The Portland Jazz Composers’ Ensemble, a 12-piece ensemble commissioning and performing music by local jazz composers, presents a concert at 7:30 PM on March 22 at the Community Music Center in SE Portland, part of this year’s March Music Moderne festival, a month long celebration of new music in Portland.
The PJCE will be presenting four premieres at this concert, new works by Kyle Williams, Andrew Oliver, Reed Wallsmith, and Eric Allen. Eric is a composer and cellist living in New York who attended Portland State University and has been a long-time associate of the PJCE. Reed Wallsmith is the alto saxophonist in the popular indie-jazz group Blue Cranes, who have made a strong impact on the Portland music scene in the past few years with their authentic, melodic improvisations. Andrew Oliver is the executive director of the PJCE and a busy bandleader / pianist / organizer in the Portland music scene. Kyle Williams is a guitarist and educator whose compositional aesthetic is also represented in his work scoring new music for silent films of yore. In addition to these new works, the ensemble will perform several existing works from its book by Dan Duval, Joe Cunningham, and Joseph Berman.
The ensemble consists of many wonderful instrumentalists and improvisers. The “core sextet” features Ken Ollis (PSU Jazz Studies) on drums and ubiquitous freelance bassist Bill Athens along with Andrew Oliver on piano, Dan Duval on guitar, Thomas Barber on trumpet (a recent NYC transplant and prolific film composer) and Lee Elderton on saxophones and clarinet. The additional horns include Gus Slayton (PJCE co-founder), Mieke Bruggeman, and Gary Harris on saxophones, James M. Gregg on trumpet, Al Torres on trombone, and Allan Stromquist on French horn.
The PJCE is committed to presenting new jazz composition for large ensemble which crosses stylistic boundaries and represents the highest level and diversity of Portland’s thriving jazz scene. This concert is all ages, $15, and $12 for students. It will be followed by a “meet the composer” event to encourage interaction between the composers and audiences.
The PJCE was founded by Andrew Oliver and Gus Slayton in 2007 and has grown into a full-fledged nonprofit presenting 3 concerts of new original music each year as well as operating a grassroots record label, PJCE Records. The final concert of this season will be June 20 at the Mission Theater, part of the Portland Jazz Festival’s ongoing series there.
Attached: JPG of season poster, JPG photo of PJCE by Ron Oliver, JPG photo of PJCE logo