From Portland Music Community
Portland Jazz Festival, Oregon Music Hall of Fame support vision for new district
The Oregon Music Hall of Fame and the Portland Jazz Festival, guardians of the city's vast musical heritage, have formalized endorsements for JumpTown, the project team announced today.
The JumpTown vision for a revitalized entertainment district would rekindle the eastside neighborhood's reputation as the city's premier gathering place of music, culture and community. The venue would advance Portland's music scene with about 150 free shows a year under a covered outdoor stage in the Rose Quarter plaza.
"JumpTown will make music, including jazz, more accessible to the people of Portland," said Bill Royston, Artistic Director of PDX Jazz and the Portland Jazz Festival. "This project will provide the catalyst to present national jazz artists outside of the Portland Jazz Festival each February, while also offering the opportunity to showcase local talent and allow Portland's next generation of great artists and musicians to inspire us just as an earlier generation was inspired at clubs on Williams Avenue."
The eastside neighborhood's indelible cultural history, chronicled in Robert Dietsche's book "JumpTown: The Golden Years of Portland Jazz, 1942-1957", served as inspiration for the project's working title. Some of the most talented jazz artists who've ever played - including Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong and Thelonious Monk - showcased their talents at clubs on or near Williams Avenue.
The Oregon Music Hall of Fame - dedicated to honoring Oregon's rich musical history and ensuring student access to the arts - recognizes the authentic link to the area's past and joins the Jazz Festival in support of a new, vibrant center of music and culture.
"JumpTown brings a deliberate tie to an important part of Oregon's musical history," Marc Baker of the Oregon Music Hall of Fame said. "But the district is very forward-thinking and inclusive, which is the Portland way. We see a revitalized Rose Quarter as a way of sharing the neighborhood's history with students to get them excited about new musical talent to inspire the hall of fame inductees of tomorrow."
In addition to celebrating Oregon musical legends, the Oregon Music Hall of Fame awards scholarships to promising students around the state. Last year's scholarship winners include Kai Sandoval, recipient of the MVP Award at Britt Jazz Camp, the Louis Armstrong Award and the Maestro Award at the Heritage Festival.
"We are deeply appreciative of the community support and momentum organizations like the Portland Jazz Festival and Oregon Music Hall of Fame bring to this project." Trail Blazer President Larry Miller said.
The JumpTown vision is an integrated plan to draw daily activity to the Rose Quarter, connect eastside neighborhoods, showcase Portland's commitment to sustainability, and build on the highest and best use of Memorial Coliseum.
Currently, the Trail Blazers and Portland Winterhawks are partnering on a plan for Memorial Coliseum designed to improve and enhance the building, while adding new amenities to draw daily community activity. Upgrades will also make the building more hospitable for new events to add to the 150 existing major events that drew 430,000 annual visitors to the building last year.
The Portland City Council will soon consider the Trail Blazers/Winterhawks plan for Memorial Coliseum at the recommendation of the Mayor's 32-member Stakeholder Advisory Committee. The endorsements from the Portland Jazz Festival and Oregon Music Hall of Fame add to the project's growing list of supporters, including the Oregon School Activities Association and Portland Rose Festival Foundation.
For more information, visit www.imaginejumptown.com.