“Nothin’ but white people and sheep,” is how one Maxville logger, Joseph Hilliard, Sr., described the tiny town of Maxville, Oregon. Oregon’s racist history is well-known, but we rarely hear from the people of color who thrived in spite of it.
FROM MAXVILLE TO VANPORT celebrates the blue-collar African American experience in 20th century Oregon with new jazz, blues, R&B with a twelve piece band and two short films. Lyricist S. Renee Mitchell, filmmaker Kalimah Abioto, composer Ezra Weiss, and vocalist Marilyn Keller illuminate unheard stories of Oregon’s black history through a live performance with the Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble.
This episode, first in a series about the most ambitious project ever undertaken by the PJCE, shares some if the community input we received at events in Portland and Joseph, Oregon. More information here.