On Friday, May 19, 2023, at The Old Church, 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.” 

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/articles/69394/jazz-as-communication

About the artists:

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.

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