range of jazz, gospel, and musical theatre throughout Oregon and abroad and was voted into Oregon Jazz Society’s Hall of Fame 2016. She joined Black Swan Classic Jazz Band in 1997 and has toured throughout Europe and the US. She has also remained active in a wide variety of other performance ensembles and styles: The Don Latarski Group, Darrell Grant’s The Territory, Thara Memory, Tall Jazz, Disciples in Song, and the Augustana Jazz Quartet among many others. Filmmaker: A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Kalimah Abioto began playing the drums at age three, writing in elementary school, and makings films in high school centered around dreams, sexuality, and the nexus between Black people, humans, freedom, and the natural-spirit worlds. She received her BA in film and video from Hollins University and is a co-creator, along with her four sisters of The People Could Fly Project, a multimedia project documenting the dreams and stories of people in the African Diaspora. Abioto has worked with different artists and groups including Afropop Worldwide, Holy Mojo,…

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PJCE “From Maxille to Vanport” @ OK Theater

April 13, 2018 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

From Maxville to Vanport: A Celebration of Oregon’s Black History World-premiere performances of songs and two short films for Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble with vocalist Marilyn Keller, and workshops across the state. (PORTLAND, OR)—Supported by the Oregon Community Foundation’s Creative Heights program, the Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble’s (PJCE’s) concert of original songs and film shorts inspired by the stories of the multicultural populations of Maxville and Vanport, Oregon debuts in April 12–14, 2018 in La Grande, Enterprise, and Baker City, Oregon and May 26, 2018 at Portland, Oregon’s Vanport Mosaic Festival. This collection of songs and short films produced by composer Ezra Weiss with writer and speaker S. Renee Mitchell providing lyrics and vocalist Marilyn Keller performing with the PJCE accompanied by shorts by filmmaker Kalimah Abioto to celebrate the shared history of African-American Oregonians, focusing on two towns that represent distinctive viewpoints of the state’s under-discussed Black history. Tickets to PCJE’s concerts are on sale now and are available online at pjce.org. It isn’t widely known, but among the homesteaders, loggers, ranchers, and other hardy folks who were Oregon’s early settlers, African-Americans played vital roles. Songs like “Oregon Sounds Like Freedom” weigh the relative freedom of living Oregon against the hardship of staying in the Jim Crow South. MAXVILLE TO VANPORT may leave listeners wondering if the dangerous work falling logs in the woods of Wallowa County was worth the pain of leaving one’s birth community. The project invites the audience to ponder these questions through joyful music composed by Portland jazz composer and pianist Ezra Weiss. Writer, speaker, and self-styled creative revolutionist S. Renee Mitchell has written lyrics featuring legendary jazz vocalist Marilyn Keller. The songs will be interspersed with two short films by Kalimah Abioto focused on the work that women did in Maxville, and a young boy playing in an imagined Vanport who encounters rushing waters that foreshadow the flood that destroyed the city in 1948. PJCE Executive Director Douglas Detrick serves as artistic director for the project which employs a five-member creative team aiming to speak with the communities that are connected to these stories, not for them. The team drew heavily on records and research of Gwendolyn Trice, Executive Director of Maxville Heritage Interpretive Center, whose father worked at Maxville. MAXVILLE TO VANPORT’s public events are: April 12, 7:30 pm, Groth Hall, Eastern Oregon University, One University Boulevard, La Grande, OR 97850 - Concert, Free admission, no ticket required. April 13, 7 pm, OK Theatre, 208 W Main St, Enterprise, OR 97828 - $20 general, $15 senior & veteran, $10 students, Tickets available online. April 14, 5 pm social hour, 6 pm dinner, 7 pm concert, Grand Ballroom, Baker Heritage Museum, 2480 Grove St, Baker City, OR 97814 - $50 includes concert and dinner, tickets available online, or by calling 541-523-5369. May 26, 7 pm, Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR 97211 - Concert, $35 preferred GA, $25 general, $20 senior & veteran, $5 Arts For All tickets available at the door day of show only. Tickets available online or by calling 503-764-4131. Other events not open to the public include: April 12, 1 pm, OK Theatre, Enterprise, OR | Concert for Wallowa County students April 13, 1–2 pm, Josephy Center, Joseph, OR | Improvised performances for art students The year-long project that began with community discussion events in Portland and Joseph in the fall culminates in a performance tour to La Grande, Enterprise, and Baker City, as well as a studio album, a short documentary film and a performance in Portland in conjunction with the Vanport Mosaic. The project was generously funded by the Oregon Community Foundation’s Creative Heights program and was sponsored by the Oregon Historical Society. Project partners include Vanport Mosaic, Josephy Center for the Arts, Crossroads Carnegie Center for the Arts, Eastern Oregon University, and the OK Theatre. ABOUT THE CREATIVE TEAM Lyricist: S. Renee Mitchell is an award-winning writer and published author, multimedia artist, social justice advocate, and teacher/facilitator. Mitchell's more than 25 years of journalism experience has groomed her exceptional communication, analytical and grant-writing skills, yet, Renee is also a community-grounded visionary. She is the 2015 Yolanda D. King Drum Major Award winner in recognition of dedicated community service; was the librettist of “Sherman: A Jazz Opera;” has published a novel, children’s story, and several small-press zines; and teaches writing to children as the leader of the Saturday Academy Social Justice Camp as well as many other Portland institutions. Composer: Ezra Weiss has recorded seven albums as a bandleader, most recently “Before You Know It,” recorded live Portland, and composed songs and book for Northwest Children’s Theatre’s “Alice in Wonderland.” He has led his own bands at major venues throughout the U.S., including several week-long engagements at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Dizzy’s Club. He has won the ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award three times and has been listed in DownBeat Critics Polls in the Rising Star Arranger category. He currently teaches at Portland State University and holds a Bachelors in Jazz Composition from the Oberlin Conservatory and a Masters in Jazz Piano from Queens College. Vocalist: Marilyn Keller is a singer who performs a diverse range of jazz, gospel, and musical theatre throughout Oregon and abroad and was voted into Oregon Jazz Society’s Hall of Fame 2016. She joined Black Swan Classic Jazz Band in 1997 and has toured throughout Europe and the US. She has also remained active in a wide variety of other performance ensembles and styles: The Don Latarski Group, Darrell Grant’s The Territory, Thara Memory, Tall Jazz, Disciples in Song, and the Augustana Jazz Quartet among many others. Filmmaker: A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Kalimah Abioto began playing the drums at age three, writing in elementary school, and makings films in high school centered around dreams, sexuality, and the nexus between Black people, humans, freedom, and the natural-spirit worlds. She received her BA in film and video from Hollins University and is a co-creator, along with her four sisters of…

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August 2018

Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble @ Roaring Rapids

August 16, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Roaring Rapids Springfield, Oregon + Google Map
Free

In a new suite, renowned composer James Miley honors Oregon’s diverse waterways, from the mighty Columbia to the serenity of Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge. James Miley, recipient of the IAJE/Gil Evans Fellowship in Jazz Composition, is currently Assistant Professor of Music at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, where he directs the Willamette Jazz Collective and teaches improvisation, composition, jazz history, music technology, and music theory. A versatile composer and pianist comfortable in both the jazz and classical idioms, he has written music for a variety of chamber and choral ensembles in addition to his work for jazz orchestra.

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Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble @ Montavilla Jazz Festival

August 18, 2018 @ 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Portland Metro Arts, 9003 SE Stark St
Portland, OR 97216 United States
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$15 – $50

In a new suite, renowned composer James Miley honors Oregon’s diverse waterways, from the mighty Columbia to the serenity of Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge. James Miley, recipient of the IAJE/Gil Evans Fellowship in Jazz Composition, is currently Assistant Professor of Music at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, where he directs the Willamette Jazz Collective and teaches improvisation, composition, jazz history, music technology, and music theory. A versatile composer and pianist comfortable in both the jazz and classical idioms, he has written music for a variety of chamber and choral ensembles in addition to his work for jazz orchestra. General Admission availabile ONLY at Door: $15 Presale Drop-Down Options: Limited Reserved Seating: $25 VIP Stageside Seating: $50

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October 2018

Night of the Living Dead with PJCE

October 25, 2018 @ 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison St
Portland,
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$10 – $25

Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble (PJCE), in partnership with Holocene’s Fin Cu Cinema series, presents the iconic 1968 film “Night of the Living Dead” with a new live score composed by Amenta Abioto, Sage Fisher (aka Dolphin Midwives), and Maxx Katz for the city’s most adventurous jazz ensemble. On Thursday, October 25th at 8:30 pm the band will be on stage while the film is projected—with the original audio muted and English subtitles—on multiple screens around the Holocene’s two-levels, with each composer scoring one-third of the film. Doors open at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $25 reserved seated, $15 GA Day of show, $10 Advanced or Students and available at pjce.org/zombies and at the door. This event is 21+ only, and costumes are strongly encouraged. This program is partially funded by the Regional Arts and Culture Council’s Project Grant program and is co-presented by the Creative Music Guild. Thursday October 25th, 2018 – Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison St, Portland, OR 97214 7:30 pm doors open, 8:30 pm music begins $25 reserved seated, $15 GA Day of show, $10 Advanced or Students. 21+ only. Tickets available at pjce.org/zombies and at the door. Costumes encouraged.

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February 2019

Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble @ OSU

February 28, 2019 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Memorial Union Ballroom, 2501 SW Jefferson Way
Corvallis, OR 97331 United States
FREE

PJCE performs "From Maxville to Vanport" in the Memorial Union Ballroom at Oregon State University. Reserve your free ticket here. PORTLAND JAZZ COMPOSERS ENSEMBLE IN RESIDENCE AT OSU The OSU Jazz Ensemble, directed by Ryan Biesack, performs at 7:30 pm, PJCE follows at 8:30, concluding around 9:30 pm. The performance concludes a day of workshops with OSU students led by vocalist Marilyn Keller, composer Ezra Weiss, and PJCE Executive Director and trumpeter Douglas Detrick. The 12-piece Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble performs original songs and short films inspired by two towns that reveal distinctive viewpoints of the state’s under-represented Black history. Looking honestly at the prejudice these people faced, the joyful program celebrates their resilience, courage, and important contributions to Oregon through jazz, R&B, and blues. The music, composed by Weiss with lyrics by poet S. Renee Mitchell, is performed by the PJCE with vocalist Marilyn Keller. The project also includes two film shorts by filmmaker Kalimah Abioto scored by Weiss that will be projected with the ensemble performing the score. http://pjce.org/maxville-to-vanport/ From Maxville to Vanport was funded by the Oregon Community Foundation’s Creative Heights program and was sponsored by Vanport Mosaic and Oregon Historical Society.

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March 2019

Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble @ Mission Theater

March 3, 2019 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Mission Theater, 1624 NW GLISAN ST
Portland, OR 97209 United States
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THE ENCORE CD RELEASE PERFORMANCE OF PJCE’S “FROM MAXVILLE TO VANPORT” PROJECT FEATURING VOCALIST MARILYN KELLER! The 12-piece Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble performs original songs and short films inspired by two towns that reveal distinctive viewpoints of the state’s under-represented Black history. Looking honestly at the prejudice these people faced, the joyful program celebrates their resilience, courage, and important contributions to Oregon through jazz, R&B, and blues. The music, composed by Weiss with lyrics by poet S. Renee Mitchell, is performed by the PJCE with vocalist Marilyn Keller. The project also includes two film shorts by filmmaker Kalimah Abioto scored by Weiss that will be projected with the ensemble performing the score. http://pjce.org/maxville-to-vanport/ From Maxville to Vanport was funded by the Oregon Community Foundation’s Creative Heights program and was sponsored by Vanport Mosaic and Oregon Historical Society. About the Artists: Marilyn Keller is a singer who performs a diverse range of jazz, gospel, and musical theatre throughout Oregon and abroad and was voted into Oregon Jazz Society’s Hall of Fame 2016. She joined Black Swan Classic Jazz Band in 1997, and she has is active in a variety of ensembles and styles, singing with the Don Latarski Group, Darrell Grant’s The Territory, Thara Memory, Tall Jazz, Disciples in Song, and the Augustana Jazz Quartet among many others. Ezra Weiss has recorded seven albums as a bandleader, most recently “Before You Know It,” recorded live in Portland and has written three musicals for Northwest Children’s Theater. He has led his own bands at major venues throughout the US including several week-long engagements at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Dizzy’s Club. He won the ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award three times and was listed in 2012 and 2013 DownBeat Critics Polls as a Rising Star Arranger. He currently teaches at Portland State University and holds a Bachelors in Jazz Composition from the Oberlin Conservatory and a Masters in Jazz Piano from Queens College. S. Renee Mitchell is an award-winning writer, multimedia artist, social justice advocate, and educator. Mitchell’s more than 25 years of journalism experience has groomed her exceptional communication, analytical and grant-writing skills, yet, she is also a community-grounded visionary. She is the 2015 Yolanda D. King Drum Major Award winner in recognition of dedicated community service; was the librettist of “Sherman: A Jazz Opera;” has published a novel, children’s story, and several small-press zines; and teaches writing to children as the leader of the Saturday Academy Social Justice Camp as well as many other Portland, Oregon institutions. A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Kalimah Abioto makes films centered around dreams, sexuality, and the nexus between Black people, humans, freedom, and the natural-spirit worlds. She received her BA in Film and Video from Hollins University and is a co-creator, along with her four sisters, of The People Could Fly Project, a multimedia project documenting the dreams and stories of people in the African Diaspora. Abioto has worked with Afropop Worldwide, Holy Mojo, The Black Portlanders, Spirit Law Center, Diamond Law, and other groups. Portland Jazz Composers’ Ensemble is a 12-piece jazz ensemble which commissions and performs original works by its members and by other jazz composers in the Portland music community and beyond. It is our mission to operate a large musical ensemble, to commission and perform original works by members of the ensemble and by other jazz composers in the Portland music community and elsewhere, to act as a forum for the development and presentation of works for large ensemble by established and emerging jazz composers, and to engage and enrich community awareness and appreciation of contemporary music.

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May 2019

Water Spirit: A tribute to Jim Pepper with PJCE @ The Old Church

May 18, 2019 @ 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
The Old Church, 1422 SW 11th Ave,
Portland, OR 97201 United States
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$5 – $25

(PORTLAND, OR)—Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble (PJCE) honors the Oregon-born saxophonist Jim Pepper (Kaw/Creek) with a concert of new music on Saturday, May 18th at 8 pm at The Old Church that honors Pepper’s music—performing his compositions “Remembrance” and “Bamasso”—and his creative process—fusing jazz with contemporary and traditional Native American music styles. Gordon Lee, a Pepper bandmate for many years, and Clay Giberson will both contribute new compositions to the concert. Guest artist 2 8 Tha Native, a hip hop artist and traditional singer and dancer, expresses his “tribally-influenced” perspective through Farnell Newton and Stephanie Kitson’s arrangements of his songs for our 12-member jazz ensemble. Hip hop artist Kunu, a creative partner of 2 8 Tha Native, will be a special guest.

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