Please check out our music notes below for news and information about all of the great artists performing at Jimmy Mak's. Links are included to many of the perfomer's own websites, so you can learn even more about their music.
As always, dinner reservations are recommended to guarantee seating for all of our shows. Please contact us at 503-295-6542 for reservations and additional information.
Jimmy Mak’s is proud to feature a series of shows designed to bring you the very best up-and-coming jazz artists in Portland. There are many exciting and talented new artists working in Portland right now, our hope is to introduce you to the next generation of jazz musicians coming up in the Portland scene. Every Tuesday, the featured artist in our "Partners in Jazz" series will open for the Mel Brown Septet at 6:30pm, and play until 7:30pm. The Mel Brown Septet will hit it with their blend of straight-ahead and hard-bop jazz, playing two sets, starting at 8pm. The dates and artists in our "Partners in Jazz" series include:
Dan Balmer, no cover.
Dan Balmer leads off our week with a variety of trios. Dan’s music is best described as guitar-based contemporary jazz, reflecting the great guitarists of the 70’s (i.e. John McLaughlin, Pat Methany, Bill Frisell etc.). His line-ups include Micah Kassel, Carlton Jackson, Todd Straight, and Alan Jones on drums. Clay Giberson and George Mitchell rotate on keyboards, with Jeff Leonard and Damian Erskine rotating on bass. On two Mondays a month, Dan teams with Kassel and Giberson to form Go By Train, a post-modern look into the future of jazz-fusion. There is no cover on Mondays, music starts at 8:00, with minors welcome until 9:30. Check out Dan at www.danbalmer.com.
Mel Brown Septet, $6.00 cover
In 1989, legendary trumpeter Doc Severensen (the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson) implored Mel Brown to “never let this band stop playing.” Their extraordinary performance at the 1989 Playboy Jazz Festival was only a hint of things to come. Since then, the band has expanded to a septet, and today they continue to carry the torch of hard-bop and post-bop jazz in the Pacific Northwest. The Godfather of Portland jazz and one of the World’s finest drummers, Mel Brown is joined in the rhythm section by pianist/composer Gordon Lee and bassist Andre St. James. The four-horn line-up features Renato Caranto on tenor saxophone, John Nastos on alto and soprano saxophone, Derek Sims on trumpet and flugelhorn, and Stan Bock on trombone and euphonium. Adjunct members include Farnell Newton (trumpet), Jof Lee (piano), and Carlton Jackson (drums). The Mel Brown Septet re-creates the sound of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, segueing from one tune to the next with an ease that makes the songs sound like one continuous piece of music.
Mel Brown Quartet, $5.00 cover
If you were to look up the word “swinging” in the dictionary, the definition and picture would be of the Mel Brown Quartet. The band plays a smart mixture of original material and intelligent arrangements, in the style of Oscar Peterson and Gene Harris. Pianist and musical director, Tony Pacini brings his extensive book of original material and crafty arrangements to the mix. Bass guru, Ed Bennett lends some of his own compositions, in addition to his amazing playing. Dan Balmer brings his versatile guitar playing, and some of his own music as well. The band is anchored by Mel’s drumming, featuring his legendary brushwork. This group represents some of the finest straight-ahead jazz played being played anywhere in the world today. You can learn more about them at www.tonypacini.com/mbqinfo.htm.
Mel Brown B-3 Organ Group, $5.00 cover
The Mel Brown B-3 Organ Group has held court on Thursday nights for over ten years, and continues to smoke the house with every show. They play organ based soul jazz in the tradition of Jimmy Smith, Jack McDuff, and Jimmy McGriff. Mel also brings his 20 plus years of Motown work to the table, as the band plays instrumental versions of your favorite Motown music. The engine of the band is clearly the Hammond B-3 Organ, in the very capable hands of Louis Pain. Adding melodic under-pinning and great grooving ability is guitarist, Dan Balmer. Out front with his smoldering tenor saxophone, is the man with more soul in his little finger than most of us have in our whole bodies, Renato Caranto. Finally, we’re very happy to welcome back percussionist, Curtis Craft! This group has really been the defining sound for Jimmy Mak’s since our early days, and it has been said that you can’t truly call yourself a Portlander, if you haven’t checked out Mel and this great band. Learn more at www.myspace.com/melbrownb3organgroup.
MAY MUSIC NOTES
Ty Curtis Band
Friday, May 24th
$8 at the door
Northwest favorite Ty Curtis and his band return to Jimmy Mak's, back by popular demand!
Waxed and produced at Ken Tondre’s Compound Recording Studios in Austin, Texas, Ty's new album brims with a stylistic independence and vitality parlayed by Curtis, producer/tone mentor/fellow guitarist Jacob Petersen (now pulling licks for The Steve Miller Band), and an impeccable team of artisans.
The CD has been played and featured on BB King’s Bluesville on XM Radio. Greg Johnson, Cascade Blues Association President, said this in the Oct 2012 Blues Notes, "Ty makes it all come together like clockwork, showing us that there is quite a bit he wants to say and his music is not going to be pigeon-holed in any one direction.”
Ty Curtis and his band, bassist Gary Fontaine, keyboardist Alex Shakeri,
and drummer Jerry Jacques, throw the hot blood down. His voice explodes like hard-wronged soul boiling from the gut, each syllable squeezed to the final desperate drop. Ty Curtis and his band are the real deal, so don't miss this awesome show! Learn more at www.tycurtis.net.
Saturday, May 25th
$10 at the door
Individually these are seasoned and storied performing artists with world class credentials - true pros doing what they love to do best. These boys can play! Together they are a stellar collective of soul - a sonic brotherhood with a spiritual connection - musical soul mates.
A co-op of gifted composers and arrangers take the listener on a journey of musical twists and turns, breathing new life into some classic themes and breaking ground on a new frontier of original sounds.
SOULMATES illicit a variety of musical moods and emotions: One moment up and jumping, the next they will go deep and hypnotic. Then it’s on to a travelogue of world rhythms and cultures, playfully tossing a ball of invisible musical energy amongst themselves. Sultry jazz sounds, stinging blues and raw funk can converge seamlessly, and then may segue into some flat out 'baby making music'!
This is all wrapped up with a lot of love and an infectious groove all their own. Soulmates are Jarrod Lawson (keys/vocals), Jay “Bird” Koder (guitar), and Reinhardt Melz (percussion). Find out more at Soulmatesmusic.com.
PDX Jazz @ Jimmy Mak’s Presents:
“Classic Coltrane 1964-65”
with The Azar Lawrence Quintet
featuring Devin Phillips, Alan Jones, George Colligan, and Eric Gruber
Thursday & Friday, May 30th & 31st
One Show each night @ 8pm
Reserved Seating $22/General Admission $18
advanced tickets at Tickettomato.com
PDX Jazz, the presenting organization of the Portland Jazz Festival, in partnership with Jimmy Mak’s, announces a very special two night John Coltrane marathon as part of their continuing “PDX Jazz @ Jimmy Mak’s” series.
Thursday, May 30th and Friday, May 31st, this exclusive For Portland Only program, titled Classic Coltrane: 1964-65, as performed by The Azar Lawrence Quintet.
In addition to Azar Lawrence, the band will feature saxophonist Devin Phillips, pianist George Colligan, drummer Alan Jones, and bassist Eric Gruber. The protean veteran saxophonist returns to Jimmy Mak’s after leading his touring quartet in 2010, to embrace seasoned Portland players who share a kindred affinity for Coltrane’s music.
"John Coltrane’s music during the years of 1964 & 65 seem to have had a spiritually up lifting effect on humanity, and it also reflected the revolutionary energies of that period as well. Both politically and spiritually enlightening.” states the Los Angles based Lawrence.
"Coltrane's contributions to American music remain unmatched to this day.” states Devin Phillips. “His effect on not only the music, but the very musicians who play this music, is a sign of how ahead of his time he truly was. A constant student of the music, Coltrane showed us that as artists we will never arrive to a peak of our craft; it is the constant spiritual journey that is truly the goal. John Coltrane's recordings of 1964-65 are a perfect example of this.”
"I approached Devin to organize something very special in acknowledging Coltrane’s most prolific period,” states PDX Jazz Managing Director, Don Lucoff. “There is such is a bountiful amount of material to choose from that will captivate the audience and keep them on the edge of their seats for the entire two nights. From 11 originally released Impulse! recordings including: Crescent, A Love Supreme, Transition, Meditations, Sun Ship, Om, among others, Coltrane was documented either live or in the studio on 35 occasions during 1964-65, leaving a recorded legacy unrivaled in jazz during a 24 month span.”
If you are a fan of jazz, and of the music of this legendary performer, you will not want to miss these shows!
JUNE MUSIC NOTES
Lloyd Jones’ Starlight Revue
Saturday, June 1st
Special 7pm showtime
$12 Reserved Seating/$10General Admission
Advanced Tickets Available at Tickettomato.com
Okay, so I get excited about a lot of our shows here at Jimmy Mak’s, and I’m always telling you how you can’t miss this, or you’ll be amazed by that and such. Well folks, let me tell you that as much as I always mean what I say, this time it’s a little different. Guitarist Lloyd Jones is quite simply one of the best-kept secrets in the blues/soul music world, period. Between his chicken scratching and gutbucket groove guitar and his raspy-too-many-smoke-filled-clubs vocals, this man will knock you out! Oh and by the way, his band completely kicks ass.
You need to check out his web site at www.lloydjonesmusic.com and get a feel for what I’m talking about. Don’t take my word for it, check out the endorsements he has, from the likes of Delbert McClinton to Robert Cray. Trust me people; this show will blow you away.
As a special added gift for ya’ll, Lloyd is bringing singer Teresa James in from Los Angeles for her Jimmy Mak’s debut! Teresa & Lloyd met on Delbert McClinton’s “Sandy Beach’s Cruise” years ago, with “Teresa Jame’s Rhythm Tramps” returning to play the Portland Waterfront Blues Festival several times. Since then, Teresa has recorded with Jones on his latest recording Doin’ What It Takes, and she will be celebrating her own new release this month Come on Home. Don’t miss this special “Starlight Revue”, and check out www.teresajames.com or www.lloydjonesmusic.com to find out more!
The Starlight Parade takes place tonight, so make a night of it...join us for dinner and Lloyd's show, then head out and watch the parade!
The Portland Chamber Orchestra presents:
"The Gershwins meet Cole Porter"
Monday, June 3rd
$25 admission at 503-771-3250, or PCO website
The Portland Chamber Orchestra presents vocalists Rocky Blumhagen, Susannah Mars and violinist Lindsay Deutsch performing music of George & Ira Gershwin and Cole Porter.
This special benefit event is for people who enjoy great music in a comfortable and intimate setting.The event is open to the public as well as PCO supporters.
PCO is the oldest incorporated chamber orchestra in the country, known for its innovative concerts with a fusion of art forms. It is "the intimate symphony with infinite imagination".
LEAP Fundraising event, "LEAP into Summer"
Friday, June 7th
$100 donation includes dinner, beer, wine, and entertainment
Advanced Tickets and more information at Leapadventure.org
Join us to dine, drink, dance and do good for LEAP: Therapeutic Wilderness Programs.
LEAP is a non-profit organization that provides wilderness therapy and mentoring experiences to help rehabilitate, motivate, and inspire those who are facing significant health, social, and emotional challenges.
Your donation includes dinner, accompanied by wine and beer, with live entertainment provided by The Bart Ferguson Band.
Saturday, June 8th
$25 Reserved Seating/$20 General Admission
Advanced Tickets Available at Tickettomato.com
We are very happy to welcome back Curtis Salgado as he celebrates his recent trifecta of wins at the national Blues Music Awards.
Curtis won awards for Blues Album of the Year, Male Artist of the Year, and most importantly, he won the coveted BB King Entertainer of the Year Award!
Curtis has recorded eight critically acclaimed solo albums, and tours internationally with his own band. He has also toured as vocalist with the Robert Cray Band, Roomful of Blues, and Santana. Salgado is also credited with being the inspiration for John Belushi's character of Joliet Jake in The Blues Brothers.
Salgado's newest CD, Soul Shot, on Alligator Records, is being hailed as his greatest album to date and continues to receive rave reviews and radio airplay worldwide. Blues Revue calls Soul Shot, "A joyous celebration of life. Soul Shot is this millennium's finest soul blues record...deep, commanding, and essential."
Curtis underwent successful cancer surgery to remove a mass in his lung in July, after a brief time of recuperation, he hit the road again and has been knocking out audiences all over America.
Learn more about Curtis at www.curtissalgado.com.
The Lisa Forkish Quintet
Wednesday, June 12th
Blending old-time swing, ballads and classic soul, Lisa Forkish delivers sultry standards and timeless original compositions with her caramel-alto voice that's both contemporary in sound and reminiscent of jazz greats such as Rosemary Clooney, Nina Simone, and Nancy Wilson.
Find out more at LisaForkish.com.
Steely Dawn with Jarrod Lawson
Friday, June 14th
Steely Dawn, Portland's premier Steely Dan tribute act, returns to our stage once again for an incredible performance of Dan hits, classics, and obscure fan favorites.
Flanked by a crack horn section and sultry background vocalists, the band (featuring soul luminary Paul Creighton) draws upon a shared lifelong enthusiasm for the works of Donald Fagen and Walter Becker and a desire to bring audiences the meticulously crafted songs of Steely Dan, played with all the fire and heart that local crowds have come to expect from these explosive live performers.
A bonus for you: Opening the show tonight is the immensely talented Jarrod Lawson! Jarrod is well known to Jimmy Mak’s fans from his soulful vocal stylings with Soulmates and if you haven’t heard him, you’ve really been missing something. Here’s your chance people! Two smoking hot acts in one night. Get your reservations quick ‘cause it’s gonna fill up fast!
Steely Dawn is:
Paul Creighton, lead vocals (Intervision, Motet)
David Valentine, lead guitar (Excellent Gentlemen)
Jefferson Sechs, drums (Excellent Gentlemen, Wheels in the Sky)
Dominic Phenomenal, keys (Excellent Gentlemen, Reva Devito Band)
Linden "Topher" Ochshorn, keys (Trio Flux)
Quebec, bass guitar (Rudy's Cave)
Joshua Cliburn, saxophone (Wheels in the Sky, Intervision, Joey Porter Tributes)
Nicole Berke, vocals (Nicole Berke Band, John Craig & The Weekend)
Tahlia Harrison, vocals
Jess Kreider, vocals
The Bobby Torres Ensemble
Saturday, June 15th
We’re turning up the heat tonight with a smoldering evening of Latin-tinged jazz, pop and funk, and boy do we have just the band for that! Bobby Torres knows how to put a great band together. With his long history playing behind the likes of Tom Jones and Joe Cocker, he understands what it takes to make a great show happen.
His full-sized ensemble rips it up every time they take our stage, and tonight will be no exception. As always, Bobby’s famous percussion leads a smoking hot rhythm section powered by bassist Damian Erskine, pianist Dan Gaynor, and special guest drummer Israel Annoh. Bobby’s five-piece horn section always blows the house down and features a rotating line up of Portland’s best players. And to top it all off, he features two beautiful and talented vocalists in the form of Jessica Holyfield-Melz and Julana Torres. In addition, we will be clearing space for dancing right in front of the stage, and we’ll be giving dance lessons early, courtesy of expert instructor Julana Torres!
So get on down here and show your love, dance the night away and catch a local legend tonight! ‘Cause with this band, the party is always happening! Check him out at www.bobbytorres.com.
Thara Memory’s Soul to Soul!
Friday, June 21st
Two shows: 7:30pm and 10:00pm
$20 Reserved Seating/$18 General Admission
Advanced Tickets Available at Tickettomato.com
Join 2013 Grammy winner Thara Memory in concert with an ensemble of top local artists, don't miss this rare treat! Thara will cast a spell on you - weaving new patterns into classic rhythm and blues. Experience the soulful rhythms of Otis Redding, Junior Walker, and the stars of Motown. Remember "Try a Little Tenderness" - it's the music that touches your heart and soul!
A trio of vocalists, LaRhonda Steele, Andy Stokes, & Tahirah Memory, turn up the heat. Up front and center, the horn section blasts with award winning musicians Renato Caranto on sax, Stan Bock on trombone, Farnell Newton on trumpet, and the trumpet master himself, Thara Memory. The throbbing rhythm section with Ben Jones on bass, Louis Pain on organ, Ben Darwish on piano, Doug Lewis on guitar, and Israel Annoh on drums will keep you moving!
Bart Ferguson and the Edward Stanley Band
Saturday, June 22nd
Veteran Portland singer-songwriter Bart Ferguson has joined his folk-rock songwriting with the R & B influences of the Edward Stanley Band, creating a melodic, soulful interpretation of his catalog of songs. Having shared the stage with such acts as Train, Hootie and the Blowfish, Blues Traveler, and Little Feat among others, Ferguson has built a reputation for delivering energetic and entertaining shows, full of top notch musicians and steeped in vocal harmonies. This is one show not to miss people! Learn more about Bart Ferguson and the Edward Stanley Band at www.bartferguson.com.
with the Mel Brown Quartet
Wednesday, June 26th
Tonight we welcome back saxophonist Harry Allen as he joins Mel Brown’s quartet. Harry played with Mel in December and it was quite an amazing show. His rapport with the band was simply incredible, which should come as no surprise, given Harry’s impeccable credentials and Mel’s well-known reputation. The bottom line is that the night was swinging hard!
If you missed it, here’s your chance to catch some fire folks. The near-immortal saxophonist Stan Getz summed it up when asked about his idea of the perfect tenor saxophone soloist; “My technique, Al Cohn's ideas, and Zoot's time. The fulfillment of that ideal may well be embodied in thirty-year-old Harry Allen."
Learn more about Harry at www.harryallenjazz.com.
Michael Jackson Tribute
with Jennifer Batten, Patrick Lamb, Andy Stokes & Paul Creighton
Friday, June 28th
Two Shows at 7:30 & 10pm
$20 Reserved Seating/$15 General Admission
Advanced tickets available at Tickettomato.com
On the anniversary of his passing, who better to pay tribute to Michael Jackson than someone who toured the world with him three times; none other than guitar slinger extraordinaire Jennifer Batten.
Jennifer is bringing her acclaimed show to Jimmy Mak’s with the help of our good friend Patrick Lamb and his smoking hot band. Patrick has recently been in the Billboard top five and has toured extensively with Gino Vannelli, Bobby Caldwell, Diane Schuur and Jeff Lorber. Joining forces with Jennifer and Patrick for this show are two of Portland’s finest voices; Andy Stokes and Paul Creighton! Get ready for some serious fun!
A Tribute to Etta James!
Saturday, June 29th
Two Shows at 7:30 & 10pm
$12 Reserved Seating/$10 General Admission
Advanced tickets available at Tickettomato.com
Arguably one of the most important singers in the history of blues music, Etta James carved her reputation in the form of many indelible hits over a seven decade career.
After her passing, piano and boogie master DK Stewart organized this tribute show with a live recording, and the ensuing CD has received well due praise.
In addition to DK on piano, the band features Chris Carlson and Peter Dammann (guitars), Mike Klobas (drums), Joseph Conrad (bass), Louis Pain (Organ), Chris Mercer (sax), and Joe McCarthy (trumpet).
The line-up of vocalists reads like a who's who of female leads and includes Rae Gordon, LaRhonda Steele, Duffy Bishop, Lady Kat, and Lisa Mann...whew, what a roster!
This is a show that was featured at the Waterfront Blues Festival, but this year you'll be able to enjoy it in the intimate setting of Jimmy Mak's. Don't wait, get your tickets now because we expect both performances to sell out.
From behind the bar,