Montavilla Jazz’s 10th Annual Festival, which runs Sept. 1–3, has revealed an impressive lineup for its 2023 edition, with globally celebrated drummer Alan Jones headlining the festival Sunday evening (with a quartet that includes Grammy Award winners Tivon Pennicott and Kevin Hays).
“It’s really a great honor to be a headliner at the festival,” Jones stated in a press release. “The festival is something the Portland community can be very proud of—it’s really a special situation, especially for us local musicians.”
The festival begins at Mt. Tabor Park with the world premiere of “Views of an Urban Volcano,” a three-part commission inspired (naturally) by the concert’s location. Also opening the festival is Vestal Stories: Mary-Sue Tobin Sextet, a project developed during Tobin’s tenure this spring as Montavilla Jazz’s artist-in-residence at Vestal Elementary School.
Also performing is pianist Darrell Grant, who will perform his one-night-only project Piano in the Dark on Saturday. He’ll be joined by special guest Billy Childs (a pianist, composer, conductor and Grammy winner), as well as four local pianists.
The festival schedule encompasses two concerts at the Alberta Rose Theatre, three at The 1905, and two free outdoor concerts at Mt. Tabor Park.
“It is incredible how far we have come in 10 years of making space for Portland’s local jazz artists,” said Neil Mattson, the festival’s executive director. “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.”
He added, “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.”
Tickets are on sale now.