Cathedral Park Free Jazz Festival

40th Cathedral Park Free Jazz Festival 

Will Be Virtual, Streaming Live Online 

July 17, 18 and 19, 2020 

Portland, Oregon, June 27 2020 – Like jazz, life in the time of the pandemic is about improvisation.   

This year, the 40th annual Cathedral Park Jazz Festival will be virtual, streaming live online at https://www.twitch.tv/cathedralparkjazz Friday through Sunday, July 17-19, 2020, thanks to presenting sponsor, Oregonians Credit Union, and the organizer, the Jazz Society of OregonFor the past 39 years, this long-running free festival has beens held in North Portland’s Cathedral Park under the historic St Johns Bridge.  

Highlights of this year’s three-day festival celebrating jazz, blues, R&B, and funk: pianist and vocalist Steve Kerin and the Bayou Boyz, originally from Louisiana but now calling Portland home; violinist Eddie Parentechannelling the great jazz violinists like Stephane Grappelli, Stuff Smith, and Joe Venuto; and soulful vocalist Saeeda Wright and her nine-piece orchestraSaeeda has sung backup for Prince, Lalah Hathaway, Live Warfield and others. 

 The complete lineup is as follows: 

Friday July 17 begins with Tevis Hodge, Jrthen two acts that have each been finalists in the  International Blues Challenge”: the Rae Gordon Bandfollowed by Johnny Wheels and the Swamp Donkeys. Steve Kerin and the Bayou Boyz will wrap up the evening. 

Saturday July 18 kicks off with the popular Roosevelt High School Band, followed by the Eddie Parente Quartet, Outer Orbit, Latin-favorite Picante, and finally Saeeda Wright as the closing act. 

Sunday July 19 starts with the Minidoka Swing Band, then the John Butler Quartet, followed by the Christopher Brown Quartet, the Mel Brown Trio featuring special guest vocalist Shirley Nanette, and the Ethio-soul Tezeta Band taking it home.  

“This is the 40th consecutive year of the festival, which was started by a group of volunteers commemorating the construction of beautiful Cathedral Park,” said Rita Rega, Jazz Society of Oregon board member and artistic director. “It has evolved into a celebration of Portland’s diverse jazz music sceneIt is also the longest-running community event in the Greater Portland area. While this year’s event won’t be in our usual spectacular outdoor setting, the spirit and music of the festival live on. 

In addition to Oregonians Credit Union, sponsors include: METRO, Bill Mattecheck, Deschutes Brewing, Stoller Family Estate Wines, Shine Distillery, and The 1905 Jazz Club 

Background – Cathedral Park Jazz Festival 

This year marks the 40th consecutive year of the Cathedral Park Jazz Festival, which has been managed for the past six years by the Jazz Society of Oregon. 

“This is a free, non-profit festival that provides the best in jazz, blues, R&B and soul, from around the greater Portland/Vancouver area,” said Rega. “In fact, the Cathedral Park Jazz Festival is both the longest-running free annual jazz festival west of the Mississippi – and Portland’s longest-running annual community event.” 

About the Jazz Society of Oregon 

The Jazz Society of Oregon is an all-volunteer non-profit organization 501(c)(3) whose mission is to promote the local jazz scene in Portland and the rest of Oregon.  The Society supports jazz educationas well as fostering a greater appreciation of this thoroughly American art form. 

Information on the 40th Cathedral Park Jazz Festival, including specific times of the livestream  can be found at https://jazzoregon.org/2020-festival  

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Image attached (photo credit: Chris Lazarus): photo of the Jazz Society of Oregon’s free Cathedral Park Jazz Festival taken pre-Covid-19 in 2018.  The 2020 festival takes place July 17, 18 & 19th will be livestreamed at https://www.twitch.tv/cathedralparkjazz.