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PJCE presents Jasnam Daya Singh's Ekta: The Unity Project

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The Old Church
1422 S.W. 11th Avenue

Feb. 26, 2020, 8 p.m.

Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble presents Album Release Concert of Brazilian-born pianist Jasnam Daya Singh’s Ekta: The Unity Project.  

A cosmopolitan jazz suite that celebrates unity among all people, with a special focus on honoring the contributions of immigrants and refugees in our community.

Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble (PJCE) performs Singh's Ekta: The Unity Project a multi-movement suite that incorporates a wide-range of tributaries of the jazz stylistic river—Brazilian choro and samba of Singh's country of birth, expansive European jazz and classical styles, and intricately rhythmic straight-ahead jazz. Commissioned by PJCE for the Montavilla Jazz Festival in 2017, the piece embodies Singh's musical range and expresses personal truths drawn from his journey as an immigrant, eventual citizen of the United States, and his conversion to Sikhism.

Concert details:

Wednesday, February 26th, 2020 | Doors open at 7 pm, concert at 8 pm.

The Old Church | 1422 SW 11th Ave, Portland, OR 97201 | (503) 222-2031 (venue contact number)

All ages.

Tickets available at

Advanced tickets: $30 Premium*, $25 General, $20 Senior, $10 Youth (30 and Under), $5 Arts for All.

Day of Show tickets: $35 Premium*, $30 General, $25 Senior, $15 Youth (30 and Under), $5 Arts for All.  

* Premium seating in first two rows of the center section.  

“Revisiting this piece has been on PJCE’s wishlist for several years,” said Douglas Detrick, Executive Director of Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble. “Thanks to a grant from the Regional Arts and Culture Council, we’re finally able to record the suite and perform it once again in a larger venue. Singh’s Ekta: The Unity Project is among the most dynamic and sophisticated suites that we have commissioned. We also feel that the time is right—Singh’s status as a naturalized citizen emphasizes the vital contributions by immigrants to our musical culture, and specifically to Portland’s jazz scene. Taking place as the nomination process for the 2020 presidential election begins, Ekta reaffirms that immigrants have made Portland a better place.”  

CD copies of this PJCE Records release will be on sale at the event, and the album will officially be released digitally on Friday, March 20, 2020.  


About Jasnam Daya Singh:  Born Weber Ribeiro Drummond in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1962, it was not until the mid-90’s that pianist/composer Weber adopted the stage name Weber Iago as a homage to the Roma People, also known as Gypsies. Since taken Amrit (initiation in the Sikh Religion) in 2013, Iago has adopted the name Jasnam Daya Singh.   

Singh has spent all of his musical life researching different types of sounds, ultimately dedicating most of his endeavors to uniting elements of classical, jazz, and Brazilian music. In Brazil, he spent years developing his craft as a concert pianist as well as a composer, writing mostly piano and chamber music works. In the early 80’s he began developing a strong interest in jazz which prompted his move to Los Angeles in 1987. Once in the US, Singh began working with notable musicians such as Moacir Santos, one of Brazil’s greatest composers and arrangers.   

Singh has participated as a pianist and band-leader in jazz festivals all over the world: Brazil, Mexico, France, Belgium, Japan, China, and South Korea as well as shows and interviews in the most important jazz radio stations in the United States such as KRML in Carmel and KCSM in San Mateo, California. Since 1991, he has made constant appearances at the Monterey Jazz Festival, among those are the one in 2005 with the Carla Bley Big Band, which featured Carla, herself, Steve Swallow and Billy Drummond and 2010 as part of the Hristo Vitchev Quartet.  He has performed extensively as a solo artist and sideman in Italy, Luxembourg, Italy, New York, Japan, and the Czech Republic.   

Singh has recorded and performed with great luminaries such as Paul McCandless, Ali Ryerson, Kenny Stahl, Claudia Villela, Charles Loos, Marcia Maria, Alex Acuna, and Alphonso Johnson. Singh has released several albums including Children of the Wind with Adventure Music and Spring Will Stay Here with Mogno Music. At the end of 2005, Daya Singh was commissioned by the Carmel Bach Festival to write his Jazz Concertino for Piano and String Orchestra which premiered on July 9th of 2006 in Monterey, California, and has since been performed by the Portland Chamber Orchestra. In 2009, Jasnam Daya Singh’s CD (still as Weber Iago) in duo with Jovino Santos Neto, received a Latin Grammy nomination for Best Instrumental Album. Singh’s current project is the band SEVA which he co-leads with great guitarist/composer from Bulgaria, Hristo Vitchev and features world-class musicians such as Dan Robbins on bass and Mike Shannon on drums.  

Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble is a 12-piece jazz ensemble that commissions and performs original works by its members and other jazz composers in Portland and beyond. It is PJCE’s mission to act as a forum for the development and presentation of works for large ensemble by established and emerging jazz composers and to engage and enrich community awareness and appreciation of contemporary music. PJCE also runs the Grasshoppers Young Composers mentorship program, PJCE Records, and the PJCE Records Presents concerts every first Sunday at The 1905.  

The Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble features  Lee Elderton – soprano sax/clarinet; John Savage – alto sax, flute; Tim Willcox – tenor sax; Mieke Bruggeman – bari sax, bass clarinet; Charlie Porter and Douglas Detrick – trumpet, flugelhorn; Stan Bock and John Moak – trombone.