Montavilla Jazz celebrates Portland jazz with live streamed concerts on August 15-16

Montavilla Jazz hosts weekend concerts in honor of its cancelled annual festival and shifts to new projects and expanded educational programming in 2021.

PORTLAND, Oregon, August 5, 2020

For the first time in seven years Montavilla Jazz will not host a late summer neighborhood jazz festival in East Portland.

In each of the past six summers Montavilla Jazz Festival has featured established and emerging local jazz artists including Mel Brown, Gordon Lee, Essiet Okon Essiet, Sylvia Cuenca, Darrell Grant, Nancy King, Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble, George Colligan, Dana Reason, Charlie Porter, Nicole Glover, Bobby Torres, Ezra Weiss, Alan Jones, Farnell Newton, Tim Willcox, Randy Porter, Jasnam Diya Singh, David Friesen, and many more. With each successful event Montavilla Jazz has grown and expanded its programming centered on its mission to support local artists and build an audience for jazz.

The global pandemic and ensuing shutdown of almost all live music events has given festival organizers a chance to pause and reflect on how they will serve our community moving forward.

“We know that now more than ever Montavilla Jazz has a crucial role to play in helping to sustain Portland jazz by providing local artists with performance and teaching opportunities that pay well” says executive director, Neil Mattson. “Without a festival this year we feel it’s important to celebrate the good work we’ve done over the past half dozen years and give our community a chance to support some important projects we’ve got cooking for 2021!”

Festival Weekend Honored with Live-Streamed Benefit Concerts

In lieu of a 2020 festival, Montavilla Jazz is celebrating Portland jazz by hosting live-streamed concerts as a fundraiser for future programs and projects.

Let’s Celebrate Portland Jazz!
A benefit for Montavilla Jazz
Live-streamed by Left Door Streaming from The 1905
August 15 and 16, 2020, 5-7 p.m. both nights!

Integer Saturday, 8/15, 5 p.m.

Integer is a Portland-based jazz trio led by composer and pianist Todd Marston, with bassist Andrew Jones and drummer Micah Hummel. Marston’s compositions are accessible, propelled by strong grooves, they juxtapose singable melodies with complex harmonic textures.

Ron Steen Trio Sunday, 8/16, 5pm

Ron Steen, who was recently honored as a Jazz Journalist Association 2020 Jazz Hero, is a local jazz legend. This concert will feature Ron Steen with pianist George Mitchell and bassist Perry Thoorsell.

“For the past 50 years, Steen has been a paragon of integrity and consistency in the Portland jazz community. As a jam session host, he is congenial and supportive, giving everyone a chance, at least once. As a bandleader and hired gun, he can rise to any creative challenge the music has to offer, with fierce intelligence and finely honed chops.”  —Rick Mitchell

OCF Covid Relief Fund Awarded to Expand Education Programs

Montavilla Jazz has received funding from Oregon Community Foundation’s Covid Relief Fund to continue their jazz education programs in Montavilla schools in 2020-21. The $7,000 grant will fully fund an expansion of Montavilla Jazz Artist-in-Residence adding a third school and reaching approximately three hundred 4th and 5th graders.

Montavilla Jazz Artist-in-Residence 2020-2021 will serve students at three Montavilla public schools (Bridger K-8, Vestal School, and Harrison Park) This program provides essential arts and culture experiences to children from historically marginalized communities in these underserved schools. By sharing the cultural heritage of jazz, Montavilla Jazz hopes to create a sense of belonging to a proud creative tradition, foster ownership of the artistic practices of that tradition, and share opportunities for inclusion in music and art making.

RACC Award Funds Montavilla Jazz Film Series

Very soon Montavilla Jazz will announce details about Montavilla Jazz Presents: The Portland Sound Film Series. The film series is partially funded by Regional Arts & Culture Council and features six Portland jazz artists in collaboration with five local filmmakers collaborating to create an original work filmed at unique locations within the Montavilla neighborhood and presented as a series of concert films for 2021 screenings.


  • For more information, please visit montavillajazz.org and www.facebook.com/montavillajazz

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