Darrell Grant’s Piano in the Dark with special guest Billy Childs

Saturday, September 2nd, 2023, 8PM – Alberta Rose Theatre
Darrell Grant playing piano

Darrell Grant’s Piano in the Dark with special guest Billy Childs

Saturday, September 2, 2023, 8PM – Alberta Rose Theatre – Tickets $5-45

Chasing the magic of the unexpected, Darrell Grant curates ephemeral encounters at and beyond the keyboard melding tradition and innovation.

Tasting notes: spontaneous, courageous, unexpected

Since the release of his debut album Black Art, one of the New York Times’ top ten jazz CDs of 1994, Darrell Grant has built an international reputation as a pianist, composer, and educator who channels the power of music to make change. He has performed throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe in venues ranging from Paris’s La Villa jazz club to the Havana Jazz Festival. Dedicated to themes of hope, community, and place, Grant’s compositions include Step by Step: The Ruby Bridges Suite honoring the civil rights icon, The Territory which explores Oregon’s landscape and history, and Sanctuaries, a jazz chamber opera exploring gentrification. Since moving to Portland, Oregon, he has been named Portland Jazz Hero by the Jazz Journalist Association, received a Northwest Regional Emmy, an Oregon Arts Commission Fellowship, a MAP Fund grant, and the Governor’s Arts Award. He is a Professor of Music at Portland State University where he directs the Artist as Citizen Initiative.

Billy Childs in front of piano

Jazz pianist/composer Billy Childs is one of the most diversely prolific and acclaimed artists working in music today. Childs’ canon of original compositions and arrangements has garnered him the 2013 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship (2009), a composers award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (2015), and two Chamber Music America grants: the Jazz New Works Grant (2006) and the Classical Commissioning Grant (2019). Childs has had sixteen GRAMMY nominations, and five GRAMMY awards, most recently for Best Jazz Instrumental Album. Previously he won for Best Arrangement, Instrumental & Vocal (featuring Renée Fleming and Yo-Yo Ma) in 2015 for ‘New York Tendaberry’, from his highly successful release Map to the Treasure: Reimagining Laura Nyro. Other Grammy wins include Best Instrumental Composition for ‘The Path Among the Trees’ (2011) and ‘Into The Light’ (2005), from his much-heralded jazz/chamber releases, Autumn: In Moving Pictures and Lyric. Downbeat Magazine states, “…Childs’ jazz/chamber group has taken the jazz-meets classical format to a new summit.”

Brown Calvin by Katrina Z

Born in Philly into a family of musicians and artists, keyboardist/ producer Andre Raiah was steeped in an eccentric mix of sounds from a very young age. Starting formally in Puerto Rico in 2007 before relocating to Portland, OR in 2009, he has engaged in an unending study in practice of piano, production, performance, recording, sound-seeking, djing and listening, which have helped him to map out a unique approach to music, and a sound that is all his own.

Unconventional rhythmic structures, elements of improvisation, jazz harmony, and Rhodes-soaked psychedelic soundscapes are woven together with samples, synths and found sounds to make up Raiah’s solo work, recorded under the moniker ‘Brown Calvin’.

Rebecca Sanborn

Rebecca Sanborn began writing songs at the age of six. She studied at the Contemporary Music Program at The College of Santa Fe, in New Mexico. Upon returning home to the Northwest, Rebecca met her husband and musical partner, drummer Ji Tanzer. They are both members of the adventurous jazz quintet, Blue Cranes, and the art pop trio, Swansea. Rebecca was awarded a RACC grant in 2023 to record her song cycle, “Shadow Work”, with the Portland Jazz Composers’ Ensemble. When she is not performing or writing, she can be found chasing after her costume-obsessed five-year-old daughter, Nadia.

Jasnam by Kathryn Elsesser

Born Weber Ribeiro Drummond in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1962, it was not until the mid-90’s that pianist/composer Weber adopted the stage name Weber Iago as a homage to the Roma people. Since he took Amrit (initiation in the Sikh Religion) in 2013, Iago has adopted the name Jasnam Daya Singh.

Singh has spent all of his musical life researching different types of sounds, ultimately dedicating most of his endeavors to uniting elements of classical, jazz, and Brazilian music. In Brazil, he advanced his craft as a concert pianist as well as a composer, writing mostly piano and chamber music works. In the early 80’s he developed a strong interest in jazz which prompted his move to Los Angeles in 1987. Once in the US, Singh began working with notable musicians such as Moacir Santos, one of Brazil’s greatest composers and arrangers.

Singh has participated as a pianist and bandleader in jazz festivals all over the world as well as shows and interviews in the most important jazz radio stations in the United States. Since 1991, he has made constant appearances at the Monterey Jazz Festival, among those are the one in 2005 with the Carla Bley Big Band, which featured Carla herself, Steve Swallow, and Billy Drummond and 2010 as part of the Hristo Vitchev Quartet.

Amenta Abioto
Amenta “Yawa” Abioto, is a songwriter and producer from Memphis,TN and currently based in Portland, OR. In her one-woman performance, she builds vocal and instrumental loops from synth, drum machine, and kalimba creating atmospheric textures. Amenta “Yawa” Abioto surprises and tantalizes audiences with mind bending ideas while skipping musically from soul-shaking gospel to smooth jazz. Her music is boldly mystical and soul-fired, and her raw live performances invoke elements of both theatrical and magical surprise. “

Lineup: Darrell Grant, Billy Childs, Andre Raiah, Rebecca Sanborn, Jasnam Daya Singh, and Yawa, keyboards

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Darrell Grant
Billy Childs
Andre Raiah
Rebecca Sanborn
Jasnam Daya Singh
Yawa, keyboards

2023 Festival Events

Presented by Accelerator Design Studios

Friday 9/1

Portland Youth Jazz Orchestra Combo
MJF Student Stage at Vino Veritas – 4:00PM
Vestal Stories: Mary-Sue Tobin Sextet
Mt. Tabor Park Amphitheater – 6:00PM
Views of an Urban Volcano with Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble
Mt. Tabor Park Amphitheater – 7:30PM
Charlie 3rown Quartet
The 1905 – 11:30PM

Saturday 9/2

George Colligan: The Phyllis Wheatley Project featuring Zyanna
Portland Metro Arts – 2:00PM
Ryan Meagher, Ralph Alessi, Peter Epstein, and Mark Ferber
Portland Metro Arts – 5:00PM
Mt. Hood Community College Jazz Combo
MJF Student Stage at Vino Veritas – 6:00PM
Darrell Grant's Piano in the Dark with special guest Billy Childs
Alberta Rose Theatre – 8:00PM
Nicole McCabe Quartet
The 1905 – 11:30PM

Sunday 9/3

Domo Branch and Branchin’ Out
Portland Metro Arts – 2:00PM
Jam Session by Alan Jones Academy of Music
The 1905 - 4:00PM
Tim Willcox Quartet featuring Chuck Israels
Portland Metro Arts – 5:00PM
Portland State University Combo
MJF Student Stage at Vino Veritas – 6:00PM
Alan Jones Quartet featuring Tivon Pennicott, Kevin Hays and Joe Martin
Alberta Rose Theatre – 8:00PM
Frank Irwin's Aurora Septet
The 1905 – 11:00PM