Oregonophony: Works Inspired by the Sounds of Oregon
New music for 12-member jazz ensemble incorporating field recordings
April 13th, 2017 – Willamette University, Rogers Hall, Salem
7 pm — $15 General admission, $10 Students/Seniors/PJCE Members, Free for Willamette University Students
900 State St, Salem, OR 97301
April 15th, 2017 – Fremont Theater, Portland
8 pm — Advance tickets: $15 General, $12 Students/Seniors/PJCE Members
Day of show: $20 General, $15 Students/Seniors/PJCE Members
2393 NE Fremont St, Portland, OR 97212
Tickets available at pjce.org
PORTLAND, Oregon — At the end of last year, we asked Oregon-resident composers to tell us how they would compose for our 12-piece jazz ensemble using recorded sounds from Oregon as a point of departure. From applicants all over the state, we’ve selected five: Jim Olsen, Jessika Smith, Eddie Bond, Sam Hunt, and Andrew Endres. They represent a diverse cross-section of ages, backgrounds and stylistic perspectives, helping the PJCE achieve its mission of supporting a broad community of emerging and established artists.
In putting this concert together, the Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble (PJCE) wanted to make a statement about the role of music in defining our relationship to place, so we created the opportunity for audiences to hear, in the moment, how this beautiful place inspires the jazz community. Our composers have recorded the sounds of trains, the wind in the Columbia River gorge, a rainy day at a Portland park, a bicycle ride through the neighborhoods of Eugene, and rumblings of the Portland bridges. We hope audiences will hear their surroundings, and music, in a new way.
The original field recording will be intricately coordinated with the performance of the piece it inspired, triggered at specified moments during live performance, so audiences can hear the connection. Each composer will introduce his or her piece in person, telling the backstory behind the recording and the music.
About the Composers: Jim Olsen has been a professional composer/arranger and performer on flute
for over thirty-five years. His jazz compositions and arrangements have been performed and recorded by jazz heavyweights Bobby Shew, Jim Rotondi, Dick Oatts, Hubert Laws, Michael Weiss. Olsen is the music director emeritus for the Swing Shift Jazz Orchestra, a Eugene-based big band. Olsen has three CDs under his own name: The Great Plains (2016), We See Stars (2014) and Fragments (1996). His composition, Migration is a composition inspired by both the sound of, and his experiences on Oregon trains. It is a series of impressions drawn from his first visit to Oregon.
Currently residing in Eugene, Oregon, Jessika Smith is a composer, saxophonist, and music educator. She is the director and coordinator of the Eugene Composer’s Big Band and Swing Shift Jazz Orchestra. Jessika plays frequently in Western Oregon and Eastern Washington with assorted jazz groups, including Torrey Newhart’s Obsidian Animals and the Emerald City Jazz Kings, and she currently teaches K-5 General Music at Prairie Mountain School in the Bethel School District. Smith’s debut album, Tricks of Light, was released with PJCE Records in December, 2015.
Portland native, Andrew Endres, has established a following as an outstanding guitarist. A bandleader and highly sought after live sound engineer and producer, Endres has performed/toured abroad in Europe, South America, and the U.S. His musical style incorporates everything from various early ethnic folk songs to modern 20th century atonal works, from broadway musicals to driving funk and math rock. He hopes to show a darker depth of Oregon with his piece, looking at the bleak abysmal qualities of the Steens Mountains and the Rabbit Hills.
Eddie Bond is a multi-instrumentalist composer, performer, and educator based in Portland. Since graduating from the University of Oregon (UO) and moving to Portland in 2013, Bond has kept a vigorous performance schedule, performing locally and nationally over three hundred times in over thirty ensembles across a broad range of styles on guitar, bass, keyboards and synthesizers. He has performed on over fifty recordings as a composer and sideman and been commissioned to compose music for silent films and an Yves Saint Laurent fashion show. His piece is inspired by field recordings of the Hawthorne, Morrison, and Steel bridges in Portland.
Another Portland-born composer and UO graduate, Sam Hunt has been playing music from the age of ten. His primary instrument is trumpet, but Hunt has also taken a strong interest in the piano, drums, and composition. After receiving his Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies, Hunt has since returned to Portland to continue writing, performing, and teaching music in the city he loves. Hunt’s composition focuses on the beautiful parks of Oregon. His piece aims to capture a park experience on a rainy day, and juxtapose it with a sunny day.
PJCE Personnel for the Performances: Lee Elderton, David Valdez, Melissa Carroll, Mieke Bruggeman – saxophones; Thomas Barber, Douglas Detrick – trumpet; Becca Olason – horn in F; Lars Campbell – trombone; Ryan Meagher – guitar; Kerry Politzer – piano; Andre St. James – bass; Ken Ollis – drums