Darrell Grant is one of PSU’s treasures. Not only is he a beloved professor of jazz in the School of Music & Theater, but he is also a critically acclaimed composer and leader in Portland’s music community. And he is always working on something profound, thought-provoking and inspiring. In short, he makes Portland a better place.
Take his recent project, a musical portrait with the Oregon Symphony for their “Notations” series (below). He collaborated with Oregon Symphony musicians to perform his beautiful piece “Crossing the Bridge: Vanport.” In this video, he takes audiences on a tour of the Albina neighborhood, Portland’s once-thriving Black community and flourishing jazz scene, displaced by “urban renewal” projects in the 1960s and 1970s. Take a few minutes to watch this. You won’t regret it.
Grant is also the composer of “Sanctuaries,” a site-specific jazz chamber opera exploring the racial and political underpinnings of gentrification, which premiered in September 2021 at the Memorial Coliseum in Northeast Portland. Other recent projects include the Soul Restoration project, a collaboration with a variety of artists creating “rituals of collective intention” in locations around Portland and now situated at the former location of the Albina Arts Center, and so much more. He is performing with Rebecca Kilgore as part of the PDX Jazz Festival on Feb. 17 at the Old Church if you’d like to see him live in action.
About the College of the Arts: We are the largest, most dynamic and most accessible public arts institution in Oregon, training the next generation of changemakers through our Schools of Architecture, Art + Design, Film and Music & Theater. PSU’s School of Music and Theater has a world-renowned faculty of performers, composers, and scholars, and is deeply engaged with the community and dedicated to student success.