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New Music From Portland Celebrates Black History In Oregon

Two communities along the Northern side of Oregon were home to hundreds of blue-collar laborers in timber and shipbuilding industries and reveal an unfamiliar story about The Great Migration in the Northwest.  Maxville and Vanport no longer exist, but a stirring collection of new music celebrates an under-represented period of Black history in Oregon. The powerful music was composed by Ezra Weiss with lyrics by poet S.Renee Mitchell, and is performed by the 12-member Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble with vocalist Marilyn Keller.  The album is being released later this month.  We'll hear the opening "Oregon Sounds Like Freedom" on this program.  

Also this week, we have new music by Portland musicians Charlie Porter and Dan Balmer.  From Seattle, Randy Halberstadt, and Jay Thomas with the Oliver Groenewald NewNet (both featured at The Earshot Festival), and Vancouver singer and songwriter (!) Karin Plato.

Jazz Northwest airs each Sunday at 2 PM Pacific on 88.5 KNKX and streams at  Jazz Northwest is recorded and produced by host Jim Wilke.  Next week: an all-star celebration of pianist/composer George Cables from Jazz Port Townsend, with Steffon Harris, Terell Stafford, Tim Warfield, Jeff Clayton, Dan Marcus, Chuck Deardorf and Jeff Hamilton.  

Jim has been a fixture on Seattle radio since 1961. He was the host of Jazz After Hours on Public Radio International from 1984-2014. Currently Jim has been producing Jazz Northwest for KNKX since 1988. This weekly program focuses on the regional jazz scene and frequently includes performances Jim records on location for Jazz Northwest.