The mission of Montavilla Jazz is to support and strengthen local music culture and enrich our community by showcasing the best of Portland’s originally composed, progressive jazz.

Who We Are

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.

Our organization represents a diverse community of jazz artists, student musicians, music lovers, neighbors, business owners, students, teachers, and administrators from within the neighborhood of Montavilla, and from a larger family of jazz supporters and practitioners far and wide, from different backgrounds, ethnicity, race, socioeconomic status, gender, exceptionalities, language, religion, and sexual orientation. Montavilla Jazz brings together people who love jazz, love Montavilla, or both!

What We Do

  • Build an audience for jazz where we live.
  • Create space for jazz to be presented in East Portland.
  • Make performances accessible by keeping prices low and providing discounts for low income families.
  • Honor the jazz tradition by programming local artists at the highest level of their craft.
  • Encourage risk taking, experimentation and forward thinking artistry, and the creation of new works.
  • Treat artists with dignity and respect and pay a fair wage for performance services.
  • Cultivate the next generation of Portland jazz artists through jazz education programs and performance opportunities for student musicians.
  • Give residents and businesses an opportunity to make a cultural contribution to the city of Portland.
  • Get neighbors involved with events and projects, providing provide opportunities for them to build capacity and new skills.
  • Connect the Portland jazz community of musicians, jazz fans, educators, and supporters, and for the organizations that make up the Portland jazz ecosystem.

Why We Do It

  • We are dedicated to ensuring the viability of the jazz art form and its preservation for future generations.
  • To organize for the benefit of local artists to get them representation and support they need to make sustainable careers as jazz artists in Portland.
  • The core principles of jazz including social justice, activism, individualism, and collaboration are crucial to a thriving community and can be applied locally to foster unity.
  • Art is integral to a community’s well being, and many Portland residents don’t have access to affordable arts experiences.
  • We have an opportunity to make our neighborhood a better place through presenting jazz.
  • We want a healthy, happy, diverse, inclusive, and equitable community for all!
  • Working together with local businesses and community organizations makes our community stronger and more connected.


Board of Directors

Neil Mattson—Executive Director/Chair
Ryan Meagher—Programming Director
Aaron Hayman—Art Director

Nancy Mitchell—Secretary
Steve Mitchell—Treasurer
Kim Harrison
Marcia Hocker
Katherine Sharp

Resource Council

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

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