New Frontiers in Jazz
MJF mission and background
The mission of Montavilla Jazz Festival is not only to bolster Portland’s dynamic jazz culture, but also to enrich the local community. Like the neighborhood that serves as its home, MJF is a progressive, diverse, locally minded event that offers Montavilla residents an opportunity to come together, form connections and plug into Portland jazz.
Built on neighborhood support
Both by and for the neighborhood, MJF relies on the contributions of local businesses and volunteers. Before a single ticket is sold, all the resources needed to present MJF are raised in the form of sponsor dollars and partner in-kind contributions. MJF is proud and grateful to be supported by more than 80 sponsors and partners. MJF is also entirely run by volunteers. More than 70 volunteers ensure that the festival weekend runs smoothly, while still more volunteers work on the festival throughout the year. From the food and drink vendors to the volunteer who takes your ticket, every aspect of MJF is infused with the spirit of the Montavilla neighborhood.
Making an impact in Montavilla
The passion of organizers, artists, sponsors, partners and volunteers makes a big impact. In 2018, more than 750 attendees over two days witnessed 12 performances featuring 65 performers. Just as crucially, because of the hard work of its supporters, MJF is able to donate a portion of the proceeds from every ticket to jazz education initiatives in Montavilla public schools.
MJF launches jazz education partnership at Vestal School
Something extraordinary happens when young people learn about jazz and its influence on American history and culture. Students at Vestal Elementary experienced how the sound and spirit of jazz are woven into the fabric of American life during six weeks with our Jazz Artist-in-Residence, Portland-based jazz saxophonist and educator, Mary-Sue Tobin.
This winter Tobin took Vestal students on an educational journey starting with the forced migration of African slaves. Over the weeks they also explored the mixing of European, African, and indigenous cultures that led to the birth of jazz, through the boom of popular music in America, up to the current day and the continuing influence of jazz on artists such as Cardi B and Bruno Mars.
Initiated by a 2018 Montavilla Schools Music Fund grant, the new residency launched in conjunction with two existing PDX Jazz education programs: Jazz in the Schools, which gives students the opportunity to learn about jazz and make art in response, and the Incredible Journey of Jazz, an interactive performance that teaches a history of jazz and its cultural significance.
Vestal is thrilled to have Montavilla Jazz Artist-in-Residence in our school! Jazz is an amazing tool for our students to learn about art and social justice!
Sabrina Flamoe –Principal, Vestal School
Jazz in the Schools (PDX Jazz) introduces students to jazz through interactive presentations and hands-on activities designed to demonstrate the influence and impact of jazz on American culture. Following the presentation, students create their own original art, interpreting the music and culture of jazz by utilizing their newfound understanding of the connection between the music and art (supplies provided by U.S. Bank).
Montavilla Jazz Artist-in-Residence, Mary-Sue Tobin guides students through six weeks of jazz appreciation with the assistance of Portland State University Senior Capstone students leading up to the 2019 PDX Jazz Festival.
The Incredible Journey of Jazz (PDX Jazz) is an interactive program for students of all ages that recounts the history of America’s indigenous musical art form. Vestal students will learn about jazz, its beginnings, development, and current role in global culture. The narrated program features a live jazz band who demonstrate characterizations of historical figures and musical illustrations from different eras and styles. Musical elements explored include rhythm, melody, call-and-response, and counterpoint. Additionally, students learn about the importance of African and immigrant cultures on American life, slavery, civil rights, and the interweaving of music and cultures around the world.
Join us in support of our community!
If you’d like to join us and support Portland jazz, please consider purchasing a pass to MJF 2019. Want to go above and beyond? You can purchase an artist CD, make a special contribution to the Montavilla Schools Music Fund at the box office, or get an official MJF 2019 T-shirt. If you represent a business or organization and you’re interested in sponsoring or partnering with MJF, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to join our team as a volunteer, please email email@example.com.
MJF 2019 dates and location
When: Saturday and Sunday, August 17-18, 2019
Where: Portland Metro Arts, 9003 SE Stark, Portland, OR 97216
Contact this business for the address.
Neil Mattson, Executive Director
By appointment only.