Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble will feature legendary Portland guitarist and composer, Dan Balmer, in a two-part concert at Lewis & Clark College!


Access the digital program HERE.

The evening starts with Dan Balmer’s quartet highlighting music from his upcoming release on PJCE Records, When the Night. This album full of new original music from Balmer features an all-star New York-based organ trio of Balmer, Gary Versace (organ), and Rudy Royston (drums). Pre-order the album here.

At the concert, Balmer will be joined by pianist Clay Giberson, bassist Bill Athens, and drummer Jason Palmer.  In the second part of the concert, Balmer’s compositions are expanded with new arrangements by Clay Giberson, Bill Athens, Owen Broder, Bryn Roberts, and Alex Koehler (a former student of Balmer’s at Lewis and Clark College) performed by the PJCE.

Pre-purchase the new record from Dan Balmer now!

About Dan Balmer:

From chart-topping success with the Tom Grant Band in the 90s, to world tours with two-time Grammy Award winner Diane Schuur and contemporary jam bands, Dan Balmer brings fire and heart every time he plays the guitar. His playing spans nearly one hundred CDs including twelve as a leader, from which his original works have appeared internationally in television, film, and radio. Dan has performed or toured with Joey DeFrancesco, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Les McCann, Javon Jackson and Karrin Allyson, Benny Golson, Jeff Hamilton, Gerald Clayton, John Clayton, Terell Stafford, Ingrid Jensen, Duduka da Fonseca, Kendrick Scott, Taylor Eigsti, Buddy De Franco, Bruce Forman and countless others. An in-demand educator, Dan maintains a private studio and teaches group clinics and master classes throughout the US and abroad. He adjudicates student jazz band competitions at events such as the Monterey Next Generation Festival and Reno Jazz Festival along with being a long-term teacher at the Centrum Jazz Workshop. He is the director of jazz combos at Lewis And Clark College and on faculty at several other institutions in the greater Portland, Oregon area.

About the Arrangers:

Pianist and composer Clay Giberson is an innovative voice in the contemporary jazz scene of the Pacific Northwest. He studied jazz piano at the University of Miami and later established himself in New York where he also earned a Master’s degree in music technology at NYU. He has performed throughout Europe, Scandinavia, the Mediterranean, the South Pacific, Caribbean and Japan. Clay resides in Portland, Oregon where he teaches, records, produces and performs. Clay has released six recordings on Origin Records, the latest being “Pastures” featuring saxophonist Donny McCaslin, bassist Drew Gress and drummer Matt Wilson.
Bill Athens is an accomplished performer on both double bass and electric bass, having worked as a professional musician for over 20 years in the Pacific Northwest. He studied with Ken Baldwin (Oregon Symphony), Glen Moore (Oregon), Dan Schulte (Jazz Bassist), and Dave Captein (Jazz Bassist). Bill is a music graduate of Portland State University. He has performed in a diverse range of genres, from Classical and Jazz to Rock and studio recording. Currently a member of the eclectic chamber music group 3 Leg Torso and the funky Jazz power trio Trio Subtonic, Bill has performed with the Rose City Chamber Orchestra, the Tacoma Symphony, Bel Canto Northwest.
Saxophonist and band leader Owen Broder has been recognized for his “smooth-as-silk alto and baritone saxophone work,” (DownBeat). DownBeat praised his album “Hertiage” as a “transcendent work,” and included his album “Hodges: Front and Center, Vol. 1” in their list of Best Albums of 2022. Broder is a member of the Grammy-nominated Anat Cohen Tentet and frequently performs with the Grammy-winning Gil Evans Project and the YouTube sensation Postmodern Jukebox. Broder was a recipient of the 2018 Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award and his work was praised as having a “sturdy artistic thread that connects bandleaders Maria Schneider, Ryan Truesdell and Owen Broder,” (DownBeat). He has received commissioned projects from the International Society of Jazz Arrangers and Composers, the Airmen of Note, the U.S. Air Force Band in Europe, and several off-Broadway shows. Broder co-founded and performed in Live From Our Living Rooms. Credited as “the first online jazz festival” by Rolling Stone, the initiative raised over $140k in support of US-based musicians whose performance careers were halted due to COVID-19. As an educator, Broder teaches jazz courses at Portland State University and saxophone lessons at Pacific University.
Bryn Roberts is pianist, keyboardist and composer who is in demand in a broad range of musical contexts. Roberts makes his home in Portland, Oregon, while continuing to spend much of his time in New York City, where he lived for 15 years. He plays, tours and records widely both as a leader and sideman, and is a frequent performer at clubs like Smalls, Mezzrow, the Jazz Gallery, the Kitano and Dizzy’s. In addition to his work in jazz and improvised music, Roberts has played and toured with many artists in the singer-songwriter world, including Grammy award winners Rosanne Cash and John Leventhal, Shawn Colvin, Stax records legend William Bell, and folk icon Dar Williams.
Alex G. Koehler is a multifaceted musician and artist. A graduate of both Portland State University and Lewis & Clark College, Alex splits his time among teaching, composing, arranging, and performing with acclaimed Portland acts like Chibia, and Thankusomuch. As both a bassist and pianist, Alex has been performing and recording around the Pacific Northwest for over a decade. He’s produced and written music for clients like Disney: Marvel, Microsoft, OAN, NBC, and others. Alex is also an illustrator and graphic designer for video game developers Kaizen Creed, and in various freelance projects.


Ensemble musicians include:

John Nastos, alto sax, clarinet, and flute; Mieke Bruggeman, bari sax and bass clarinet; Owen Broder, soprano sax, flute, and clarinet; Renato Caranto, tenor sax; Adriana Wagner, trombone; Shayna Waldman, bass trombone; Scott Anderson, trumpet; Fred Forney, trumpet; Bill Athens, bass; Clay Giberson, piano; Jason Palmer, drums; Dan Balmer, guitar; Ryan Meagher, conductor.

Safety, Parking, and Accessibility for the concert:

We recognize that covid cases are on the rise, so please stay home if you are not feeling well. Mask-wearing is optional on the Lewis & Clark campus.

For Parking, enter at Gate 2, and park in lot D (Lower Griswold) or E (Fir Acres). Parking is free after 7pm. For more accessible parking, enter at Gate 2 and go towards Fir Acres parking lot (E). Make a sharp u-turn once at Evans Music Center, and drive up alongside the back of the building. There are 1-2 accessible parking spots just past the gate (see the yellow highlighted rectangular area in the map below).