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From Maxville to Vanport: A Community-Guided Music and Video Project


7 to 8:30 pm, Saturday, November 4th, 2017
 Josephy Center for the Arts and Culture, 403 Main St, Joseph, OR 97846.

Gathering input for a new musical work in community discussion at Josephy Center.

Admission is free, event is open to all. Those with personal ties to descendants of loggers of all ethnicities who worked at Maxville are encouraged to attend, as well as anyone with a particular interest in Oregon history or jazz.

The Portland Jazz Composers’ Ensemble is a 12-piece jazz ensemble which commissions and performs original works by its members and by other jazz composers in the Portland music community and beyond. It is our mission to operate a large musical ensemble, to commission and perform original works by members of the ensemble and by other jazz composers in the Portland music community and elsewhere, to act as a forum for the development and presentation of works for large ensemble by established and emerging jazz composers, and to engage and enrich community awareness and appreciation of contemporary music.

Portland, Oregon: Supported by an $80,000 grant from the Oregon Community Foundation’s Creative Heights program, The Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble is producing a new concert of original songs and video inspired by the stories of the multi-cultural populations of Maxville and Vanport, two unique Oregon towns deserving a more prominent place in the telling of the state’s history.

This year-long project, including community discussion events in Portland and Joseph in the fall, a performance tour to La Grande, Enterprise and Baker City in April 2018 and Portland in May, a studio album, short documentary film and two performances in Portland in conjunction with the Vanport Mosaic, employs a five-member creative team in a collaborative process that hopes to speak with the communities that are connected to these stories, not for them.

The event will begin with a short talk about Maxville by Maxville Heritage Interpretive Center Executive Director Gwen Trice, a short talk about Vanport by project vocalist Marilyn Keller, and a performance of an original song with lyrics by S. Renee Mitchell, featuring Keller, and composer Ezra Weiss at the piano. After the performance, the rest of the event will be dedicated to an open conversation about the project and the histories that will inspire it, with Trice, Keller, Mitchell, and video artist Kalimah Abioto.

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