Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble Celebrates Oregon’s Black History In Song And Film

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Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble Celebrates Oregon’s Black History In Song And Film

February 28 @ 7:30 pm

$5 – $25
Ezra Weiss and S. Renee Mitchell’s songs for Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble showcase the resilience of Oregon’s Blue-Collar Black Communities in encore performances of “From Maxville to Vanport.”
”Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble continues to find innovative ways to connect music with people and to re-examine ways to bring culture and relevance to its audiences.”
— Christina Rusnak, Oregon ArtsWatch
“The album confronts head-on issues such as prejudice and migration. The content isn’t, however, weighed down by despair; instead, it’s buoyed by…hope.”
— Ron Schepper, Textura
“This is truly music to die for.”
— Raul da Gama, JazzDa Gama
“Ezra Weiss showcases his musical intelligence, diversity and status as a bold, inspired figure in the contemporary jazz arranging scene.”
— Josef Woodard, DownBeat

Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble (PJCE) presents encore performances of From Maxville to Vanport, original songs and short films inspired by Oregon’s blue-collar Black history on Thursday, February 28th at 7:30 pm at Oregon State University and on Sunday, March 3rd at 8 pm at Portland’s Mission Theater. These performances also feature a ten-minute documentary film “The Making of From Maxville to Vanport” by Sika Stanton. The documentary shows how the project was created from community discussions that inspired the music to the world premiere concerts. The film, shown at the Mission Theater at 7 pm on March 3rd, will be followed by a conversation with project collaborators, facilitated by Vanport Mosaic. There will be a 30-minute break before the music begins at 8 pm.

From Maxville to Vanport celebrates the history of two Oregon towns that reveal distinctive viewpoints of the state’s under-represented Black history. Drawing from jazz, R&B, and blues, From Maxville to Vanport tells the stories of Black workers and their families in rural eastern Oregon and just north of Portland. The music, brilliantly composed by Ezra Weiss with lyrics by poet S. Renee Mitchell, honors their resilience, humor, and contributions to Oregon while also looking honestly at the prejudice and hardships they faced.

From Maxville to Vanport will be performed by the PJCE, joined by vocalist Marilyn Keller. The performance includes two film shorts by Kalimah Abioto, also scored by Ezra Weiss. PJCE’s Executive Director, Douglas Detrick, was the artistic director for the project, which was funded in part by an Oregon Community Foundation Creative Heights grant. From Maxville to Vanport premiered in April 2018 in Eastern Oregon and in May 2018 at the Vanport Mosaic Festival. PJCE released an album of the recorded music in November 2018.

Tickets are free.
Reserve yours here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/portland-jazz-composers-ensemble-from-maxville-to-vanport-tickets-54980392835

Details

Date:
February 28
Time:
7:30 pm
Cost:
$5 – $25

Organizer

PJCE
Website:
www.pjce.org

Venue

McMenamin’s Mission Theater
1624 NW Glisan St
Portland, OR 97209 United States
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