March 1st marked the close of the Biamp PDX Jazz Festival 2020, but not before audiences were treated to dozens of extraordinary performances from local, national, and international artists at venues throughout the Rose City. The musical diversity showcased during the festival perfectly captured our commitment to extraordinary audiovisual experiences.
The festival began with a stunning performance by veteran saxophonist and former Tonight Show bandleader Branford Marsalis – drawing an audience of ardent jazz fans with a performance at Portland’s Newmark Theater. Leading a quartet that featured upright bass, piano, and drums, Marsalis delivered a lively, inspiring demonstration of a master at work, playing several selections from the quartet’s latest album, “The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul.”
Another saxophone-led quartet, led by local musician Devin Phillips, delivered an intimate performance at Portland’s jazz speakeasy, the Jack London Revue. A native of New Orleans and a graduate of its Center for Creative Arts (also the alma mater of fellow jazz artist Branford Marsalis), Phillips relocated to Portland and quickly became an integral figure in the local jazz scene. His intricate, soulful sound was on full display throughout his utterly engaging set.
Representing the new generation of jazz and funk performers, Thundercat (real name Stephen Bruner) gave an astonishingly varied, playful, and virtuosic performance to an all-ages crowd at the Portland Art Museum during the festival’s final weekend. Reeling off a seemingly endless array of notes on his signature six-string bass, the rising star worked with a keyboardist and drummer to create a sonic mélange that was neither fully jazz, or funk, or hip-hop, but 100% Thundercat.
Portland duo Brown Calculus opened the show, captivating the audience solely through the powerful vocals of Vaughn Kimmons and masterful keyboard work of Andre Burgos; vocalist Georgia Anne Muldrow, on the other hand, followed with a showstopping assemblage of musicians, creating an extremely potent jazz/soul fusion that left the audience wanting more.
Supporting events like the PDX Jazz Festival is at the core of Biamp’s mission to connect people through extraordinary audiovisual experiences, and we’re extremely proud to have served as its title sponsor for the fifth year running.
Discover all the ways we give back to our community at https://www.biamp.com/company/community-involvement.