Montavilla Jazz Artist-in-Residence

Montavilla Jazz Education and Community Outreach

Something extraordinary happens when young people learn about jazz and its influence on American history and culture. Students in Montavilla’s public schools will experience how jazz is woven into the fabric of our day to day lives during a six-week residency with a local jazz artist, special guest presenters, and representatives from Portland’s jazz community.

The Montavilla Jazz Artist-in-Residence program takes students on a journey starting with the forced immigration of African slaves, the mixing of European, African, and indigenous cultures that led to the birth of jazz, through the boom of popular music in America, up to the current day and the continuing influence of jazz on contemporary music.

Vestal is thrilled to have Montavilla Jazz Artist-in-Residence in our school! Jazz is an amazing tool for our students to learn about art and social justice!

Sabrina Flamoe

Principal, Vestal School

Supporting local jazz artists is at the core of our mission. Montavilla Jazz pays artists a fair wage to create and perform new music at the annual Montavilla Jazz Festival. In addition, we provide paid opportunities for local jazz artists to build an audience for their work by sharing their passion for jazz with kids in our community’s public schools.

The Montavilla Jazz Artist-in-Residence program gives kids an appreciation for the cultural and historical significance of jazz, and gives local artists an opportunity to develop skills as educators, and meet the next generation of jazz fans.

I love how the Montavilla Jazz Artist-in-Residence program includes history and contextualization of the importance and influence of jazz!

Raúl Gómez

Music Director, Metropolitan Youth Symphony

Meet Montavilla’s Jazz Artist-in-Residence

Mary-Sue Tobin has shared the stage with international jazz and R&B stars such as Dave Douglas, The Temptations, James Moody, and Esperanza Spalding. She has performed with the Oregon Symphony Pops (Pointer Sisters, Johnny Mathis) and played numerous local festivals including PDX Jazz, Mount Hood Jazz, Montavilla Jazz, and Cathedral Park Jazz Festival.

Mary-Sue brings her passion for music and 20 years of experience to her work as music educator. She teaches all levels, from beginners to professionals, offering her knowledge, inspiration, and encouragement to help students achieve their goals. In addition to her performance and education activities, Mary-Sue serves on the PDX Jazz programming committee.