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Young Pianist Charles Brown III On Auditioning For Thara Memory

Jazz Pianist Charles Brown III

What is it like to audition for a nationally recognized student orchestra with such well-known alumni as Esperanza Spalding and Hailey Niswanger?

Only 16 years old, Charles Brown III has been playing piano for nine years, and with the American Music Program’s (AMP) Pacific Crest Jazz Orchestra for three years. 

Brown auditioned for AMP founder and director Thara Memory, a well-known Portland jazz legend, at the age of 13. In the video above, Brown explains what the experience was like during an interview with OPB’s Lynne Clendenin.

 The American Music Program’s Pacific Crest Jazz Orchestra is a unique private non-profit program in Portland. Students embark upon a journey deep into the world of the jazz art form, learning advanced performance skills, as well as the history and culture of American Art Music. The Orchestra regularly competes in student competitions, and graduates of the program often win scholarships to some of the country’s top music colleges.

As a result of his experiences with the Pacific Crest Jazz Orchestra, Brown is planning to pursue a career as a professional musician.

To learn more about Thara Memory and the American Music Program, tune in to “Masters of Jazz,” an Oregon Art Beat special, on Thursday, February 14 at 8 p.m.

Charles Brown Thara Memory American Music Program jazz pianist

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Jazz Pianist Charles Brown III

16-year-old jazz pianist, Charles Brown III talks about what it's like to audition for the prestigious American Music Program's Pacific Crest Jazz Orchestra.