Cathedral Park Jazz Festival July 14-16, 2017 Unveils Lineup of Performers

Portland, OR, Has Longest-Running Free Jazz Festival West of the Mississippi

Press Release ( - PORTLAND, Ore. - May 02, 2017 - The Jazz Society of Oregon’s Cathedral Park Jazz Festival [CPJF]  has announced the lineup of jazz, blues, R&B and soul performers set to appear on two days, Saturday July 15 and Sunday July 16, of the three-day festival this year, to be held July 14-16, 2017 in Portland’s Cathedral Park under the St Johns Bridge in Portland.

         “This festival was started 37 years ago by a group of volunteers looking to commemorate the construction of spectacular Cathedral Park – one of the city’s most beautiful settings,” said Rita Rega, chair of the CPJF Progamming Committee. “It has evolved into a celebration of Portland’s diverse music scene. It’s an ‘old Portland’ hang where everyone is welcome because it’s still free and still run by volunteers. It is the longest-running community event in the Greater Portland area.”

Rega noted that volunteers and donations are still needed. A subsequent announcement will be made listing performers for Friday, July 14.

Saturday and Sunday performers include:

·       Manuel Valera Trio:  Cuban pianist-composer Valera, based in NYC, brings his sophisticated blend of Latin and jazz, called Forma Nueva, to the Cathedral Park stage Saturday night.

·       Veteran Portland vocalist Shirley Nanette pays tribute to the late Ernestine Anderson in a quartet featuring tenor star Renato Caranto

·       Harmonica wizard and international Tango artist, Joe Powers, celebrates the music of his mentor Toots Thielemans

·       A first for Portland audiences: the long-awaited reincarnation of the funk/soul band Pleasure and the first performance of their new vocalist Michael Beatzilla Whitmore. A horn- driven blend of jazz, rock, soul, funk and R&B, this music is eminently danceable. Pleasure will be the Sunday night closer.

·       Saturday night’s closer: Ural Thomas and the Pain. Ural Thomas topped the soul charts in the 1960s, and a group of young Portland musicians brought him back to the live music scene in Portland. A showcase for vintage soul and funk that will get the audience dancing.

·       The hot, retro swing group, the Midnight Serenaders. Something different from your grandparents’ swing, the Midnight Serenaders have added a Hawaiian tinge with a ukulele and Hawaiian steel guitar.

·       The Ezra Weiss Big Band – Composer-pianist Ezra Weiss leads some of the best players in town in Portland’s most popular homegrown big band

·       The Bylines: Marianna Thielen is the sultry song stylist and Reece Marshburn is the lyrical pianist  bringing sophisticated, jazz inspired, story-driven tunes to the bandstand.

·       Clay Giberson Quartet: One of the most sought-after sidemen in Portland, composer-pianist Clay Giberson showcases his sensitive style of jazz.

·       Two youth groups – one to open Saturday and one Sunday  – stand by for an announcement.

Background on the Cathedral Park Jazz Festival

         This year marks the 37th consecutive year of the Cathedral Park Jazz Festival, which has been managed for the past four years by the Jazz Society of Oregon.

“This is a free, non-profit festival that provides the best jazz, blues, R&B and soul music from around the region to the greater Portland/Vancouver community,” said Margie Smith, managing director of the festival. “In fact, the Cathedral Park Jazz Festival is both the longest-running free annual jazz festival west of the Mississippi – and Portland’s longest-running annual community event.”

         The CPJF planning committee is still looking for community sponsors and volunteers to fill a variety of positions. Sponsors may contact the festival planning committee at

About the Jazz Society of Oregon

         The Jazz Society of Oregon is an all-volunteer non-profit organization (501c-3) whose mission is to promote jazz music in the Pacific Northwest.  The Society supports jazz education as well as fostering a greater appreciation of this thoroughly American art form.

         Information on the Cathedral Park Jazz Festival, including news on sponsorships, poster contest, volunteer opportunities and talent, can be found at .

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Source : Cathedral Park Jazz Festival 2017

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