Montavilla Jazz

Community building through jazz!

Our Story

Montavilla Jazz began as a neighborhood project founded by two jazz musicians, a graphic designer, and a community activist, whose collective vision was to build an audience for jazz in their community by putting on a festival that would attract local artists of the highest distinction and excite the most sophisticated jazz fans, and in turn enhance and enrich the lives of Montavilla residents. Read more…


Montavilla Jazz is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization made up of people who believe that the diverse art form known as jazz, as a tradition and a practice, is relevant and necessary to the lives of all people as a positive force for community-building and education. Read more…

Making an impact in Montavilla and Beyond!

In 2015, in order to bolster music education in our schools, MJF created the Montavilla Schools Fund (MSMF). MJF earmarked a portion of each ticket sold at MJF 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 to this fund. Our four neighborhood public schools had the opportunity to apply for grants funded by these proceeds. In four grant cycles MJF has allocated $7500 for music education in Montavilla schools.

In 2019, Montavilla Jazz transitioned away from the MSMF grant program in favor of developing jazz education initiatives in Montavilla schools. In its second year, Montavilla Jazz Artist-in-Residency expanded Vestal Elementary and Bridger School. In early 2020 students experienced how the sound and spirit of jazz are woven into the fabric of American life during six weeks with our Jazz Artist-in- Residence, Portland-based jazz saxophonist and educator, Mary-Sue Tobin.

In 2020 Montavilla Jazz launched another pilot program, Mt. Tabor Middle School Jazz. Morning jazz band supported Mt. Tabor Middle School’s band program by providing additional opportunities for band students to learn instrumental performance practices, broaden their understanding of the significant role that jazz plays in the history of band ensemble music, including innovations to performance techniques that are specific to jazz. Read more…

Photos by Kathryn Elsesser.


Board of Directors

Neil Mattson—Executive Director
Marcia Hocker—Vice President
Nancy Mitchell—Secretary
Steve Mitchell—Treasurer
Kim Harrison
Aaron Hayman
Katherine Sharp

Resource Council

Stephen Blackman—Brownstein Rask
Donna Cruz-Moreno—PJCE

Douglas Detrick—Substrate Arts Consulting
Darrell Grant—PSU
Fritz Hirsch—IRCO
Don Lucoff—DL Music Media
Pancho Savery—Reed College
George Thorn—RACC

With support from:

Ron & Jean Boesl
Regional Arts & Culture Council
Marie Lamfrom Charitable Foundation
Oregon Community Foundation
Mr Plywood
Jeremy & Joan Mattson
Accelerator Design Studios, Inc.
Washman LLC
James F & Marion L Miller Foundation
Montavilla Sewing Center
Oregon Arts Commission
Prosper Portland
OnPoint Community Credit Union
Bret Brantner
Sami Khawaja
Katherine Mattson
Autzen Foundation
New Music USA
East Glisan Pizza Lounge
Truman Heartland Community Foundation
Elizabeth Booher
Fix Auto East Portland
Riverview Bank
Randy P Lifshotz
Barbara Newell
Eric Busch
Bipartisian Cafe
Mt Tabor Middle School Foundation