The Oregon Coast Jazz Party celebrates its 16th year this weekend, presenting an appropriately sweet lineup of live jazz at the Newport Performing Arts Center.
Running from Friday, Oct. 4, through Sunday, Oct. 6, the party features multiple sets from renowned jazz stars alongside nightcap performances and jazz education.
Music directors Holly Hofmann and Ken Peplowski, both of whom will also perform this year, present a 2019 roster featuring Roxy Coss on soprano sax, tenor sax and flute; guitarist Larry Koonse; Nicki Parrott on bass and vocals; and many more.
Originally from Seattle, Roxy Coss has been a fixture on the New York scene for more than 10 years. She has headlined extensively around the world, and been described as “an exceptional young talent” by Downbeat Magazine.
Born into a musical family, Larry Koonse has been playing the guitar since he was seven years old. In his early years he studied with legendary guitar master Jimmy Wyble, and at the age of 15 he recorded an album with his father, guitarist Dave Koonse. Jazz has taken him all over the world, touring with John Dankworth, Cleo Laine, Billy Child and hundreds of others.
Born in Australia and based in New York City, Nicki Parrott brings clear articulation, beautiful tone, a sense of rhythmic assuredness and a touch of allure to inventive bass arrangements.
Other performers at this year’s event include drummer Lewis Nash; Houston Person on tenor sax; Terell Stafford on trumpet; pianist Randy Porter; vocalist Veronica Swift; drummer Matt Wilson; bassist Martin Wind; pianist Mike Wofford; Dave Captein on bass; and Gary Hobbs on drums.
The party also features a free lecture and demo with pianist and vocalist Dena DeRose at 9 am on Saturday, Oct. 5, in the David Ogden Stiers Theatre. It’s no small accomplishment to be thought of as “the most creative and compelling singer-pianist since Shirley Horn,” but that’s exactly how DeRose was described by Joel Siegel of the Washington City Paper. She awes her audiences and music critics with her facility on the piano and her swinging, soothing vocal style — and is also the professor of jazz voice at the Jazz Institute of the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz, Austria.
As a thank you to local jazz fans, the Oregon Coast Jazz Party is offering Lincoln County residents special, reduced prices on several sets, starting with “Session 3, Meet the Rhythm Section” at 10 am on Saturday, Oct. 5. This session promises solos, duos, trios and unusual pairings of two bassists, two drummers, two pianists and more, featuring guitarist Larry Koonse, pianists Randy Porter, Dena DeRose and Mike Wofford, bassists Nicki Parrott and Martin Wind, and drummers Lewis Nash, Gary Hobbs and Matt Wilson.
Special pricing is also available for “Session 4, Jazz in the Afternoon,” starting at 1:45 pm on Saturday, Oct. 5, with an “Invite, Include, Inspire” set featuring Holly Hofmann on flute, Roxy Coss on flute, soprano and tenor saxes, Ken Peplowski on clarinet and tenor sax, pianist Mike Wofford, Nicki Parrott on bass and vocals, and drummer Matt Wilson, alongside this year’s award-winning middle school student Nick Caldwell on tenor sax. The session will continue with “Terell Stafford Salutes the Legendary Jazz Trumpeters” and finish up with a set from revered tenor sax-man Houston Person.
The third and final deal for jazz-loving locals is to be found at “Session 7, Oregon Coast Jazz Party All-Stars Play the Nat King Cole Songbook.” Starting at 10:30 am on Sunday, Oct. 6, this very special, final session will see the entire artist lineup join together for a celebration of Cole’s 100th birthday. From his inimitable voice and piano style to the many hits he made famous, like “Mona Lisa,” “Route 66,” “Unforgettable,” and his own composition “Straighten Up and Fly Right,” Cole’s music is something to celebrate.
All discount tickets must be purchased in person at the Newport Performing Arts Center Box Office, 777 W. Olive Street. To get discounts, residents must show proof of Lincoln County residency by DMV ID or voter registration.
For a full schedule or to buy tickets, go to oregoncoastjazzparty.org.
For more information, call 541-265-2787.