Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Seattle Improvised Music Festival / Portland Jazz Festival :
Feb 8- 17 / Feb 15 - 24

TETUZI AKIYAMA

Highlights of this years Portland Jazz Festival include improv-giants Cecil Taylor and Ornette
Coleman along with other contemporary notables as Tord Gustavsen and The Bad Plus - over
a two week period. That's a lot of time to spend hanging out in Portland, but the fest is packed
with other events, performances and lectures - and hell, if modern jazz is your thing,
this is truly an opportunity:

Link to Portland Jazz Festival site

From the Portland Jazz Fest: The Shape of Jazz to Come

"The Shape of Jazz to Come will be this year's Portland Jazz Festival Signature Series of events.
Including performances, panel discussions, lectures, workshops, and Jazz Conversations with
performances featuring Ornette Coleman on opening night and revolutionary pianist Cecil Taylor
in a rare solo performance closing the first festival weekend on Sunday afternoon. Since first
emerging in the mid-50's as a kindred spirit to Coleman, Cecil Taylor has become the most
advanced improviser in jazz, and five decades later he remains the most radical. Other highlights
will include a Jazz Conversation between Coleman and Howard Mandel, author of a new, highly
acclaimed biography on both Coleman and Taylor, and a panel discussion on the impact of
Coleman's 50 years of music with journalists Mandel, Peterson, Paul DeBarros from DownBeat
magazine, and Canadian jazz writer James Hale, plus artist/educators Myra Melford, Tim Berne,
The Bad Plus, and Koung Vu."

Simultaneously, also here in the Northwest - the Seattle Improvised Music Festival begins this
week. The compelling factors for me being Jason Kahn's solo performance and the return of
Japanese guitar-improv master Tetuzi Akiyama in a number of incarnations/collaborations:

Link to Seattle Improvised Music Festival site