Montavilla Jazz Festival 2023


The 10th Annual Montavilla Jazz Festival begins at Mt. Tabor Park with a world premiere of Views of an Urban Volcano, a three-part commission inspired by the concert’s location on Portland’s beloved extinct cinder cone-turned-greenspace. The concert also celebrates Montavilla Jazz’s decade of partnership with Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble which will perform the new works. Opening the event will be Vestal Stories: Mary-Sue Tobin Sextet, a project developed collaboratively during Tobin’s tenure this spring as Montavilla Jazz’s artist-in-residence at Vestal Elementary School.

Vestal Stories: Mary-Sue Tobin Sextet

Friday, September 1, 2023, 6:00 PM – Mt. Tabor Park Caldera Amphitheater – FREE!

Celebrating where we come from and the joy around us, this project is the culmination of a collaboration between Montavilla Jazz, Portland State University’s Artist as Citizen Initiative, and Vestal Elementary.

Views of an Urban Volcano with Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble

Friday, September 1, 2023, 7:30 PM – Mt. Tabor Park Caldera Amphitheater – FREE!

Composers Cyrus Nabipoor, Kirsten Volness, and James Powers premiere new jazz inspired by Portland’s beloved greenspace and extinct cinder cone, Mt. Tabor Park, performed by Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble’s 12-member band.

Born and raised in Portland, Cyrus Nabipoor began playing trumpet at age 11 because a trombone would not fit on his bike. He began studying with Cynthia Plank and Derek Sims and joined the Alan Jones Academy of Music in high school. He holds a Bachelor of Music from Loyola University New Orleans where he learned from Nick Volz, Tony Dagradi, and Jimbo Walsh. In 2015, Cyrus received the International Trumpet Guild Jazz Scholarship. Known for his honest and warm voice, Cyrus has worked with Jamison Ross, Elle King, Tarriona “Tank” Ball, James Singleton, Jason Marsalis, Eric “Benny” Bloom, Mike Dillon, and Stanton Moore. He has performed at New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, French Quarter Festival, and Instigation Fest. His Cyrus Nabipoor Quintet performs his original compositions at his monthly show at The 1905. He is a member/collaborator of Noruz, Korgy & Bass, and Puddletown Stompers and co-produces the multimedia storytelling and performance series ‘Lore’ with visual artist Ida Floreak.

Portland native James Powers is a trombonist, guitarist, composer, and arranger who has been connected to creative music his whole life. A third generation musician who’s made his home in many styles of music, he’s always sought to meld disparate influences together. For James, the love of music began early, attending his first concert of orchestral music at 8 days old, and seeing his father play places like The Tugboat and the Mt. Hood Jazz Festival, when still in diapers. James is largely self taught, and his unique artistic voice reflects this, and he’s also learned from and mentored by Alan Jones, Steve Davis, Michael Vlatkovich and Rufus Reed. James Recently released an album with his avantfunk trio JP3 on PJCE Records, and can also be heard playing in his rock trio REACTOR, March Fourth, Buddy Jay’s Jamaican Jazz Band, The Frank Irwin Quintet, and many other creatively-minded groups of varying styles.

Kirsten Volness’ soundscapes integrate electronics and modern composition techniques with jazz and pop influences to create intimate listening that is “nothing short of gorgeous.” (New York Arts) Her music has been featured at L’Institut International de Musique Electroacoustique de Bourges, The New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival, American Composers Alliance, and the Montréal and Edinburgh fringe festivals. Her commissions include works for the World Future Council Foundation, Metropolis Ensemble, Kansas City Electronic Music and Arts Alliance, Cambridge Philharmonic, and Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra. She received an OPERA America Opera Grant for Female Composers, the MacColl Johnson Fellowship, and the Fellowship in Music Composition from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts three times. She has cultivated and curated festivals and series featuring the work of interdisciplinary artists and is the co-Founder, co-Director, and pianist for Verdant Vibes (Providence) and co-Director of homeless advocacy group Tenderloin Opera Company. A graduate of the universities of Michigan and Minnesota, her teaching history includes positions at Reed College and the University of Rhode Island with guest appearances at Lewis & Clark College, Brown University, the University of Michigan, and Interlochen Arts Camp.

Cyrus Nabipoor, Kirsten Volness, and James Powers, Compositions; Catherine Feeny, Vocals; Joe Manis, soprano saxophone, flute, clarinet; Owen Broder, alto saxophone, flute, clarinet; Tim Willcox, tenor saxophone; Mieke Bruggeman, baritone saxophone; Quinn Walker, trumpet; Noah Simpson, trumpet; Adriana Wagner, trombone; Chris Shuttleworth, trombone; Ryan Meagher, guitar; Charlie Brown III, piano; Bill Athens, bass; Ken Ollis, drums


A collaboration between Montavilla Jazz and Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble, in partnership with Friends of Mt. Tabor Park and the Oregon Historical Society, with support from Oregon Cultural Trust and the Regional Arts & Culture Council.