BIAMP Portland Jazz Festival: James Francies + Kris Davis plays The Old Church
Portland Jazz Festival 2023 is proud to present the world premier of this co-bill solo piano show featuring two of the brightest lights in the world of piano jazz today.
James: The New York Times called pianist, keyboardist and composer James Francies“a pianist with liquid dynamism in his touch.”The Houston native released his debut CD, 'Flight' for the legendary Blue Note Records and was just recently named one of"8 Artists You Should Know” by the genre-bending website Revive Music. Plenty of young musicians show promise, but very few enjoy the sort of meteoric rise that Francies is currently experiencing. At only 23, he’s played with jazz headliners like Pat Metheny, Marcus Miller, Chris Potter, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Stefon Harris, Eric Harland, and Terrace Martin, and racked up equally impressive credits in hip-hop and R&B: from gigs with Ms. Lauryn Hill, José James, Common, and Nas, to studio time for Chance the Rapper’s Grammy-winning hit “No Problem” and Kodak Black, to appearances with The Roots on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, alongside his mentor and friend Questlove. James has a B.M. in Jazz Performance from The New School for Jazz and leads masterclasses around the world. He is endorsed by Yamaha Pianos, Korg Keyboards, and is an IWC Brand Ambassador.
Kris: Pianist-composer Kris Davis was named 2017 Rising Star Pianist, 2018 Rising Star Artist and Best Pianist 2020 in Downbeat magazine and dubbed one of the music’s top up-and-comers in a 2012 New York Times article titled “New Pilots at the Keyboard,” with the newspaper saying: “One method for deciding where to hear jazz on a given night has been to track down the pianist Kris Davis.” To date, Davis has released twelve recordings as leader. Her 2016 release, Duopoly, made The New York Times, Pop Matters, NPR, LA Times, and Jazz Times best albums of 2016. Davis works as a collaborator and side person with artists such as John Zorn, Terri Lyne Carrington, Craig Taborn, Tyshawn Sorey, Eric Revis, Michael Formanek, Tony Malaby, Ingrid Laubrock, Julian Lage, Mary Halvorson and Tom Rainey. Davis received a Doris Duke Impact award in 2015 and multiple commissions to compose new works from The Shifting Foundation, The Jazz Gallery/Jerome Foundation and the Canada Council for the Arts. She is the Associate Program Director of Creative Development for the Insitute Jazz and Gender Justice at Berklee College of Music.