Portland Pianist/composer Darrell Grant celebrates release of “The Territory” on PJCE Records featuring Grammy winners Brian Blade and Steve Wilson, and international poll-winning vibraphonist Joe Locke
“IRREPRESSIBLY ENERGETIC AND FINELY POLISHED.” – The Oregonian
“A TRIUMPH OF SPIRIT!” – Northwest Reverb
CD Available November 10th
Pianist, composer and Portland State University professor Darrell Grant and PJCE Records will present a concert celebrating the release of Grant’s new CD “The Territory” at 3:30 PM on Sunday, November 14th, at the First Unitarian Church, 1211 SW Main St., Portland, OR.
“The Territory” marks Grant’s seventh CD as a leader and his first since 2007’s critically acclaimed “Truth and Reconciliation,” which was selected one of the top 10 CDs’ of the year by The Village Voice jazz critic’s poll. The new CD captures the exciting 2013 world premiere performance of “The Territory” presented by Chamber Music Northwest in front a sell-out audience at Portland’s Kaul Auditorium. It features a nine-member ensemble that includes Grant’s long-time collaborators Grammy-winning drummer Brian Blade, Grammy-winning saxophonist Steve Wilson and celebrated vibraphonist Joe Locke, as well as renowned cellist Hamilton Cheifetz, Chicago bassist Clark Sommers, Portland vocalist Marilyn Keller, trumpeter Thomas Barber, and bass clarinetist Kirt Peterson.
In 2012, Grant was one of 11 artists to be awarded a prestigious New Jazz Works grant from Chamber Music America to support the commission and premiere of a new work for jazz chamber ensemble. His nine movement suite “The Territory” uses both improvisation and composition to ponder the unique Oregon experience, reflecting on the state’s historical heritage as well as the incredible and diverse landscapes of the region. “The idea for this piece came from my interest in the idea of “terroir,” and the connections between art and place,” Grant describes.
One aspect of Oregon that Grant chose to highlight in “The Territory” is its uneven history in relation to people of color. “As an African- American, I can’t dismiss the irony of my claiming connection to a place whose constitution once expressly prohibited people like myself from living here,” Grant says. “The contrast between the utopian myth of Oregon, that even now persists in popular culture with shows like Portlandia, and the more conflicted truth, is something we have to come to terms with.”
The Territory reflects Oregon’s history with native peoples in the the opening movement “Hymn to the Four Winds,” based on a Nez Perce chant and “Chief Joseph’s Lament,” which tells of the native leader’s controversial surrender to the U.S. army. “Stones into Blossoms,” looks at the forced internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II through the eyes of a little girl. While, the joyous “Sunday’s at the Golden West” celebrates a historic landmark at the heart of Portland’s early African-American community.
An appreciation for Oregon stories also inspired Grant’s partnership with the Oregon Historical Society. As with previous CD’s “Smokin’ Java,” “Spirit,” and “Truth and Reconciliation,” Grant will share the proceeds from his CD with a non-profit community partner. “It is very important to me to try to support community with my work,” says Grant. Grant and PJCE Records will donate funds from the CD release concert, as well as a percentage of CD and download sales of “The Territory” to the organization. “As a steward of our stories. OHS serves a vital role in maintaining our sense of place,” Grant concludes.
The theme of connection to place also inspired Grant to release the album on Portland-based record label PJCE Records, created by the non-profit, Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble to highlight the work of Portland’s jazz community. “As a Portland jazz composer myself“says Darrell, “it seems especially appropriate with this project to be joining forces with the artists in my own community to share this music.”
The CD release concert will feature Grant’s “Oregon Territory” Ensemble,” which performed the work at the 2014 Portland Jazz Festival. In addition to Cheifetz, Keller, Barber and Peterson, Grant will be joined by drummer Tyson Stubelek, bassist Eric Gruber, saxophonist John Nastos, and vibraphonist Mike Horsfall. The limited edition CD will be available at the concert, http://pjcerecords.org/ and Music Millennium. Release will also be available at iTunes, Amazon.com, and Google Play Store and other online outlets.
Darrell Grant’s “The Territory” CD Release Concert Saturday, November 14th @ The First Unitarian Church
Darrell Grant, piano
John Nastos, saxophone & flute
Mike Horsfall, vibraphone
Eric Gruber, bass
Tyson Stubelek, drums
Marilyn Keller, vocals
Thomas Barber, trumpet
Kirt Peterson, bass clarinet
Hamilton Cheifetz, cello
$10.00 adults, $8.00 students with ID, Children under 12 are free.
Tickets are available at www.—-.com and at the door.
For more information on Darrell Grant and The Territory, please visit ontheterritory.com
For more information on PJCE Records and Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble, please visit pjcerecords.org
For national media inquiries please contact
Darrell Grant firstname.lastname@example.org