Cathedral Park Jazz Festival 2017 — July 14th – 16th

Cathedral Park Jazz Festival photo by Joe Alcala
Photo by Joe Alcala. Taken in 2016 of the Cathedral Park Jazz Festival in beautiful Cathedral Park.

The Jazz Society of Oregon’s Cathedral Park Jazz Festival (CPJF) has finalized the lineup and schedule of jazz, blues, R&B, and soul performances for all three days of this year’s free event. Held in Cathedral Park, under the historic St. Johns Bridge in Portland, this is the 37th year for this annual event.

The CPJF was started by a group of volunteers looking to commemorate the construction of spectacular Cathedral Park — one of Portland’s most beautiful settings. It has evolved into a celebration of Portland’s diverse music scene. It is still free and still run by volunteers. In fact, this is the longest-running community event in the Greater Portland area.

Performers include both nationally recognized artists, such as Manuel Valera, Joe Powers, and Ezra Weiss, as well as local artists, including two youth groups.

Performance Schedule

Friday evening, July 14th

5 – 5:30 p.m. — United By Music North America: Professional musicians mentor a program for musically-talented people with developmental and intellectual challenges.
6 – 6:45 p.m. — Julie Amici: jazz singer Julie Yanko, blues bass player Dean Mueller with guitarist Dan Gildea, drummer Carlton Jackson and special guest Mary Kadderly.
7:15 – 8:15 p.m. — Rose City Kings: One of Portland’s top blues bands with 5 critically acclaimed albums, including last year’s A Love So Strong, which stayed 7 months on the Top 50 Blues Album chart.
8:45 – 10 p.m. — Andy Stokes: The Northwest’s “King of Soul”, with a smooth R&B style and gritty emotion.

Saturday afternoon and evening, July 15th

1 – 2 p.m. – Roosevelt High School Jazz Band: North Portland is home to this swinging group of student musicians.
2:30 – 3:30 p.m. – The Bylines Quartet: Song stylist Marianna Thielen and pianist Reece Marshburn write together and perform jazz-inspired, story-driven tunes.
4 – 5 p.m. – Midnight Serenaders: The hot, retro swing group, but very different from your grandparents’ swing; ukulele and Hawaiian steel guitar give them a Hawaiian accent.
5:30 – 6:30 p.m. – Shirley Nanette: Veteran Portland vocalist pays tribute to the late Ernestine Anderson in a quartet featuring tenor star Renato Caranto.
7 – 8 p.m. — Manuel Valera Trio: Grammy-nominated NYC-based, Cuban-born pianist-composer Valera plays his sophisticated blend of Latin and jazz, called Forma Nueva.
8:30 – 10 p.m. — Ural Thomas and the Pain: Thomas topped the soul charts in the 1960s, and a group of young Portland musicians brought him back to the live music scene. A showcase for vintage soul and funk that will get the audience dancing.

Sunday afternoon and evening, July 16th

1 – 2 p.m. – Portland Youth Jazz Orchestra Vanguard Alumni Band: Alumni from 16 years of PYJO bands mixed in with talented high school musicians perform Ellington, Coltrane, Woody Shaw and more.
2:30 – 3:30 p.m. – Clay Giberson Quartet: One of the most sought-after sidemen in Portland, composer-pianist Giberson showcases his sensitive style of jazz.
4 – 5 p.m. – 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.
5:30 – 6:30 p.m. – Joe Powers & Friends: Harmonica wizard and international Tango artist, Joe Powers, celebrates the music of his mentor Toots Thielemans.
7 – 8:15 p.m. – Michael Beatzilla Whitmore & The Store of Funk: A horn- driven blend of jazz, rock, soul, funk and R&B, this music is eminently danceable.

Cathedral Park Jazz Festival logoBackground 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. 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.

Margie Smith
Managing Director

Volunteers Needed

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

[button link=””]Volunteer Signup[/button]

About the Jazz Society of Oregon

The Jazz Society of Oregon is an all-volunteer non-profit organization, 501(c)(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 thoroughlyAmerican art form.

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

By Mary Ann Aschenbrenner

Mary Ann is a St. Johns resident since 1990, small business owner, and tireless volunteer in this community. She is the owner of Waterlink Web, a website design and development firm specializing in eCommerce and eLearning websites for small businesses, teachers, and nonprofit organizations.

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