Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble (PJCE) is excited to announce a search for our first-ever Artistic Director! This is an important evolution in the organization’s continued growth, and one of the most important goals of our Strategic Plan

PJCE envisions the Artistic Director (AD) as a collaborative community leader who looks for creative ways to express a broad range of Portland’s cultural values and ideas using the unique resources that PJCE offers. PJCE strives to create musical experiences that both audiences and artists appreciate, and that also supports greater justice and equality in the city we love.

The AD must be passionate about equity, diversity and inclusion as a central priority in all of their work. The AD will work with PJCE’s staff and Board of Directors to maintain a supportive, affirming environment for our staff, artistic community, audiences, students, and partners. 

The AD role requires :  

  • Extensive experience as a band leader, especially with large ensembles.
  • Rehearsing and performing a diverse range of new jazz music including scores that use traditional and non-traditional music notation, and improvisation.
  • A compelling vision for new jazz music that grows from their experiences.
  • Short term and long-range vision planning to expand the professionalism and depth of the organization.

Primary Responsibilities

The Artistic Director reports to the Executive Director and is responsible for curation and management of PJCE’s artistic programming through the following:

Curation and Community Outreach

  • Plan PJCE Large Ensemble concerts, Small Ensemble programs, and support the artistic needs of PJCE’s Young Jazz Composers program with PJCE staff;
  • Foster collaborative, supportive, inclusive relationships with a diverse community of composers, arrangers, guest artists and ensemble musicians;
  • Forge effective and positive working relationships with the Board of Directors, staff, artists, and students and collaborative partners;
  • Work with ED to select venues that meet budgetary and community outreach goals;
  • Select composers and performers from Portland’s jazz community for each season;
  • Distribute surveys, interviews, and other methods of gathering feedback from our community, in cooperation with the Board’s Programming committee;
  • Develop partnerships with organizations in and beyond the jazz community (including educational, community and other potential stakeholder partners);
  • Work with the Education Coordinator to plan and implement the Young Jazz Composers program.

Music Direction

  • Contract lead artists, guest artists, composers, arrangers, musicians regarding dates of required services and other details.
  • Direct PJCE large ensemble in rehearsal and performance to achieve artistic goals.

We envision the new Artistic Director will have or show:

  • Vision for achieving equity goals stated in our Strategic Plan (pg 7);
  • Experience in efficiently directing a diverse ensemble of musicians;
  • Develop new ideas/structures to create equitable opportunity for a diverse range of musicians;
  • Experience creating and implementing an engaging artistic vision with either organizational or personal projects;
  • Experience as a composer is beneficial, but not required—candidates can point to their experience as music directors, educators, and/or performers to demonstrate their skills in artistic direction;
  • Familiarity with the greater Portland area jazz, arts and culture scene;
  • Experience booking tours in the PNW within budget constraints;
  • Ability to think outside the box with interdisciplinary/multidisciplinary programming;
  • Understanding and support of organizational vision and mission;
  • An understanding and alignment with the mission of PJCE;
  • An entrepreneurial and action oriented approach;
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills;
  • Understanding of program budgets and working within a budget;
  • Experience with project management software and Google Workspace is a benefit. 

Compensation and Schedule

  • Start date is October 1, 2022 with some flexibility as needed;
  • 0.25 FTE,  $28-30/hour DOE;
  • 10 hours/week, flexible with extra time required for events on evenings and weekends;
  • Residence in/near Portland, OR  required;
  • Position is permanently remote, with phone, video and in-person meetings occasionally, must provide own workspace and transportation as needed;
  • This part-time position accommodates candidates who desire the continuation of their independent artistic/scholarly careers outside of PJCE;
  • This is a part time position with the possibility to grow;
  • The Artistic Director will be supervised by and work closely with the Executive Director;
  • PJCE offers professional development opportunities, and a flexible schedule that accommodates personal and professional needs outside of the job.

PJCE strongly encourages candidates representing diverse personal backgrounds to apply. PJCE strives to provide a safe and supportive environment for all staff, artists and audience. More about our Mission, Vision, and Values statements at pjce.org/about.

Application Process

Please respond to the following questions, with no more than 800 characters per response.

  1. Describe a role that you’ve played in producing a creative project from creation to completion. Candidates are welcome to submit links to video or audio of projects that demonstrate their artistic direction experience.
  2. What is your experience within working with Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in putting together personnel for projects? How would you bring that experience into this position?
  3. What is your approach to building an audience; why is it important?

Candidates may be asked to do the following, at a date and time by arrangement with the hiring committee:

  • Lead a rehearsal with PJCE ensemble members and/or provide video of yourself leading an ensemble
  • Participate in video or in-person interviews with PJCE staff and board.

Please send any audio or video samples of your current or past projects to info@auracreative.org

Send a resume to info@auracreative.org

Accepting applications through August 30, 2022