PJCE’s 2022-2023 season will be the first under Executive Director Meg Morrow and the organization’s soon-to-be-announced-first-ever Artistic Director, (announcement expected in late October). Former Executive Director and current Interim Artistic Director Douglas Detrick’s swan song season includes three concerts that ask the 12-member ensemble to stretch across genre, geography, and disciplines.

The Expansion Archives | Thursday, October 13th, 2022
Brown Calculus with Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble
Featuring Brown Calculus songs arranged by Darrell Grant, Charlie 3rown, and Darian Anthony Patrick
8:00 pm PST, 7:00 pm doors | Polaris Hall | 635 N Killingsworth Ct, Portland, OR 97217

Brown Calculus is a Gemini duo defying genres and expectations. Rooted in the Black ancestral tradition of spiritual jazz with its trance inducing qualities the duo crafts sounds geared to enwrap the listener in love, a joyfulness that we can’t wait to share with audiences. Bolstered by PJCE’s 12-member ensemble and arrangements by Darrell Grant, Charlie 3rown, and Darian Anthony Patrick, this show brings together an incredible cast of collaborators. The Expansion Archives refreshes and scales up some of Brown Calculus’ earliest songs with the addition of PJCE’s large ensemble. But the goal isn’t just bigger—audiences should be ready for a dynamic and reimagined Brown Calculus experience.

Brown Calculus is a Gemini duo defying genres and expectations. Rooted in the Black ancestral tradition of spiritual jazz with its trance inducing qualities the duo crafts sounds geared to enwrap the listener in love. Voted one of the best new bands in a poll conducted by Portland’s Willamette Week in 2018, they have opened for and performed with artists such as Thundercat, Angel Bat Dawid, Georgia Anne Muldrow, Makaya McCraven, Jeff Parker, Tommaso Cappellato, Daru Jones, Black Milk, and Digable Planets, as well as local Portland legends Y La Bamba, Savila, The Last Artful Dodgr, Orquestra Pacifico Tropical, Omari Jazz, YAWA (Amenta Abioto), and Korgy and Bass to name a few.

Born into a family of musicians and artists, Andre Burgos was exposed to an eccentric mix of sounds starting at a very young age. His parents were constantly listening to Jazz, Latin, Folk, and Classic Rock, while his siblings introduced him to Hip Hop, Reggae, Afro-Beat, Funk, and Salsa. Growing up in Philadelphia in the 90’s, Hip Hop resonated the most with him initially, and in realizing that it draws so much from all other genres it became foundational in his approach to music going forward.

Vaughn Kimmons‘s artistic career began in 2013 when she moved to Portland, OR from her hometown, Chicago, IL. It was then that she formed a music project with friends called POPgoji, a band based in traditional Brazilian rhythms, contributing vocals and songwriting. Being a member of POPgoji and later, jazz-hip hop fusion band Tribe Mars, helped her establish a voice in the Portland music community. 

Alliance | Saturday, January 28th, 2023
Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble plays music by winners of the IAWM/PJCE Jazz Composition prize
Featuring Migiwa Miyajima, Samantha Spear, Jhoely Garay, Yu Nishiyama and others
7:00 pm PST, 6:00 pm doors | Lincoln Recital Hall (LH75) at Portland State University | 1620 SW Park Ave., Portland, OR 97201

Since 2018, the International Association for Women in Music awards an annual Jazz Composition Prize co-sponsored by PJCE. Through this partnership, PJCE has been introduced to up-and-coming composers across the country. At 7:00 pm on Saturday, January 28, 2023 in Portland State University’s Lincoln Recital Hall, PJCE will perform music by all five of the winning composers: Jhoely Garay (NYC), Migiwa Miyahima (NYC), Yu Nishiyama (NYC), Sam Spear (Boston), and ___________, all lauded instrumentalists and band leaders in their own right.  Surrounding Alliance, PJCE will host a panel discussion on (topic) and guest composers will work with area university students. 

About the artists:

Hailing from Japan, Migiwa “Miggy” Miyajima is a composer, producer, pianist, and bandleader of the 17-piece Miggy Augmented Orchestra. She creates large-scale works manifesting her distinct life experiences. Birdland Jazz Club says, “Miyajima’s music reflects her journey as a musician and humanitarian.” Formerly editor-in-chief of a magazine in Japan, Miyajima trusted the power of music and became a full-time musician at the age of 30. Four years later, she was made associate producer for the Grammy-winning Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. Her work with the group brought her two Grammy nominations. 

Jhoely Garay is a guitarist, composer, and arranger from Mexico City, Mexico. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in jazz guitar performance from The City College of New York in 2020. Garay is mentored by Dee Dee Bridgewater and has studied and collaborated with iconic artists such as Steve Wilson, Ted Nash, Peter Bernstein, Jim McNeely, Mike Holober, and Scott Reeves, among others. Garay is a four-time winner of the Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation scholarship and the Austin and Florence Kaye Foundation scholarship. 

Originally from Yokohama, Japan, Yu Nishiyama is a jazz saxophonist and composer. She first began playing piano at the age of 5 and picked up saxophone at age 14. She graduated from Senzoku Gakuen High School in Japan, and came to the United States to study jazz saxophone with Brad Leali at the University of North Texas. While at UNT, Yu wrote arrangements and original compositions for the UNT O’Clock Lab Band and other ensembles. She received her master’s degree in jazz composition and arranging at William Paterson University studying with Cecil Bridgewater and Ed Neumeister.

Sam Spear is a woodwind instrumentalist, composer, and music educator based in Boston, MA. She has performed with a host of the city’s finest jazz musicians including Allan Chase, Josh Rosen, and Bill Banfield, among others. Her four-part work for jazz orchestra Survivor’s Suite was awarded the 2019 Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble Prize. Spear is passionate about music education and works with students across greater Boston from middle school beginning wind players to undergraduate music majors. She was recently appointed to the faculty of Berklee College of Music as an assistant professor of Contemporary Writing and Production. 

The Most, The All Of It: New Music, New Spoken Word | Friday, June 2nd, 2023
PJCE teams up with performing poets curated by the Oregon Poet Laureate
Featuring Anis Mojgani and others
7:30 pm PST, 6:30 pm doors | The Old Church | 1422 SW 11th Ave, Portland, OR 97201

PJCE and Oregon Poet Laureate Anis Mojgani team up to curate an evening of music and spoken word that sets the artists free to inspire, to rejuvenate, and to provoke reflection. Mojgani and PJCE will pair Portland-based performing poets and composers to work with the 12-member jazz ensemble in a concert featuring a cross-section of composers representing many corners of the Portland poetry and jazz scenes. The title of the show comes from an essay about jazz by Langston Hughes on jazz who said:

“Jazz is a great big sea. It washes up all kinds of fish and shells and spume and waves with a steady old beat, or off-beat. And Louis must be getting old if he thinks J. J. and Kai—and even Elvis—didn’t come out of the same sea he came out of, too…The sun pulls the moon. The moon pulls the sea. They also pull jazz and me. Beyond Kai to Count to Lonnie to Texas Red, beyond June to Sarah to Billy to Bessie to Ma Rainey. And the Most is the It—the all of it.” 

Anis Mojgani is the current Poet Laureate of Oregon. A two-time individual champion of the National Poetry Slam and winner of the International World Cup Poetry Slam, Anis has done commissions for the Getty Museum, the Peabody Essex Museum, the Oregon Parks Department, and the Portland Timbers. His work has appeared on HBO, National Public Radio, and in the pages of the NYTimes. Anis has been awarded residencies which include the Vermont Studio Center, the Bloedel Reserve, and GLEAN, in addition to a Poets Laureate Fellowship from the Academy of American Poets.The author of five books of poetry and the libretto for the opera Sanctuaries, his first children’s book is forthcoming from Holiday House/Neal Porter Books. Originally from New Orleans, Anis serves on the board of Literary Arts and currently lives in Portland Oregon, where he on occasion reads poems out the window of his studio.