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Portland's 2022 PDX Jazz Festival has it all

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TOKIO AOYOMA
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courtesy of PDXJazz
Poster art for the 2022 PDX Jazz Festival

The annual PDX Jazz Festival in Portland is known for its breadth and inclusiveness. Now in its 19th year, the festival continues to present artists who are driving the evolution of jazz alongside established jazz masters.

This February, the Biamp PDX Jazz Festival presents National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters bassist Ron Carter, drummer Billy Hart and saxophonist Donald Harrison Jr., along with Grammy winners keyboardist Robert Glasper, saxophonist Gary Bartz, vocalist Diane Schuur, pianist Brad Mehldau and bassist Chuck Israels.

Evolution of jazz and celebration of "live" jazz are at the heart of the PDX Jazz mission.

The festival also includes some of the most progressive jazz artists connecting the music to multiple generations, like the Downbeat Magazine Rising Stars drummer Makaya McCraven, saxophonist Lakecia Benjamin, harpist Brandee Younger, bassist Dezron Douglas, vibraphonist Sasha Berliner, saxophonist Immanuel Wilkins and pianist Gerald Clayton.

A broad sampling of international music is on deck for this years festival as well: Flor de Toloache, the all-female mariachi group whose members hail from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Australia, Colombia, Germany, Italy and the United States; Icelandic-Chinese Gen Z singer-songwriter Laufey; and Max Ribner’s classical and improvisational jazz blend on flugelhorn and trumpet.

The modern New Orleans brass band The Soul Rebels are also on the schedule, as well as some of Portland's homegrown favorites like pianist Darrell Grant, vocalist Rebecca Kilgore, the Blue Cranes and drummer Mel Brown's B3 Organ group.

“The festival has been crafted to revitalize Portland’s downtown music scene with shows by the most exciting figures in jazz today. We can’t wait to welcome ‘live’ audiences back," PDX Jazz Executive Director Chris Doss said. "Our team and music venue partners have taken extensive measures to ensure that audiences, artists and staff have a safe gathering environment to celebrate ‘live’ music.”

Find more information and tickets for the 2022 Biamp PDX Jazz Festival here.

Originally from Detroit, Robin Lloyd has been presenting jazz, blues and Latin jazz on public radio for nearly 40 years. She's a member of the Jazz Education Network and the Jazz Journalists Association.