Discover the Legacy. Experience the Revival.


Portland Meadows

Portland, OR

August 4, 2018

The #VanportJazzFestival honors the city of Vanport
and the voices who formed our jazz community.

On the site of the historic flood, we intend to transform the Portland Meadows into a cultural revival, welcoming nationally renowned artists and breathing new life into Portland jazz.

2018 Featured Artists

  • Najee

    Grammy nominated saxophonist and flautist, Najee has made a career following his heart and keen musical intuition by pushing musical boundaries, all of which have made him an international pioneer in the music industry. Having collaborated with everyone in the music business from Prince, Quincy Jones to Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan and Herbie Hancock, Najee’s technical agility, grace, compositional prowess, unbridled passion and fearless genre bending have made him one of the most sought after musicians of his generation. With two Platinum and four Gold albums under his belt, Najee is an icon whose musical vision spawned an entire new genre by fusing the music close to his heart…R&B and Jazz.

  • Jonathan Butler

    Butler began his singing career at age 7, releasing his first album in 1973 and winning the Best New Artist Grammy in South Africa the following year at age 12. He made history by being the first black artist played on white South African radio while earning three gold records (“Please Stay” went double gold and “I Love How You Love Me” went gold) in 1975 as he became a teenager.

  • Jazmin Ghent

    Jazmin’s debut CD Boss reached the Smooth Jazz Global radio’s top 50 Smooth Jazz CDs for 2015. Her debut single “Compared to What” gained national recognition and was #5 on the Smooth Jazz Charts, receiving airplay on Sirius XM Watercolors radio as well as Music Choice, Pandora and Spotify. Jazmin has since released her sophomore album, Chocolate Sunshine, which features Johnathan Fritzen, Julian Vaughn, Nelson Rangell, and Adam Hawley and combines Jazmin's gospel roots with her passion for music to create a fresh new sound for the smooth jazz world. Soulful and passionate, the dynamic tenor saxophonist is a 2013 graduate of Florida State University, the 2015 recipient of a Master's in Music Education degree at Tennessee State University in Nashville, and is now a teacher of Music Education where she resides in Lakeland, Florida.
    Jazmin was recently voted the 2017 Smooth Jazz Rising
    Star of the Year.

  • Kenney Polson

    Kenney Polson has steadily developed as an accomplished saxophonist/composer since the age of 13. His fluent musical styles include jazz, Latin, classical, new age, rhythm & blues, funk, and gospel. He attended Fresno City College in Fresno, California and earned an Associate of Arts Degree (Music). He studied at California State University- Fresno earning a Bachelor of Arts Degree (Music Education). Kenney has earned a Masters of Music Degree (Jazz Composition/Arranging) at Howard University in Washington, DC. He has also earned an Education Specialist degree from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. Kenney has recorded with some of the most famous jazz musicians of Brazil, many of which are on his newest release, "Paradise."

  • Norman Brown

    Grammy® Award-winning Contemporary Jazz/R&B superstar Norman Brown has sold close to 2 million albums in his extraordinary career and virtually lives at the top of the Billboard Contemporary Jazz sales and radio charts, having shared the stage with virtually every Contemporary Jazz superstar from Boney James to Dave Koz to Gerald Albright.
    Born in Shreveport, Louisiana, and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, Norman Brown first picked up a guitar at the age of 8. Initially inspired by Jimi Hendrix, it was his father's preference for the sound of Wes Montgomery that set Brown on his stylistic journey

  • Eulaulah Donyll
    "Lalah" Hathaway

    Eulaulah Donyll "Lalah" Hathaway (born December 16, 1968) is an American singer. She is the daughter of soul singer Donny Hathaway and an alumna of Berklee College of Music. In 1990, Lalah Hathaway released her self-titled album.She received a Best Female R&B Vocal Performance Grammy Award nomination for "That Was Then". She went on to win the Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance along with Snarky Puppy for "Something" in 2014. On February 8, 2015, she won the Grammy Award for Best Traditional R&B Performance along with Robert Glasper and Malcolm-Jamal Warner for "Jesus Children". She again won the Grammy Award for Best Traditional R&B Performance for the cover of her father's 1972 hit
    "Little Ghetto Boy" in 2016.

Our Valued Partners

A Portion of Proceeds Will Go To:

Self Enhancement, Inc.: Works with families and community organizations to help underserved youth realize their full potential.

Oregon Historical Society: Dedicated to making Oregon’s long, rich history visible and accessible to all.

Pink Ivy Foundation: A non-profit charitable affiliate of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, serving through positive youth engagement.

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority: Cultivating and encouraging high scholastic and ethical standards for disadvantaged and underserved youth.