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Portland’s most adventurous jazz festival turns 10 with a three-day event spanning five venues and 11 concerts showcasing the city’s world-class musicians. 

PORTLAND, Ore.—At the leading edge of Portland’s jazz scene, Montavilla Jazz’s 10th Annual Festival will run September 1–3, 2023 with concerts across the city featuring original jazz by world-class local artists. This year, the festival highlights some of Portland’s jazz scene-makers with internationally-acclaimed drummer Alan Jones headlining the festival Sunday evening with his quartet featuring Grammy Award-winners Tivon Pennicott and Kevin Hays. Pianist Darrell Grant performs Saturday night with a one-night-only project: Piano in the Dark with special guest, and another Grammy winner, Billy Childs, as well as four local keyboardists of note. The 2023 festival’s footprint continues to expand with two concerts at the Alberta Rose Theatre, three at The 1905, and, for the first time, two free outdoor concerts at Mt. Tabor Park while maintaining a home base at the Montavilla neighborhood’s Portland Metro Arts.

The locally-based jazz festival begins at Mt. Tabor Park with a world premiere of Views of an Urban Volcano, a three-part commission inspired by the concert’s location on Portland’s beloved extinct cinder cone-turned-greenspace. The concert also celebrates Montavilla Jazz’s decade of partnership with Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble which will perform the new works. Opening the event will be Vestal Stories: Mary-Sue Tobin Sextet, a project developed collaboratively during Tobin’s tenure this spring as Montavilla Jazz’s artist-in-residence at Vestal Elementary School. 

Montavilla Jazz Festival is the only local festival focused on Portland-based musicians’ original compositions. Headliner Alan Jones shares, “It’s really a great honor to be a headliner at the festival. The festival is something the Portland community can be very proud of — it’s really a special situation, especially for us local musicians.”  

Montavilla Jazz Executive Director Neil Mattson shares, “It is incredible how far we have come in 10 years of making space for Portland’s local jazz artists. Montavilla Jazz’s formula has always been simple — we invest in local artists and invite them to carry out their dream projects. It’s a simple idea, but we continue to be astounded by the way these musicians take risks and innovate. This year’s artist-centered programming represents the dynamism and diversity of our community’s creative spirit. We can’t wait to see what happens over the next ten years as Montavilla Jazz continues to push artists to dream big and welcome new listeners into the jazz fold.”

Friday, September 1–Sunday, September 3, 2023

Mt. Tabor Park Caldera Amphitheater
Friday, September 1 ONLY

The 1905* (830 N Shaver St, Portland, OR 97227)
Friday, September 1–Sunday, September 3

Portland Metro Arts* (9003 SE Stark St, Portland, OR 97216) ON SALE NOW
Saturday, September 2 & Sunday, September 3

Alberta Rose Theatre (3000 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR 97211)
Saturday, September 2 & Sunday, September 3

Vino Veritas Wine Bar and Bottle Shop (7835 SE Stark St, Portland, OR 97215)
Friday, September 1–Sunday, September 3

*The concerts at Portland Metro Arts and The 1905 will also be live-streamed.

$5-45 per live concert with discounts for advance purchases, students, and Arts for All available for some concerts. On Sale Now: Portland Metro Arts single tickets ($25-30) and limited weekend passes for Saturday and Sunday performances at Portland Metro Arts and full festival passes ($80-197). Livestreams will be offered for free with a suggested donation of $5.

Find ticket details and information at montavillajazz.org.

The 2023 Montavilla Jazz Festival events include: 

  • Alan Jones Quartet featuring Tivon Pennicott, Kevin Hays and Joe Martin
    Sunday, September 3, 2023, 8:00 PM – Alberta Rose Theatre – Tickets $5-45
    Festival headliner Alan Jones assembles a dream team of award-winning talent for a concert of original music designed to inspire and challenge. 
  • Darrell Grant’s Piano in the Dark with special guest Billy Childs
    Saturday, September 2, 2023, 8:00 PM – 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.
  • Views of an Urban Volcano with Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble
    Friday, September 1, 2023, 7:30 PM – Mt. Tabor Park Caldera Amphitheater – FREE!
    Composers Cyrus Nabipoor, Kirsten Volness, and James Powers premiere new jazz inspired by Portland’s beloved greenspace and extinct cinder cone, Mt. Tabor Park, performed by Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble’s 12-member band.
  • Vestal Stories: Mary-Sue Tobin Sextet
    Friday, September 1, 2023, 6:00 PM – Mt. Tabor Park Caldera Amphitheater – FREE!
    Celebrating where we come from and the joy around us, this project is the culmination of a collaboration between Montavilla Jazz, Portland State University’s Artist as Citizen Initiative, and Vestal Elementary.
  • Tim Willcox Quartet featuring Chuck Israels
    Sunday, September 3, 2023, 5:00 PM – Portland Metro Arts – Tickets $5-30
    Tim Willcox’s saxophone “sings and, at times, broods passionately and inventively” into the original works of his ensemble of local heavyweights.
  • Ryan Meagher, Ralph Alessi, Peter Epstein, and Mark Ferber
    Saturday, September 2, 2023, 5:00 PM – Portland Metro Arts – Tickets $5-30
    Prominent Portland guitarist Ryan Meagher assembles a team of eminent improvisers to mine their decade-long creative relationships.
  • Domo Branch and Branchin’ Out
    Sunday, September 3, 2023, 2:00 PM – Portland Metro Arts – Tickets $5-30
    Branch and company are on a mission to heal, motivate, and inspire through the trance of original and arranged music.
  • George Colligan: The Phyllis Wheatley Project featuring Zyanna
    Saturday, September 2, 2023, 2:00 PM – Portland Metro Arts – Tickets $5-30
    Phyllis Wheatley was the first African American poet to be published in the United States. George Colligan sets her poetry to music.
  • Nicole McCabe Quartet
    Saturday, September 2, 2023, 11:30 PM – The 1905 – Tickets $15, available soon
    McCabe’s Los Angeles-based band plays music from her recent album Landscapes released on the Spanish label Fresh Sounds New Talent.
  • Charlie 3rown Quartet
    Friday, September 1, 2023, 11:30 PM – The 1905 – Tickets $15, available soon
    Riding the edge of multiple genres, the Charlie 3rown Quartet’s creations use their diverse experiences and influences to take listeners to the brink.
  • Frank Irwin’s Aurora Septet
    Sunday, September 3, 2023, 11:00 PM – The 1905 – Tickets $15, available soon
    Blending chamber orchestration with improvisation and modal groove, Aurora Septet paints a beautiful landscape of self-discovery.
  • MJF Student Stage
    Friday, September 1, 4:00 PM; Saturday, September 2 & Sunday, September 3, 2023, 4-6 PM – Vino Veritas Wine Bar and Bottle Shop – FREE
    Breakout university students take center stage. 

The complete festival lineup and schedule is available at https://montavillajazz.org/.  



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.