One of the reasons people travel to Portland, Oregon is to get a taste of good music and the rich history of soul. From Bebop to Hip-Hop, it goes way back to the Golden Era of Jazz. In the 1920s and 30s up until the 40s and 50s, there were many who traveled up north to Portland on the West Coast. Believe it or not, there were big names who consistently came to Portland on a regular basis to perform, like Duke Ellington, Sammy Davis Jr. and Nat King Cole, just to name a few.
But as time went on things began to change, especially in the sixties. Due to urban renewal, Black homes and businesses started disappearing. Growing up in the 70s and 80s, the spirit and history of a rich culture still continued on, but black-owned business faded in North and Northeast Portland, once the heart and soul of the African-American Community. I'm talking about areas like Williams Avenue and Union Ave, Now MLK Blvd.
I still can remember how the music took on a new form in Portland's Nightlife Community. Some of the last great venues that carried on the tradition were Jazz De Opus, Jimmy Mak's, Atwater's, now Pdx City Gill, and the Candle Light Room. I remember because I was there.
My mission is to rediscover the amazing talents from the past and relate it with the present, as Portland produces up and coming artists, and share them with you.