Ryan Meagher, Ralph Alessi, Peter Epstein, and Mark Ferber

Saturday, September 2nd, 2023, 5PM – Portland Metro Arts
Ryan Meagher playing guitar

Ryan Meagher, Ralph Alessi, Peter Epstein, and Mark Ferber

Saturday, September 2nd, 2023, 5PM – Portland Metro Arts Tickets $5-30LIVESTREAM

Prominent Portland guitarist Ryan Meagher assembles a team of eminent improvisers to mine their decade-long creative relationships.

Tasting notes: explorative, organic, high-flying

Ryan Meagher (pronounced Marr) is a guitarist/composer, music educator, and arts administrator based in Portland, Oregon. He has released nine albums under his own direction and been a sideman on many others. Three of his albums are on the venerable record label Fresh Sound New Talent Records which is home to many of modern jazz’s brightest stars earliest records. His newest release, AftEarth, is a multidisciplinary collaboration with visual artist, Tina Granzo. His playing is known for its depth and flexibility as he is comfortable in traditional harmonic frameworks as well as in freer, more improvisatory settings like the Montavilla Jazz Festival audience will hear this year.

Meagher directs the jazz studies at Lower Columbia College in Longview, WA, and is an instructor at Mt Hood Community College and University of Portland. He is also the Artistic Director of the Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble and runs its in-house record label, PJCE Records.

Ralph Alessi by Jessica Wynne

Ralph Alessi is a trumpet player/composer who splits his time between Brooklyn, NY and Bern, Switzerland. He grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area the son of classical trumpet player, Joseph Alessi and opera singer, Maria Alessi. He received two degrees from California Institute for the Arts where he studied with Charlie Haden and James Newton. It was there that he met fellow student and future collaborators including Ravi Coltrane, Scott Colley, Michael Cain and others.

In 1991, he moved to New York City and began a 30 year stay there in which he has played and recorded with the likes of Fred Hersch, Steve Coleman, Ravi Coltrane, Jason Moran, Sam Rivers, Tim Berne, Uri Caine and many others. Currently, Ralph records for the ECM record label and will be releasing a new CD in the spring of 2023. As an educator, he has taught at the Eastman School of Music, NYU and University of Nevada-Reno. He is also the founder/director of the School for Improvisational Music and is a Jazz professor at the Hochschule der Künste Bern in Switzerland.

Peter Epstein
Peter began his career in 1984 in Portland, Oregon where he apprenticed with many of the region’s top jazz artists until relocating to Los Angeles, California to study jazz saxophone and various world music genres at California Institute of the Arts. After graduating he moved to Brooklyn, New York where he remained for 10 years, finally settling permanently in Reno, Nevada in 2002. He has appeared on more than 60 recordings and performed in 20-plus countries with artists including Brad Shepik, Ralph Alessi, Michael Cain, Bobby Previte, James Carney, Joao Paulo, Jim Black, Scott Colley, Ravi Coltrane, Medeski, Martin, & Wood, Peter Erskine, and many others. Peter has recorded eight critically acclaimed albums as a leader/collaborator: Staring at the Sun (MA), The Invisible (MA), Solus (MA), Old School (MA), Lingua Franca (Songlines), Abstract Realism (Origin), Polarities (Songlines 2014), and Red Shift (Kopasetic). His newest project, Two Legs Bad, was released on Shifting Paradigm Records in July 2023.

He is a founding member of the School for Improvisational Music in New York City and has taught numerous workshops at universities, conservatories, and music festivals around the world. Currently, Peter is enjoying his 21st year teaching at the University of Nevada, Reno where he is a Professor of Jazz Saxophone and a member of the Jazz Studies faculty ensemble, The Manzanita Quintet.

Mark Ferber
Drummer Mark Ferber can be heard on over 200 recordings. Ongoing projects include ECM recording artist Ralph Alessi’s ‘This Against That’, the Marc Copland Quartet, the Brad Shepik Organ Trio, and his twin brother, Alan Ferber’s Grammy nominated big band and nonet.

He currently maintains a busy freelance schedule throughout Los Angeles’ and New York’s jazz clubs, recording studios, and international touring circuit. Past work includes tours and recordings with Lee Konitz, Gary Peacock, Jonathan Kreisberg, John O’Gallagher, Don Byron, Fred Hersch, Tony Malaby, Anna Webber, Mark Helias, Pete McCann, Matt Pavolka, Michael Attias and Billy Childs, among others.

Mark has taught extensively in the United States and Europe. He has worked as a faculty member for the California Institute of the Arts, the Tavira Jazz Workshop in Portugal, the School of Improvisational Music (SIM), City College of New York, The Maine Jazz Camp and The Lafayette Summer Music Jazz Workshop. He currently is Professor of Drumset at Cal State University, Fresno.

He was born and raised in Moraga, CA and received a degree in Biogeography from UCLA. Mark is an endorsing artist for Istanbul Cymbals. He lives in Los Angeles and Brooklyn.

Lineup: Ryan Meagher, guitar; Ralph Alessi, trumpet; Peter Epstein, saxophone; Mark Ferber, drums

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Ryan Meagher, guitar
Ralph Alessi, trumpet
Peter Epstein, saxophone
Mark Ferber, drums

2023 Festival Events

Presented by Accelerator Design Studios

Friday 9/1

Portland Youth Jazz Orchestra Combo
MJF Student Stage at Vino Veritas – 4:00PM
Vestal Stories: Mary-Sue Tobin Sextet
Mt. Tabor Park Amphitheater – 6:00PM
Views of an Urban Volcano with Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble
Mt. Tabor Park Amphitheater – 7:30PM
Charlie 3rown Quartet
The 1905 – 11:30PM

Saturday 9/2

George Colligan: The Phyllis Wheatley Project featuring Zyanna
Portland Metro Arts – 2:00PM
Ryan Meagher, Ralph Alessi, Peter Epstein, and Mark Ferber
Portland Metro Arts – 5:00PM
Mt. Hood Community College Jazz Combo
MJF Student Stage at Vino Veritas – 6:00PM
Darrell Grant's Piano in the Dark with special guest Billy Childs
Alberta Rose Theatre – 8:00PM
Nicole McCabe Quartet
The 1905 – 11:30PM

Sunday 9/3

Domo Branch and Branchin’ Out
Portland Metro Arts – 2:00PM
Jam Session by Alan Jones Academy of Music
The 1905 - 4:00PM
Tim Willcox Quartet featuring Chuck Israels
Portland Metro Arts – 5:00PM
Portland State University Combo
MJF Student Stage at Vino Veritas – 6:00PM
Alan Jones Quartet featuring Tivon Pennicott, Kevin Hays and Joe Martin
Alberta Rose Theatre – 8:00PM
Frank Irwin's Aurora Septet
The 1905 – 11:00PM