Pranksters Big Band is one of the most sought after dance bands in the Portland Ballroom/Swing dance scene. Gary Bong, band leader, vocalist Claudia Knauer
"If this band appeared in New York City, they'd be a sensation!" That was guitar great--and one-time Mel Brown bandmate--George Benson's reaction after hearing the Mel Brown B-3 Organ Group open for him in 2003. This true all-star band has been a sensation for a long time—including a 20-year run on Thursdays at Portland’s Jimmy Mak’s (The Oregonian dubbed them “Jimmy Mak’s signature group”). A collective resume that reads like a "Who's Who" of NW jazz, blues, and soul, this group has the talent and confidence to be completely spontaneous--from their blistering solos to their improvised arrangements and segues.
MEL BROWN -- An Oregon icon, has been labeled the "Gentleman of Jazz," with a career spanning a half century. The city of Portland proclaimed June 22, 1989 "Mel Brown Day" in recognition of Mel's achievements as a musician and educator, receiving the Governor's Arts Award in 2002. Mel first made his mark as a Motown staff drummer, recording and touring with the Temptations, Smokey Robinson, and many others. He subsequently spent ten years working with Diana Ross and other pop acts before giving up the road in 1991 and returning home to his first love: jazz. Mel has been a fixture in Portland ever since, leading groups six nights a week at Jimmy Mak's and other venues when he isn't backing jazz artists like Joey DeFrancesco and Benny Golson.
DAN BALMER -- Widely considered the defining sound of contemporary jazz guitar in the Northwest. Described by the Los Angeles Times as "the model of what a contemporary guitarist should be," Dan is one of the most original and creative artists to come from the fertile Northwest music scene. Dan has played and recorded with a long list of jazz greats, has released six CDs of his own, is a jazz educator and a noted composer. Dan leads his own groups and performs with jazz artists including Diane Schuur, Benny Green, and Jeff Hamilton.
RENATO CARANTO -- described as "one of Portland's most soulful jazz saxophonists" by The Oregonian," Renato is one of the most versatile, accomplished, soulful saxophonists anywhere. Arriving from the Philippines in '81 with only his horn, Renato has built an enviable career in Portland. After gaining a foothold in the local scene, Renato became one of the most sought-after jazzmen in the NW and beyond. In recent years, he’s toured with Grammy-winning jazz artist Esperanza Spalding and late country legend Merle Haggard. Talk about versatility!
LOUIS "KING LOUIE" PAIN -- "Portland's boss of the B-3" (The Oregonian) hails from San Francisco, where he played and recorded with a wide variety of top musicians: Tower of Power guitarist Bruce Conte, Santana saxophonist Jules Broussard, Edwin Hawkins vocalist Dorothy Morrison, and B.B. King saxophonist Bobby Forte. After moving north in '86, Louis continued the trend. His 2016 cd with vocalist LaRhonda Steele, “Rock Me Baby,” was honored by Downbeat as one of the “Best Albums of 2016.” Louis’ knack for playing exactly what's needed to further the song has made him Portland's "first call" organist.
From his early releases as Lusine onward, Jeff McIlwain’s electronic explorations make up one of the more diverse discographies of the past decade and a half. Effortlessly blurring the lines between techno, electro-pop and experimental composition, the Texas-raised/Seattle-based producer’s arrangements are meticulously constructed, but also filled with emotion and soul.
With an introspective turn that’s hinted at in the record title, Lusine’s fourth album for Ghostly, “Sensorimotor”, sees McIlwain diffusing the pop-leanings of 2013’s The Waiting Room with opaque, brush-stroked melodies washing over these new buoyant productions. McIlwain has performed throughout the US and abroad, including the SXSW, Mutek, DEMF, and Sonar festivals, and sets at London’s esteemed Fabric nightclub, Tokyo’s Unit, and Berlin’s Berghain and Watergate nightclubs. He has been involved in the scoring of various film and commercial projects, the most recent being music for Grand Theft Auto’s “Smuggler’s Run” and Meredith Danluck’s debut feature film, “State Like Sleep” (Katherine Waterston, Michael Shannon, 2017) that he co-scored with fellow composer David Wingo.
From coffee house gigs at fifteen to chart-topping success with the Tom Grant Band in the ’90s, world tours with two-time Grammy Award winner Diane Schuur and contemporary jam-bands, Dan Balmer brings fire and heart every time he plays the guitar. His playing spans nearly one hundred CDs including twelve as a leader from which his original works have appeared internationally in television, film and radio.
An in-demand educator, Dan maintains a busy schedule of private lessons, group clinics and master classes throughout the US and abroad. He adjudicates student jazz band competitions at events such as the Monterey Next Generation Festival and Reno Jazz Festival along with beinga long-term teacher at the Centrum Jazz Workshop. He is the director of jazz combos at Lewis And Clark College while also on faculty at virtually every other college in the greater Portland, Oregon area.
Dan has performed or toured with Joey DeFrancesco, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Les McCann, Javon Jackson and Karrin Allyson, Benny Golson, Jeff Hamilton, Gerald Clayton, John Clayton, Terell Stafford, Ingrid Jensen, Duduka da Fonseca, Kendrick Scott, Taylor Eigsti, Buddy De Franco, Bruce Forman and countless others.
Dan’s love of guitar and making music combined with discipline, technique and restless curiosity provide an ever-deepening experience for himself and his listeners. In every performance he finds himself in the middle of the path, amidst a continuous and compelling process of discovery.
There is little doubt that jazz guitar has entered a new and exciting realm when Dan Faehnle takes the stage. With the technical prowess of a jazz giant, Ohio native Faehnle has made an indelible mark upon the music world, receiving high praise from audiences and critics alike.
From an up-tempo bebop anthem to a languid, emotional reading of a ballad, Faehnle’s nimble fingers caress his guitar. Whether captivating his jazz club audiences or adding the perfect support to a recording project, this young jazz artist is destined to put his name alongside the other guitar greats.
Beginning in 2000, Faehnle stepped into the guitar chair with Diana Krall, performing on numerous world tours, television shows, radio and media events. As an integral part of the Diana Krall quartet for three years, Dan garnered accolades from such publications as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, JazzTimes and Downbeat magazines, as well as many international publications.
Join us for a classic night of cocktails and cabaret with a rotating cast of phenomenal local and touring performers.
Contact Critical Hit Burlesque for reserved seating or large party rates.
The Jack London Revue is located at 529 SW 4th Ave, Portland
Follow the hardwood path through the Rialto Poolroom
After working to put together a couple of successful trios it was not until the release his first record with his 10 piece funk monster Philly's Phunkestra that he gained more exposure. Most recently Chris has spent time with new funk outfit the Roseland Hunters and shared stages with groups such as Dumpstaphunk, Rebirth Brass Band, Fitz and the Tantrums, The Wailers, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Galactic and more
Featuring DJ BlackJack w/ Rich Hunter
Second Wind Jazz was formed with one basic premise: Nothing's better than enjoying the saxes-and-brass sounds of Big Band arrangements … except playing those great arrangements! We've been keeping the Big Band sound alive in the Portland area since November 10, 1998. Glenn Miller's classic charts, the swinging sounds of Duke Ellington and Count Basie, lush ballads, the brassy charts of Stan Kenton, a little bossa nova, the jump swing of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy—if it makes us smile and say "Oh yeah!" we'll play it. Come spend an evening with us—whether you boogie the night away on the dance floor or just kick back and tap your feet, we think you'll have a good time.
KDB has had the pleasure of opening for such national acts as Cheap Trick, Blood Sweat and Tears, Curtis Salgado, Robben Ford, The Cherry Poppin' Daddies, Mary Wilson and the Supremes, and Leftover Salmon.
Top players from the Northwest join DeRouchie, including the incredible Arietta Ward (DooDoo Funk All-stars), long-time KDB bassist Rob Busey (Al Perez Band, Robbie Laws), virtuoso guitarist Jeff Knudson (Lisa Mann and Her Really Good Band), keyboardist Brian Harris (Curtis Salgado), drummer Paul Ansotegui, Pete Petersen on tenor sax and Caleb Denison on trumpet.
KDB's first CD FunkSoulJazzPopLatinRock featured their first national radio single, "Keep on Walkin'," which stayed on the Gavin Up and Coming Chart for 13 weeks in 1998.
In 2004, "In My Arms," a song from the band's 2000 second release Y2KDB, was featured on the highly publicized Oregon Bus Project Benefit CD, alongside other Portland music veterans such as Art Alexakis from Everclear and Pink Martini. In 2005, "In My Arms" was selected for the Clear Channel NEW! web radio and satellite radio promotion for the first quarter of 2006.
In 2007, KDB released their 3rd full length CD titled "Live at Jimmy Mak's". This explosive live CD features all of the energy and sizzling solo's you would expect from such a talented line up of musicians.
KDB released their 4th CD, "Muse" in 2013. They released the first radio single from that CD in May 2014 to many major markets around the world, including the USA, The UK, Australia, New Zealand and all over Europe. The single has been picked up by, among others, BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 2 in the UK and on the "Confessing The Blues Radio Network", syndicated on 50 stations in 10 countries. As of late June 2014, the single is being played on radio stations in 15 different countries and is getting a great response.
Hailed as "…one of the best live bands in the Northwest" (Andre Hagestadt, The Oregonian and Statesman Journal), The Ken DeRouchie Band has played hundreds of live shows since 1998 -- from small club appearances to festivals and concert halls; live radio and TV appearances.
Steve Pringle of KINK FM Portland (Rock Station of the Year 2012) writes "Ken and his band bring it each and every night. Horns that moan and wail, guitars that grind and soothe and a rhythm section tighter than a frogs ass. The KDB has a story to tell, pull up a chair."
Portland, Oregon based Jumptown Big Band is a professional 17-piece swing band consisting of highly talented and experienced musicians from the greater metropolitan area. Our vision is to keep traditional big band music relevant to people of all ages with a focus on providing high quality performances in terms of both musical technique and entertaining showmanship.
Our repertoire of musical arrangements includes up-tempo swing, foxtrots, ballads, rock ‘n roll, and Latin. Our music can be tailored to suit any event. We perform danceable Count Basie, Ted Heath, and Les Brown style swing music as well as more modern jazz concert pieces in the styles of Buddy Rich, Stan Kenton, Rob McConnell, and Gordon Goodwin. We have also been known to mix in some contemporary pop hits from artists such as Amy Winehouse and Pharrell Williams.
Whether it be a well-known big band standard, contemporary jazz showcase, sentimental vocal ballad, or a hard swinging brass feature, Jumptown Big Band provides a unique and complete package of musical entertainment.
Kiran Ahluwalia is a modern exponent of the vocal traditions of India and Pakistan, which she both honors and departs from in masterful, myriad ways. Her original compositions embody her Indian heritage, while embracing influences from West African blues, contemporary jazz, and more. Her discography, now seven albums deep, has established Ms. Ahluwalia as one of global music’s most compelling adventures, and have featured striking collaborations with world renowned musicians from the Celtic and Fado traditions, as well as the legendary Malian group Tinariwen. Their video, reworking the classic Qawwali tune Mustt Mustt, has garnered more than 2 million views online to date. And the inspiration that drove her to create it, continues to inform her music today.
Together with her crack 6 piece band, led by artistic partner Rez Abbasi (whose accolades include multiple appearances in Downbeat Magazine critics’ polls), Kiran creates an unforgettable and uniquely immersive live experience, filled with intricate grooves, precise harmonies and first and foremost, her stunning, soaring voice. Kiran has won two JUNO Awards (Canada’s Grammys), two Canadian Folk Music Awards and a Songlines Award in the UK. She has topped multiple World Music charts and garnered glowing praise from critics around the world: “Ahluwalia is busy honing a transnational sound as fresh as tomorrow”, says the Seattle Times and fRoots Magazine proclaimed, “Her’s is a voice destined to enchant more than one generation”.
Always seeking new inspirations, Ahluwalia continues to move her art forward. Her latest album, 7 Billion, explores themes as wide as cultural intolerance, and as personal as the civil wars we fight within ourselves, and the struggle to fully embrace our desires by throwing away shame. By exploring her muse, regardless of where it might take her, she is truly an artist for our times.
More info @ http://www.kiranmusic.com/