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/Chair
Nancy Mitchell—Secretary
Steve Mitchell—Treasurer
Kim Harrison
Aaron Hayman
Marcia Hocker
Ryan Meagher
Katherine Sharp

Resource Council

Hobie Bender—Bipartisan Cafe
Stephen Blackman—Brownstein Rask
Donna Cruz-Moreno—PJCE

Deborah DeMoss Smith—KMHD
Douglas Detrick—Substrate Arts Consulting
Pete Emerson—Bipartisan Cafe
Darrell Grant—PSU
Fritz Hirsch—IRCO
Don Lucoff—DL Music Media
Pancho Savery—Reed College
George Thorn—RACC