East Portland Summer Arts Festival Portland native and Grammy award-winning artist esperanza spalding headlines a concert starting at 6 p.m. July 10 at Portland Parks & Recreation first East Portland Summer Arts Festival at Ventura Park at 460 S.E. 113th Ave. The free, family-friendly event, from 2 p.m.-8 p.m. on July 9 and July 10, has hands-on art and music activities for kids.

Free live performance by Portland ‘jazz genius’ Esperanza Spalding at the moment celebrates East Portland

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Jarrell Hosley, the organizer of Sunday’s free live performance in Southeast Portland’s Ventura Park, lights up when speaking about headliner Esperanza Spalding, a five-time Grammy award-winning artist who has shared recording studios or levels with Prince, Stevie Surprise and the world’s greatest jazz performers.

“Esperanza and I had been each born and raised right here, and we perceive East Portland,” stated Hosley, supervisor of Portland Parks & Recreation’s Summer season Free For All program, which debuts the East Portland Summer season Arts Pageant July 9-10.

The free weekend occasion, from 2 p.m.-8 p.m. at Ventura Park, 460 S.E. 113th Ave., additionally has hands-on, family-friendly artwork and music actions.

The theme of the primary East Portland competition is music and expression, stated Hosley, who hopes the occasion that brings the group collectively to have a good time arts, tradition and hometown delight east of the Willamette River turns into an annual summer time custom.

The live performance begins at 6 p.m. Sunday with Spalding scheduled to look after performances by Household Enjoyable Drum, Manifest Dance Company PDX and Hip Hop Soulsation Academy.

The 2-day competition, a part of the Summer season Free for All program of no-cost cultural occasions throughout Portland, is the east-side model of the longstanding Washington Park Summer season Pageant, which began in 1949 on the out of doors Rose Backyard Amphitheater in Southwest Portland, and ran in varied types for many years till funding pressured the free live performance sequence to return and go.

This 12 months’s Washington Park Summer season Pageant takes place Aug. 5-7 with Espacio Flamenco, Albina Music Belief’s Jazz Reimagined and dramatic soprano Angela Brown in Verdi’s opera “Aida.”

Spalding has carried out on the Portland Jazz Pageant prior to now, however this time, she flew in after performing in North Carolina Saturday to take the stage Sunday in Ventura Park.

The Portland jazz prodigy and “jazz genius” performs devices that embody bass and piano in addition to her voice and poetic lyrics she has written in English, Spanish and Portuguese. Her compositions are considered fusions of classical, jazz, South American people and world music.

She grew up in a multilingual, multiethnic family. Her mom is of Welsh, Hispanic and Native American descent, and her father is African American.

By her expertise, instruments and disciplines, she desires to “transmit care and wonder by means of vibration/sound/presence,” in accordance with her Songwrights Apothecary Lab web site.

Born in Portland in 1984, she taught herself to play the violin after watching cellist Yo-Yo Ma on “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” From age 5 to fifteen, she carried out with the Chamber Music Society of Oregon.

She left highschool at 16, and later earned a bachelor’s diploma in music on the Berklee Faculty of Music in Boston, the place she was employed, on the age of 20, to show. Since 2017, she has been a professor at Harvard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Norah Jones and Spalding lead the 2022 Newport Jazz Pageant lineup at Fort Adams State Park in Newport, Rhode Island July 29-31.


The East Portland Summer season Arts Pageant opened Saturday with Aaron Nigel Smith, a Grammy-nominated, Portland-based musician performing with One World Refrain, the nonprofit he based to offer underserved youth entry to high quality arts enrichment coaching.

Earlier Saturday afternoon on the Massive Up Music Present space, Bob Marley & The Wailers’ “Buffalo Soldier” was taking part in as Nigel Smith inspired youngsters to create and video an authentic skit or music to advertise peace and different constructive values. He’ll be on the competition on Sunday.

Additionally on stage Saturday was efficiency artist Sora Shodo, who paints whereas impressed by reside music.

Many of the viewers unfold out on the grass fronting the stage, however Timothy McNair of Portland had a transparent view of the performers from the road the place he parked his modified, firemist crimson 1995 Cadillac Eldorado. He flew open the 2 Lamborghini-inspired scissor doorways, and sat within the leather-based entrance seat.

Timothy McNair of Portland had an important view of the stage on July 9 from his modified, firemist crimson 1995 Cadillac Eldorado that has Lamborghini-inspired scissor doorways.Janet Eastman/The Oregonian

Earlier Saturday afternoon, on the Group Music Heart’s sales space, youngsters picked up a violin, ukulele or drums to hitch a gaggle of musicians, and the Multnomah Arts Heart had lengthy tables crammed with provides for individuals to create artwork.

There was additionally a desk with details about Portland Avenue Response, a program inside Portland Fireplace & Rescue that sends psychological well being employees as a substitute of police to most low-level psychological well being disaster calls.

The actions, together with Household Enjoyable Drumming, proceed Sunday.

See a listing of Portland parks’ occasions at portland.gov/parks/arts-culture/sffa.

— Janet Eastman | 503-294-4072

jeastman@oregonian.com | @janeteastman


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