Producer: Eric Slade Videographers: Nick Fisher, Greg Bond Editor: Michael Bendixen Audio: Randy Layton, William Ward Special Thanks: Karen Memory, Susan Addy, Christina Riley Footage Courtesy of: Jazz at Lincoln Center
Jazz legend Thara Memory was first featured on Oregon Art Beat
back in 2001 when he showed yet another side to his musical talents - conducting the premiere of his original symphony, “Middle Passage
” at Marylhurst University in formal attire!
This renowned jazz artist is well known for his exquisite trumpet playing in clubs all around town, but when Art Beat
caught up with Memory, he was once again, sharing his extraordinary talents in yet another way.
Memory has been training a new generation of jazz musicians and taking these aspiring high-schoolers to New York’s Jazz at Lincoln Center to compete in the prestigious Essentially Ellington contest. This program, lead by Memory, called the American Music Program Jazz orchestra, is located in Portland and works with young students from the Portland Public School system and surrounding communities to mentor and train professional musicians.
American Music Program Jazz Orchestra performing at the Essentially Ellington Contest
Memory chose Ellington’s composition Tattooed Bride
for the students to play, “I chose the song because it was the hardest one. And I was intending to make some kind of mark and the kids went right with me.”
Thara Memory speaking at the Essentially Ellington Contest
They certainly made an impression as you’ll see in this Art Beat