Views of an Urban Volcano

As Montavilla Jazz and the Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble (PJCE) look forward to their 10th festival, they are opening up their community-guided creative process to the public as new music inspired by Mt. Tabor Park is composed. Many know Mt. Tabor is one of a handful of extinct volcanoes in the area and use it as a place to exercise, unwind or watch the sunset. 

Three soon-to-be announced composers will be part of a series of events looking at Mt. Tabor’s history in relationship to marginalized communities, past and present, and its significance as a greenspace in the city. The new works will be presented as part of the 2023 Montavilla Jazz Festival by the 12-member PJCE in a free, public concert at Mt. Tabor Park in September.

Three community input events will take place in March and April, the first being a panel discussion on critical events in the park’s history (1896-2020) and their significance to Portland’s Chinese, Black and Indigenous communities. The March 5, 2 pm event takes place at the Oregon Historical Society, 1200 SW Park Ave., with panelists that include Hap Pritchard, Board Member, Friends of Mt. Tabor Park. Light refreshments will be available.

Two weeks later, “Views of an Urban Volcano: Community Forum” happens Saturday, March 18, 4-5 pm at Taborspace’s Copeland Commons (5441 SE Belmont St.). Lovers of Mt. Tabor Park are invited to share their own stories about its significance in their life with the composers in this open forum. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet the selected composers and project leads and contribute to the community-driven process.

Finally, on Saturday, April 15, 10:30 am, there will be a guided tour of Mt. Tabor Park starting at the Visitor Center. Led by Friends of Mt. Tabor Park, the 90-minute tour will highlight historical and cultural points of interest and the park’s impressive vistas. Dress for the weather and bring questions.

All three events are free and open to the public. For more information and to RSVP, visit

Views of an Urban Volcano

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