Top Five Shows In the First Week of The Portland Jazz Festival


Taylor Eigsti Trio and Joel Harrison's Free Country Ensemble

Vocalist Becca Stevens brushes her words over audiences with goose-bump-inducing ease, and she'll do it here with two wholly different acts: piano prodigy Eigsti and his bass-and-drums trio, then with eclectic guitarist Joel Harrison and his sax quintet, who perform abstract arrangements of classic country songs. First Congregational Church, 1126 SW Park Ave., 228-7219. 7 pm Thursday, Feb. 19. $30 general admission, $15 students.

Vijay Iyer Trio

Pianist Vijay Iyer's intense odd meters and ever-shifting melodies are played with free-flowing grace, demonstrating how he earned his MacArthur grant, and why his group is considered one of the most important in modern jazz. Winningstad Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway, 248-4355. 9:30 pm Friday, Feb. 20. Sold out.

Lee Konitz Quartet

Alto saxophonist Lee Konitz may be age 87, but the man can still swing with the best of them. The legend, who played on Miles Davis' Birth of the Cool sessions, spouts his bebop lines with an ageless confidence. Winningstad Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway, 248-4355. 3 pm Sunday, Feb. 22. $35-$45.

Noah Bernstein and Andre St. James

Sometimes it's the smaller shows that prove the most compelling. Sometime Tune-Yards saxophonist Noah Bernstein and elder statesman bassist Andre St. James, whose resume includes stints alongside avant-garde heavyweights such as Sun Ra, pair up to perform what should be an interesting set. Pepe le Moko at the Ace Hotel, 407 SW 10th Ave., 546-8537. 10 pm Monday, Feb. 23. Free.

NYC to PDX Jazz Project

Two quintets of Portland natives showcase their experiences during different eras of residency in the jazz mecca of New York—one from the bop, funk and fusion period of 1950-80, the other from the new-jazz present. Jimmy Mak's, 221 NW 10th Ave., 295-6542. 7:30 pm Tuesday, Feb. 24. $13 general admission, $18 reserved seating. 

MORE: The Portland Jazz Festival continues through March 1. See for full schedule.

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