The 12-piece Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble performs original songs and short films inspired by two towns that reveal distinctive viewpoints of the state’s under-represented Black history. Looking honestly at the prejudice these people faced, the joyful program celebrates their resilience, courage, and important contributions to Oregon through jazz, R&B, and blues. The music, composed by Ezra Weiss with lyrics by poet S. Renee Mitchell, is performed by the PJCE with vocalist Marilyn T. Keller. The project also includes two film shorts by filmmaker Kalimah Abioto scored by Weiss that will be projected with the ensemble performing the score.
From Maxville to Vanport was funded by Oregon Community Foundation’s Creative Heights grant and was sponsored by Vanport Mosaic and Oregon Historical Society with essential historical references provided by Gwendolyn Trice, Executive Director of the Maxville Heritage Interpretive Center.
– May 28th, 2021 – Vanport Mosaic online.
– March 12th, 2020. Portland, OR. 43rd Annual Portland International Film Festival – Shorts Four – Resistances.
– March 3rd, 2019 – Mission Theater, Portland, OR. Followed by a panel discussion with the Maxville to Vanport creative team and a performance by PJCE.