Crossings is a multi-disciplinary production seeking discovery through collaboration. Three teams—each featuring a dancer, musician, and poet—will combine skills and insights to present a new brew of performance.

The three collaborating organizations, Performance Works NorthWest, Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble, and Buckmxn Journal, place the creative impulse completely in the hands of the artists, intentionally selecting creators who are also adept performers. This is a grand confluence focused deliberately on collaboration—dancers Sophia Tweed Ahmad, Danielle Ross, and Akela Jaffi; musicians Michael Gamble, Machado Mijiga, and Cyrus Nabipoor; and poets Rich Perin, Emmi Greer, and Carolyn Supinka; don’t know each other but will dare to create together. We can’t tell you what these artists will do just yet, and we like it that way. But we do know that you can expect a surprising, genre-defying show by some of Portland’s most captivating talent. 

Performance details:

Live performances on June 10, 11, and 12 at 7:30 pm 
Performance Works NorthWest
4625 SE 67th Ave, Portland, OR 97206

Livestream on June 12 at 7:30 pm
See the livestream here.
Free admission, suggested donation of $5 to $35 can be made at this link, proceeds split equally among the curating organizations.

Performance Works NorthWest COVID SAFETY POLICY
Attendees at performances must wear masks completely covering nose and mouth while in our studio theater. Please wear a high-filtration mask with a tight fit to the face, such as a KN95 or N95. We encourage full COVID vaccination and boosters!


This is a small group performance, the Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble will not be performing.


About the Artists

sophia tweed ahmad is an experimental dance maker, improvisor & facilitator. a queer child of pakistani and norwegian diasporas. her score-based choreography bleeds improvisation and raw reverberations in the body harnessing voice prayer. their choreography has been presented by Ten Tiny Dances, Revolve & The Mothlight. she has performed at New Expressive Works, Shaun Keylock Studio & The BeBe Theatre.

Akela Jaffi: I am a multidisciplinary artist, but dance is my first love. Movement is the way that I connect to ritual and spirit, as well as my method for archiving the constant changes of life. A graduate of Jefferson High School, I have been training for 17 years, with a focus on West African, modern, urban styles and freestyle. I am grateful for the teachers who invested their faith and time into my practice, and I intend to continue in their legacy of inspiration through storytelling, choreography and performance.

Danielle Ross is a choreographer, performer, curator, and scholar originally from Portland, Oregon. She is on the board of the Creative Music Guild and co-founded Pure Surface, a monthly series combining video, poetry, and performance artists to create short length, collaborative works. In 2011, she co-founded the international dance newspaper FRONT, which has spanned five editions and included contributions from choreographers and curators, including Keith Hennessy, keyon gaskin, Dana Michel, SF MOMA’s Frank Smiegel, and Sarah Shelton Mann.

Mike Gamble is an adventurous guitarist and multi-instrumentalist whose work with electronic modes of composition are integrated endlessly into his setup. Gamble has spent the last 20 years immersed in the creative jazz, experimental rock and improvised music scene primarily in NYC, with close ties to New Orleans, Burlington, Boston, San Francisco and now the Pacific Northwest. He has had the pleasure of recording over 50 albums and has been touring the states, Canada, and Europe with his critically-acclaimed guitar trio The Inbetweens, Mike Gamble Solo,, and alongside doom-metal originators Earth. His more recent collaborators include Bobby Previte, Todd Sickafoose, Nels Cline, Wayne Horvitz, Esperanza Spalding, Matt Chamberlain and Lori Goldston.

Multi-instrumentalist and Portland native Machado Mijiga wears many hats, both literally and metaphorically. Classically-trained, jazz-weathered, and eclectically inclined, Mijiga left the proverbial creative “box” at a very early age, with access to many instruments and a diverse musical background brought about by an intercultural heritage. Mijiga is a musical polymath; composer, producer, bandleader, educator, gear fanatic, and audio engineer, to name a few. Authenticity and uniquity assume the locus of Mijiga’s artistic identity. Self-expression is the prime directive, and the medium of choice changes like the weather.

Born and raised in Portland OR, Cyrus Nabipoor began playing trumpet at age 11. He wanted to play trombone, but it wouldn’t fit on his bike. As an adolescent Cyrus was taught by Cynthia Plank and trumpeter Derek Sims. In high school he joined the Alan Jones Academy of Music. Cyrus holds a Bachelor of Music from Loyola University New Orleans, where he graduated magna cum laude and was awarded outstanding undergraduate in both Jazz and Brass. While at Loyola, he studied with Nick Volz, Tony Dagradi and Jimbo Walsh. Cyrus also spent a very formative term at the Grieg Academy in Bergen, Norway studying with ECM legend Per Jørgensen and Martin Winter (Bergen Philharmonic). In 2015, Cyrus was awarded the International Trumpet Guild Jazz Scholarship.

Carolyn Supinka is a poet and visual artist from southwestern Pennsylvania. Her writing explores ecosystems, intimacy, identity, illness, and loss, and has recently been published in Hobart, DIAGRAM, The Hunger, Radar Poetry, and Sixth Finch. She is the co-editor of Conjunction, a zine micro-press, and currently lives in Portland, Oregon, where she works as an arts administrator.

Rich Perin (phd Ambiguity). National Poetry Slam finalist, semi-recluse, author of The Last Payphone on the West Coast. His book of poetry, Black Sheep: Selected Poems 1995-2020 will appear later this year. Not only does his poetry appeal to a melodic ear, Rich enjoys making words dance. 

Emmi Greer is a writer, editor, educator, and artist with a particular devotion to hybrid-genre forms. She is forever obsessed with sidewalk roses, natural bodies of water, and the polyamorous relationship between language, art, and consciousness.

About the Organizations

Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble envisions a vibrant jazz community where composers, performers, students and audiences create, see and hear their cultural experiences artistically expressed and represented in original jazz compositions and performance. We are a 501c3 organization dedicated to commissioning and performing music by Portland-based jazz artists through our flagship large ensemble, artist-led small groups, PJCE Records and our Young Jazz Composers program.

Performance Works NorthWest || Linda Austin Dance engages artists and audiences of the Pacific Northwest in the process of experimentation, creation and dialog around the presentation of contemporary performance. As an artist-focused incubator for new time-based work, we nurture local artistry while linking Portland audiences and artists to regional, national and international artists whose work challenges and inspires.

Sending scouts deep into the Portland, Oregon, literature and arts scene, Buckmxn Journal brings together the city’s sharpest and presents them to the greater world. Delivered with grit and cutting visuals, the printed medium is very much alive in Buckman.