Enjoying jazz on the coast

Above: Ken Peplowski, jazz clarinetist and saxophonist, will be both a performer and a music director at this year’s Oregon Coast Jazz Party. Below: Roxie Coss, a newcomer to the Oregon Coast Jazz Party, is a renowned musician, bandleader, recording artist, educator and activist who has headlined at major festivals and venues around the world. (Courtesy photo)

The Oregon Coast Jazz Party returns

The Oregon Coast Jazz Party returns to the Newport Performing Arts Center on Oct. 4, with a lineup of renowned jazz artists hailing from all over the country. The Oregon Coast Council for the Arts, along with presenting the party, will also be continuing the tradition of including free jazz education for all.

The lineup is a dream for jazz enthusiasts — or anyone who just loves a good vibe and beat. Music directors Holly Hofmann and Ken Peplowski will both perform this year, in addition to presenting the 14-musician roster. Many of this year’s performers are returning to the Jazz Party, but there are a few newcomers joining the fun as well; Roxy Coss, Matt Wilson, Martin Wind and Veronica Swift will each be making their Oregon Coast Jazz Party premiere this October.

Local jazz fans who want to join the party can receive a discount on sessions 3, 4 and 7; “Meet the Rhythm Section,” “Jazz in the Afternoon, Set 1,” and “Oregon Coast Jazz Party All-Stars Playing the Nat King Cole Songbook,” respectively. Session 7 is a must-hear, when the entire artist lineup will join together to celebrate Nat King Cole’s 100th birthday through song. The all-stars performance will also have short breaks for drinks and snacks.

But that’s not all: the party also offers a free lecture and demonstration with pianist and vocalist Dena DeRose at 9 a.m. on Oct. 5. As the professor of jazz voice at the Jazz Institute of the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz, Austria, DeRose knows how to teach a thing or two to newbies who haven’t experienced much jazz.

OCCA is the founding organizational sponsor of the event, and partners with local businesses and more than 75 volunteers in its production. This year’s jazz party is supported by underwriter Rev. Carol Stubbs Smith, with support from Columbia Bank, the News-Times, Milt Bernhart Travel, Oregon Coast Piano Services, Just Jazz and the 2019 Jazz Club, Jazz Hotels, jazz partners, patrons and friends.

Tickets are available for purchase at the Newport Performing Arts Center box office — open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. — as well as over the phone at 541-265-2787 and online at coastarts.org.