Biamp is committed to connecting people through extraordinary audiovisual experiences. We also love to celebrate other organizations and events that demonstrate a similar passion. In that spirit, we are delighted to once again serve as the title sponsor for the PDX Jazz Festival, a multi-venue series of concerts presented each February in Portland, Oregon.
Nationally and regionally supported as a cultural tourism initiative in celebration of Black History Month, the PDX Jazz Festival is dedicated to preserving a truly American art form by presenting internationally recognized masters alongside local musicians.
To give you a taste of this year’s festival, we’ve assembled some of the artists we’re particularly excited about; click here for the full festival lineup.
Stephen “Thundercat” Bruner spent the last part of the new millennium’s first decade as the go-to bassist for practically every artist in black vanguard music. His nimble, syncopated, groove-heavy basslines were heard on albums by Erykah Badu, Sa-Ra, Flying Lotus, and others.
Bruner’s 2011 debut, The Golden Age of Apocalypse, was released under the Thundercat moniker on Brainfeeder. In the years that followed, Bruner’s session highlights included crucial contributions to Flying Lotus’ You’re Dead!, Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly and Untitled Unmastered, Kamasi Washington’s The Epic, and Terrace Martin’s Velvet Portraits. Bruner’s own The Beyond/Where the Giants Roam, an EP released in 2015, functioned as a prelude to the 2017 album Drunk. His latest release, It Is What It Is, will be released in April 2020.
With an expansive roster of next-level musicians—representing members of Prince, Snoop Dogg, Erykah Badu, Herbie Hancock, Kendrick Lamar, Marcus Miller, Toto, Justin Timberlake, and more—Ghost-Note is pushing funk music into the future, building on the uplifting, pioneering foundations laid out by the likes of James Brown and Sly & The Family Stone and infusing their fresh take with tastes of afrobeat, hip-hop, psychedelia, world folklore, and more.
After forming in 2015, Ghost-Note has already begun to take the world by storm. The group’s two studio albums have earned critical acclaim and popular success around the globe, with both albums hitting the #1 spot on the iTunes Jazz Charts. Furthermore, the ever-growing family of musicians has mounted successful headlining tours in the United States, Canada, and Japan and performed at high-profile international music festivals and events.
Illinois-born Liv Warfield began building her legend in Portland, Oregon. gaining the respect of local superstars and becoming an icon to many. While taking cues from influences like Nina Simone, Etta James, Sade, Tina Turner, and Mary J. Blige, Warfield has carved out a style all her own, which can best be described as “alternative soul with a lil’ bit of rock ‘n’ roll.” In 2006, she self-released her debut album Embrace Me. By 2009, she caught the eye of the one-and-only Prince, ultimately joining his group the New Power Generation.
After touring for several years and soaking up as much knowledge as she could from the ultimate music mentor, Warfield made her big splash on the national scene in 2014, first as a feature artist for Vh1’s “You Oughta Know” campaign, and then with the release of her major label debut album The Unexpected, which was executive produced by Prince. What followed were show-stopping performances on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, The Late Show with David Letterman, and The Arsenio Hall Show; a 2014 Soul Train Music Award and nominations for two others; a BET Best New Artist Award nomination; an interview with National Public Radio; and high-profile cosigns from Lionel Richie, Cindy Lauper, and Nancy Wilson of HEART.
Saxophone player, composer, pianist, singer, politically committed poet, playwright: Archie Shepp is a legend. His technical and emotional capacity enables him to integrate the varied elements inherited by the Masters of Tenor into his own playing but according to his very own combination.
Starting in August 1964, he made 17 records among which—Four For Trane, Fire Music, and Mama Too Tight—are some of the classics of Free Music. His collaboration with John Coltrane materialized further with Ascension in 1965, a real turning point in Avant-Garde music. His militancy was evidenced by his participation in the creation of the Composers Guild with Paul and Carla Bley, Sun RA, Roswell Rudd and Cecil Taylor. With his freedom loving sensitivity, Archie Shepp has made an inestimable contribution to the gathering, the publicizing, and the inventing of jazz.