Music | Performing Arts | Arts
PJCE Records Presents: Ryan Meagher
830 N Shaver St.
March 1, 2020, 7 p.m.
PJCE Records Presents Ryan Meagher (pronounced Marr) at The 1905 on Sunday, March 1, 2020 at 7:00 and 8:30 pm!
The guitarist and composer led off the PJCE Records Presents series in January 2019 with his “Simple Songs,” reimaginings of tunes from various composers and bands ranging from Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and the Shins to Beethoven, Neil Young, and Joni Mitchell. The March 1st set is a return to form for Meagher as he brings a quartet of formidable improvisers to play his tuneful, yet challenging original material. The new music is inspired by the artwork of Tina Granzo’s Sketchy Spaces exhibition. The two are currently collaborating on presenting new music and artwork that is inspired by each other's work and aims to depict the consequences of human inaction on ecosystems, communities, and individuals.
ABOUT RYAN MEAGHER (Bio written by Robert Ham)
As with all the best jazz musicians, Ryan Meagher (pronounced Marr) refuses to sit still. The Portland-based composer and guitarist maintains a steady stream of activity teaching at various schools throughout the Northwest, performing regular gigs around his hometown, or writing thoughtful music that spans the vast spectrum of jazz music, from post-bop to Latin to avant-garde.
Meagher’s forward momentum was fomented early, during his teen years growing up in San Jose, California, where he split his time between taking baseball practice and working out his guitar chops. He began his most serious music studies at San Diego State University, and, starting in 2003, the clubs and venues of New York City. That combination of academic inquiry and the make-or-break proving ground of one of the country’s brightest artistic centers brought about Meagher’s thoughtful compositional style and a curiosity that has allowed him to move between musical worlds with ease.
That’s as clear as anything on his first two albums: 2004’s self-released Sun Resounding and 2007’s Atroefy (on Fresh Sounds New Talent). The former sparkles with clean tones, acoustic diversions, and the vibrant chemistry of Meagher and his cohorts, including pianist Bryn Roberts and drummer Greg Ritchie, while the latter grinds a little harder with some heavier, rock-inspired guitar work and the snapping rhythms of drummer Vinnie Sperrazza and bassist Geoff Kraly. And on his 2012 album "Tone", recorded as he split his time between NYC and his graduate studies at University of Nevada, Reno, he injected cool blasts of open-air into his compositions, letting solos stretch out languidly and the notes and chords of Meagher and trumpeter Shane Endsley and saxophonist Matt Blostein.
After moving to Portland in 2008, Meagher has kept exploring and kept busy. Besides his work as the director of jazz programs at Lower Columbia College in Longview, Washington, and as a guitar teacher at Mount Hood Community College and the University of Portland, he is also a co-founder and Programming Director of the Montavilla Jazz Festival, Director of Operations of the Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble (and director of their in-house label PJCE Records), and Director of the Lower Columbia College Summer Jazz Workshop.
All that activity hasn’t dulled Meager’s creativity one bit. During the past decade, he has served as bandleader for four albums—2013’s Tango In The City of Roses, 2016’s Mist. Moss. Home., and 2018’s Evil Twin (all released on PJCE Records), as well as his return to Fresh Sounds New Talent, 2018’s Lost Days—which showcase all the tools in his arsenal, as well as his keen ear for musicians to perform with, including keyboardist George Colligan, guitarist Mike Gamble, and drummer Matt Mayhall.
Now fully ensconced in the Portland music community, Meagher has become a trusted collaborator, lending his talents to saxophonist Bryan Smith’s two most recent albums This Is Water and Let Me Take You There and pianist Andrew Durkin’s playful full-length Breath of Fire, and jumping on stage to support the genre-fluid ensemble Mostly Other People Do The Killing, vocalist Rebecca Kilgore, and legends like Randy Brecker, Cuong Vu, and David Friesen. If that weren’t enough, he took on the unique challenge of performing in the house band for a touring production of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In The Heights that played to much acclaim at Portland Center Stage. Meagher’s combination of fearlessness, talent, and drive has made him the model of a modern jazz player, with years of experience and an array of influences to draw from and an eye poised to the future of his chosen genre. There’s no stopping him now.
ABOUT PJCE 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 series every first Sunday at The 1905.
PJCE Records releases the most creative jazz from Portland, Oregon. With a deep affection for adventurous expression, we record and distribute jazz by Portland-based composers to audiences in our hometown and across the world with captivating graphic design and an artist-friendly business model.