The 2011 Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air Portland Jazz Festival Presented by US Bank has received two NEA grants. PDX Jazz has been awarded a Jazz Masters Live grant and Challenge America Fast-Track grant.The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) created the Jazz Masters Live grant to help bring outstanding jazz musicians, writers, producers, and scholars to communities across the nation through NEA Jazz Masters Live. In cooperation with Arts Midwest, these NEA Jazz Masters Live grants support performance and educational activities featuring NEA Jazz Masters, recipients of the nation’s highest honor in jazz. The program celebrates these living legends who have made exceptional contributions to the advancement of jazz and offers audiences the unique opportunity to share the artists’ expertise in performances, master classes, clinics, lectures, and short term residencies. “Live interactions between musicians and audiences are essential to jazz,” said NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman.
NEA Jazz Master and acclaimed pianist, Randy Weston, will open the 2011 Portland Jazz Festival on February 18 at the Winningstad Theatre with an evening of solo jazz piano. He will also lead a workshop for Portland State University students and participate in the festival’s “Jazz Conversation” series, hosted by Marty Hughley. Weston will be appearing in support of his most recent album, The Story Teller, available through Motema Music, and his recently released autobiography, African Rhythms, available through Duke University Press. Continue reading