The Portland Jazz Festival, a ten-day extravaganza that fills the city’s theaters, clubs and restaurants with music, has been underway since last Friday. Tomorrow, the Rifftides staff will wend our way down US 97, turn right on I-84 and head west to Portland through the Columbia River Gorge—spectacular at any time of year—to catch the last half of the festival. Go here for a complete list of the musicians we have missed in the first days and others we will try to fit into a packed listening schedule. The first performance I plan to tell you about will be by tenor saxophonist Scott Hamilton at Jimmy Mak’s, one of Portland’s principal jazz clubs. Hamilton’s co-conspirators will be local citizens with national reputations; pianist Dave Frishberg, bassist Dave Captein and drummer GaryHobbs.
Later in the week: Matt Wilson’s Arts and Crafts, Kenny Garrett, Steve Kuhn, George Cables, Patricia Barber, Jack DeJohnette, Greta Matassa, Steven Bernstein’s Sex Mob, Nancy King, Terri Lyne Carrington, Esperanza Spalding and Geri Allen. Those are some of the major events, most of them in downtown Portland theaters. The challenge will be to also at least sample appearances by a few dozen of the Pacific Northwest’s fine resident artists; David Friesen, for instance, Randy Porter, Mel Brown, George Colligan and——well, hit the “Go Here” link in the above paragraph and see what the festival’s artistic director, Don Lucoff, and Portland’s club owners have put together.
Sleep may not be an option.