UPDATE 3/28/2017: Those interested in participated are asked to RSVP to this event page.
(Portland, Oregon) — Portland, Oregon-based jazz composer, pianist, and educator Darrell Grant is assembling artists in Oregon’s Elliott State Forest on Saturday, April 1, 2017 for a collaborative performance in celebration of and advocacy for the disputed land. Grant is rallying forces to call further attention to the controversial Oregon land board vote on May 9. The vote will determine whether or not to sell the 82,000 acres for $221 million to fund public schools. He also aims to express solidarity with those calling for new ideas for alternative sources of public school funding. He has put out a call for artists as well as assistance with the logistical challenges of hosting a concert in an old growth forest (moving a piano and protecting it from rain for starters). Those interested in being involved are being asked to respond to his facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/567397936790272/
The project originated with an email to Grant from an advocate for Elliott State Forest. She asked if he would lend his voice to the cause. In his March 20, 2017 blog post, Grant wrote:
I want to play in the forest because, in the twenty years since I came to Oregon, the land, the people, the history, the stories, and the ethos have inspired me as an artist and shaped who I am as a person. My composition, The Territory, is only a small expression of the life I have experienced here. I want to publicly acknowledge the land as a source of creative inspiration for so many of us lucky enough to live here.
I’m also doing it because, as a person of color, I want the land board to know that this is my forest too. As an African-American, our state’s public lands are as much my legacy to future generations of Oregonians as they are anyone’s. And, as much as Oregon’s underserved children deserve a quality education, they also deserve to retain their rights to their old-growth forests.
There is one more reason I’m going to the Elliott State Forest.
Some have told me that it is not pragmatic to try to use art to change hearts and minds. They believe that in the political arena, especially in our present climate, leaders will only respond to protest, resistance, outrage, and political threat.
Nevertheless, I am compelled to explore the possibility that there are ways to achieve change other than backing opponents into a corner until they admit defeat. I’m not ready to concede that humans, even those who happen to be engaged in government or public service, cannot be moved to rethink, re-evaluate, or reconsider.
See full text here: https://www.darrellgrant.com/darrell-grant-blog/2017/3/19/going-to-the-territory
Details of the event are evolving and subject to change. A tentative outline is below, and the facebook event will reflect the latest updates. https://www.facebook.com/events/567397936790272/
Access the forest road 12.7 miles east of Reedsport on Highway 38, take a right on Loon Lake Road. Immediately after the turn there is a large gravel pullout on the right hand side of the road that will serve as a meeting spot; from there, it will be necessary to carpool. Online map for this leg.
After that, head south for 4-5 miles on Loon Lake Road, then head up the 7700 road for about 7 miles and turn left on the 7800/Salander continue 4 miles to the gate.
Reedsport to Loon Lake Road - 13 miles, 15 minutes
Loon Lake Road to 7700 Road - 5 miles, 8 minutes
7700 Road to 7800 Road - 7 miles, 20 minutes
The 7800 road is about 4 miles long before the gate, it takes about 15 minutes to get to the gate from the turnoff from the 7700.
See also, map below.
8:00 AM-12:00 PM
Volunteers and artists load-in and set up at the Elliot Forest site.
Lunch break (bring-your-own), time for connection, introductions, artists warm-up, and to experience the forest.
“On The Territory” — an hour of musical and artistic collaboration in celebration and appreciation of the Elliott State Forest.
Break down and load out
Note: No permit is needed to access the site.
Connecting People and Place
Since moving to Oregon from New York City in 1997, Grant has found inspiration in the historical, cultural, and natural landscapes of his adopted state. In his 2013 piece The Territory, Grant was inspired by the notion that as a grape’s landscape affects the terroir of a wine, an artist’s work can be informed by place. The Territory’s nine movements each reflect critical moments, people, and places in Oregon’s narrative: the surrender of Nez Perce Chief Joseph, the majesty of Fort Rock, the power of the Missoula Floods, the injustice of Japanese internment, the heyday of the Golden West hotel, and lifeforce of Oregon’s rivers. The piece is his most literal ode to Oregon to date
About Darrell Grant
Since being introduced to international audiences in 1988 as the pianist in vocalist Betty Carter's trio, Darrell Grant has built an international reputation performing with jazz luminaries including Frank Morgan, Tony Williams, Roy Haynes, and Esperanza Spalding. He has toured as a bandleader and solo artist throughout the U.S., Canada, Asia, and Europe. He has released seven critically-acclaimed albums as a leader, including his 1994 debut CD, Black Art — selected as one of the year's top ten jazz CDs by the New York Times.
In 2012, Grant was one of 12 composers nationwide awarded a Doris Duke Jazz New Works Grant by Chamber Music America. His composition "The Territory” was premiered at Chamber Music Northwest and has subsequently been performed at The DiMenna Center in New York City and the Portland Jazz Festival. Grant was inducted into the Jazz Society of Oregon Hall of Fame in 2009. In 2011, he was the first recipient of the Kamelia Massih Outstanding Faculty Prize in the Arts from Portland State University, where he is a Professor of Music and directs the Leroy Vinnegar Jazz Institute. He has been featured on National Public Radio, and is a recipient of a 2015 Individual Artist Grant from the Regional Arts & Culture Council. More at www.darrellgrant.com.
Contact: Kim Morris, Vespertine Works