39 episodes

Beyond Category tells the stories behind the music of the Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble, its record label PJCE Records, and members from all corners of the Portland Jazz Scene.

Beyond Category Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble

    • Music
    • 4.6 • 5 Ratings

Beyond Category tells the stories behind the music of the Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble, its record label PJCE Records, and members from all corners of the Portland Jazz Scene.

    Montavilla Jazz Festival 2019

    Montavilla Jazz Festival 2019

    Montavilla Jazz Festival 2019 was a few months ago, but hearing the voices of these artists brings back vivid memories of all the music we heard that weekend. Like we’ve come to expect, the music was incredibly diverse and the atmosphere was warm and inviting. You’ll hear why that is as you listen to the artists talking about their work and about the festival itself. Before 2019 comes to a close, please make a donation to Montavilla Jazz Festival and to Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble to keep this music community strong!

    • 32 min
    Gordon Lee

    Gordon Lee

    On Saturday May 18th PJCE honors the late saxophonist and composer Jim Pepper in a concert at the Old Church. We’ll play music by Jim Pepper, Gordon Lee, and Glay Giberson, as well as music by our guest, hip hop artist and traditional singer and dancer 2 8 Tha Native, arranged by Farnell Newton and Stephanie Kitson.
    Jim Pepper, who identified with the Kaw and Creek tribes, was a Native American jazz innovator who is best known for a song that reached the Billboard charts, Witchi Tai To. Pepper’s was an incredibly distinctive voice on the tenor saxophone, and had fruitful collaborations with many other A-list jazz players, often on the avant-garde side of the spectrum—Don Cherry, Paul Motian, Charlie Haden and Mal Waldron, among others. He also worked extensively with Portland’s own Gordon Lee, who talked with me about how he met Jim Pepper, and the “supernatural” effect that this man—who Lee jokingly called “the older brother I never wanted”—had on his life.
    Tickets for the May 18th concert are on sale now at pjce.org. Get $5 off your purchase with the code “beyond” at checkout.
    Also you can learn more about Jim Pepper and our program honoring him at Oregon Historical Society on May 10th at noon. Jazz writer Rick Mitchell gives an introduction on Pepper’s role in jazz’s larger story, Gordon Lee will talk about Jim Pepper and perform with 2 8 Tha Native, who will also talk about his own work in hip hop and that of other native artists in Portland today.

    • 18 min
    Ezra Weiss

    Ezra Weiss

    I talked with composer Ezra Weiss as two big projects of his go out into the world. First the release the studio recording of From Maxville to Vanport, featuring his music, and lyrics by S. Renee Mitchell sung by Marilyn Keller; and second, a concert taking place this Saturday, December 8th, 2018 at the Alberta Abbey featuring Ezra’s latest composition, We Limit Not the Truth of God.
    The two pieces have a lot in common. They’re both concert-length jazz suites that tell stories about who we were as human beings in general and Oregonians in particular, and both say something about how the future can be better than the past. We talked about what it means to make music with a more socially-engaged perspective, and what the difference is between art and propaganda.

    • 35 min
    Montavilla Jazz Festival Recap - Part Two

    Montavilla Jazz Festival Recap - Part Two

    This is the second installment of a two-part series recapping the 2018 Montavilla Jazz Festival. This time I talk with Neil Mattson, MJF Executive Director, about how the festival went in terms of ticket sales, budgets, and attendance, you know, the stuff you can measure. And then we get into the intangible measures of the project’s success—the gut feelings he has about whether or not it’s worth it to keep on doing what everyone thought was a fool’s errand five years ago. Fortunately for all of us, I think Neil is ready to be foolish for at least one year more.

    • 24 min
    Montavilla Jazz Festival Recap, Part I

    Montavilla Jazz Festival Recap, Part I

    If you were at the 2018 Montavilla Jazz Festival on August 19th or 20th in Portland, OR, then you felt the excitement. But if you weren’t, I hope this episode will give you a taste of the music and the people that made the event special. Interviews with Shao Way Wu, saxophonist Idit Shner, KBOO radio personality Daniel Flessas, and the Saturday headliner saxophonist Nicole Glover in this episode.

    • 25 min
    Trio Untold

    Trio Untold

    Trio Untold, with James Miley on piano and keyboards, Mike Nord on guitar and electronics, and Ryan Biesack on drums, is the thirty-third release on PJCE Records. It drops Friday September 14th. Stream and buy it at pjce.bandcamp.com.

    • 5 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
5 Ratings

5 Ratings

Mattepp ,

World class show for a local scene. Recommended!

Beyond Category is lovingly produced and beautifully crafted.

The show only seems to feature exciting, original, and high quality new music. And, it adds personal context through well edited, entertaining interviews that make the tunes memorable and make Portland's jazz scene come alive.

Episodes are edited short and nutrient dense, so there's no time wasting here.

This show has reconnected me with an entire genre of music, and gotten me out listening to amazing live music from local artists.

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