Mel Brown and Gordon Lee to Headline Sixth Annual Montavilla Jazz Festival August 17–18

Montavilla Jazz Festival 2019 lineup and event details announced.

PORTLAND, Oregon, June 18, 2019Portland jazz icon Mel Brown and his musical collaborator of three decades, Gordon Lee, will headline Montavilla Jazz Festival 2019 running August 1718 at Portland Metro Arts, 9003 SE Stark, Portland, Oregon, 97216. For the sixth year, the nonprofit neighborhood festival features local jazz artists playing original music at the forefront of creative expression. This year, several extraordinary local musicians will perform new compositions and feature world-class musicians in their ensembles.

The complete festival lineup and schedule can be found at https://montavillajazz.org/.  Advance day passes and headliner tickets are available for  $15-30 at https://www.tickettomato.com.

The 2019 Montavilla Jazz Festival lineup includes:

  • Mel Brown and Gordon Lee with the Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble–A celebration of their thirty-three-year musical partnership, Mel Brown and Gordon Lee reunite to perform Lee’s original works arranged for this performance with the Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble.
  • Ezra Weiss Big Band: We Limit Not the Truth of God–The Ezra Weiss Big Band celebrates the release of their new album on Origin Records with this original suite of intensely personal reflections on the troubled world in which we live. 
  • CMG Sound Foundry presents Wayne Horvitz–Michael Gamble, the artistic head of Portland’s most adventurous musical organizations, Creative Music Guild, performs an improvised set in collaboration with award-winning pianist Wayne Horvitz.
  • Mel Brown B3 Organ Group–Portland music legend Mel Brown and his all-star B3 Organ Group have wowed Portland audiences for 23 years and counting with their unique combination of jazz, soul, and blues, performed with fire and spontaneity.
  • Bobby Torres Ensemble–“Latin jazz with enough flavor and spice to satisfy your body and soul’s need for rhythmic nourishment.” – The Oregonian.
  • Charlie Porter Quintet–One of Portland’s best-known artists outside of the local area performing new original music with an all-star cast. The Palm Beach Post says, “Porter’s excellent stylish playing draws you in; you hang on each note!”
  • Dana Reason: Torque Songs–A new work utilizing the concept of torque to create thematic and generative sonic rotations that move through “forgotten” voices.
  • Sherry Alves with George Colligan–Newest member of the Portland State University jazz faculty, vocalist Sherry Alves fronts a quartet powered by new music from keyboard virtuoso, George Colligan.
  • Bryan Smith: Let Me Take You There–A nature-inspired multimedia collaboration between composer/saxophonist Bryan Smith and poet/photographer Matt Spohn, aiming to bring awareness to the importance of environmental conservation.
  • Ian Christensen’s Rolling House–A brand-new group of stellar locals performing Christensen’s newest work as a composer.
  • Kathleen Hollingsworth: Mad Love–Best described as having “East Coast drive and West Coast soul.” The trio’s music is rooted in the jazz tradition yet playfully branches out into Americana, singer-songwriter, and Rhythm & Blues territory.
  • Kerry Politzer: Bossa PDX–Brazilian jazz inspired by the masters of bossa nova.

“We want the Montavilla neighborhood to be the epicenter of arts and culture in East Portland,” said Neil Mattson, executive director for the festival. “We created the Montavilla Jazz Festival to capitalize on the neighborhood’s appreciation and support of local artists and world-class cultural events. Jazz is one of America’s greatest gifts to the arts community, and we are thrilled by what the talented lineup and quality of the festival mean to our neighborhood and community.”

Montavilla Jazz Festival generates community support for jazz education.

Addressing a national trend of limiting funding for music and arts programs, festival organizers continue to work closely with the Montavilla business community. In 2015, in order to bolster music education in our schools, MJF created the Montavilla Schools Fund (MSMF). Four for years, MJF earmarked a portion of each ticket sold to this fund. Montavilla’s four neighborhood public schools had the opportunity to apply for grants funded by these proceeds. In four grant cycles, MJF has allocated $7,500 for music education in Montavilla schools.  

This year, MJF is redirecting efforts from the grant program to focus on developing jazz education initiatives in Montavilla schools. MJF recently completed its pilot program the Montavilla Jazz Artist-in-Residency at Vestal School, initiated by a 2018 MSMF grant. In the first months of 2019 Vestal 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.

Montavilla Jazz Festival is possible thanks to more than 30 dedicated, community-minded sponsors and partner organizations from Montavilla and beyond.

Dates and Location:

When: Saturday and Sunday, August 1718, 2019,
1:30-9:00 pm; Doors at 12:30 pm

Where: Portland Metro Arts, 9003 SE Stark, Portland, OR 97216

Day Passes: General admission and VIP day passes for both Saturday and Sunday are available for presale purchase at https://www.tickettomato.com/, and at the box office during festival hours on both days. Seating is limited, re-entry is not guaranteed, and no refunds are given. General Admission day passes are $15, VIP day passes are $30. 

Headliner Show Tickets: General admission and VIP tickets to both Saturday and Sunday headliner shows are available for presale purchase at  https://www.tickettomato.com/, and at the box office during festival hours on both days.

ADA Reservations: ADA reservations available upon request, please call (971) 220-6051.

Arts for All: Montavilla Jazz Festival is proud to offer Oregon Trail card-holders up to two (2) day passes for $5 each when they present their Oregon Trail card at the box office. MJF is proud to partner with the “Arts for All” program to introduce this new offering to the festival. Go to https://racc.org/artsforall/ to learn more about this program and to see a list of participating arts organizations.

Arts Card: Montavilla Jazz Festival is also proud to be an official Work For Art: Arts Card event! Arts Card-holders can get 2-for-1 MJF day passes. Go to https://workforart.org/ to learn more about this program and to see a list of participating arts organizations. 

Note: Arts for All and Arts Card discounts are available for general admission day passes and headliner show tickets only, and do not apply to VIP passes and headliner tickets.


  • For more information, please visit www.montavillajazzfest.com and www.facebook.com/montavillajazzfestival

About Montavilla Jazz Festival: The mission of Montavilla Jazz Festival is to support and strengthen local music culture and enrich our community by showcasing the best of Portland’s originally composed, progressive jazz. Montavilla Jazz Festival is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.