About Montavilla Jazz Festival

The very best in Portland jazz

Now in its sixth year, Montavilla Jazz Festival (MJF) is a two-day festival that showcases the very best in original Portland jazz. While other festivals focus on international acts, legacy heavy hitters, or other mainstream jazz, MJF instead supports and strengthens local culture by highlighting the freshest, most exciting original compositions from Portland’s eclectic and vibrant jazz scene. Taking place annually at nonprofit performing arts space Portland Metro Arts, MJF offers Portlanders a unique and accessible way to join Portland’s finest musicians as they chart new frontiers in jazz.

MJF mission and background

The mission of Montavilla Jazz Festival is not only to bolster Portland’s dynamic jazz culture, but also to enrich the local community. Like the neighborhood that serves as its home, MJF is a progressive, diverse, locally minded event that offers Montavilla residents an opportunity to come together, form connections and plug into Portland jazz.

Built on neighborhood support

Both by and for the neighborhood, MJF relies on the contributions of local businesses and volunteers. Before a single ticket is sold, all the resources needed to present MJF are raised in the form of sponsor dollars and partner in-kind contributions. MJF is proud and grateful to be supported by more than 80 sponsors and partners. MJF is also entirely run by volunteers. More than 70 volunteers ensure that the festival weekend runs smoothly, while still more volunteers work on the festival throughout the year. From the food and drink vendors to the volunteer who takes your ticket, every aspect of MJF is infused with the spirit of the Montavilla neighborhood.

Making an impact in Montavilla

The passion of organizers, artists, sponsors, partners and volunteers makes a big impact. In 2018, more than 750 attendees over two days witnessed 12 performances featuring 65 performers. Just as crucially, because of the hard work of its supporters, MJF is able to donate a portion of the proceeds from every ticket to the Montavilla Schools Music Fund. This money funds a variety of music education grants, which are open to the four public schools that serve Montavilla families. These grants support music education, encouraging the next generation of great jazz artists. To date MJF has granted $5,500 to Montavilla neighborhood schools.

Montavilla Schools Music Fund

Due in part to declining funding, Montavilla’s four public schools offer only limited opportunities for music education. To bolster music education, MJF earmarks a portion of each ticket sold to the Montavilla Schools Fund (MSMF). Neighborhood public schools then have the opportunity to apply for grants funded by these proceeds. To learn about the Montavilla Schools Music Fund (MSMF), please visit the MSMF page.

Join us in support of our community!


MJF 2019 dates and location

When: Saturday and Sunday, August 17-18, 2019
Where: Portland Metro Arts, 9003 SE Stark, Portland, OR 97216


Board of Directors

Neil Mattson—Executive Director
Ryan Meagher—Programming Director
Aaron Hayman—Art Director
Nancy Mitchell—Secretary
Steve Mitchell—Treasurer

Resource Council

Suzanne Bader—Mosaic Consulting
Stephen E. Blackman—Brownstein Rask
Lynn Darroch—Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble
Douglas Detrick—Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble
Anne Dufay—Southeast Uplift (retired)
Darrell Grant—Portland State University
Kim Gumbel—Vespertine Works
Kim Harrison—PDX Jazz
Fritz Hirsch—MJF Founder
George Thorn—Regional Arts & Culture Council
Luby Wind—Mercy Corps

Support Team

Donna Cruz-Moreno—MSMF grants chair
Kim Gumble—marketing
Kim Harrison—jazz education coordinator
Margaret Lamb—volunteer committee chair
Amy Theberge—events coordinator
Mary-Sue Tobin—jazz artist-in-residence


Trevor Forbess—production manager
George Manley—house manager
Rick Gordon—sound engineer


Steven Cantor (XRAY)
Ken Collura (KMHD)
Lynn Darroch (KMHD)
Daniel Flessas
Heather Sessler (PDX Jazz)
Deborah DeMoss Smith (KMHD)


Tina Granzo—webmaster, blog
Aaron Hayman—graphic designer
Kristin Thiel—editor


Aaron Hayman—graphic designer
Kristin Thiel—editor


Kathryn Elsesser
Aaron Hayman


Ryan Startz