Like jazz, life in the time of the coronavirus pandemic is about improvisation. 

We sincerely hope you are staying safe and well during this unprecedented, unpredictable, unscripted time.

Everyone on the Cathedral Park Jazz Festival (CPJF) planning committee is watching daily developments and waiting for state and local guidance to determine whether the 40th Annual CPJF can take place as scheduled, on the weekend of July 17, 18 and 19 in Cathedral Park, under the historic St. Johns bridge in North Portland.

Please know that for us, the safety of our musicians, vendors, volunteers, staff, and festival attendees is of paramount importance. The Jazz Society of Oregon will soon make a decision about the 2020 festival's status.

Assuming we are able to go ahead with the festival, here’s what we have lined up so far in terms of talent:

This year we are featuring outstanding performers who played Cathedral Park when the festival itself was brand new: alto sax great Richie Cole and Portland guitarist John “JB” Butler. JB appeared at the first festival in 1980. Richie, too, played several times during that first decade.


Among the other Portland-area jazz, blues, R&B and funk musicians who will be performing at this year’s festival: “International Blues Challenge” winner Rae Gordon; “Journey to Memphis” finalist  Johnny Wheels; violinist Eddie Parente; Latin favorite Picante; “Portland Jazz Master” Mel Brown; trumpeter Charlie Porter; drummer Christopher Brown; the Ethio-soul influenced Tezeta Band; and others. 


About the festival:

2020 marks the 40th consecutive year of the Cathedral Park Jazz Festival, which has been managed for the past six years by the Jazz Society of Oregon.


“This is a free, non-profit festival that provides the best in jazz, blues, R&B and soul, from around the greater Portland/Vancouver area,” said Rita Rega, Board member of the Jazz Society of Oregon and programming chair of the CPJF Planning Committee. “In fact, the Cathedral Park Jazz Festival is both the longest-running free annual jazz festival west of the Mississippi – and Portland’s longest-running annual community event.”


Started by a group of volunteers, jazz festival has been a free event since the beginning and its success depends on volunteers. Want to help? The planning committee is looking for community sponsors and volunteers to fill a wide range of positions. Sponsors can contact the planning committee by emailing and volunteers can sign up right here on the website.


About the Jazz Society of Oregon

The Jazz Society of Oregon is an all-volunteer non-profit organization 501(c)(3) whose mission is to promote the local jazz scene in Portland and the rest of Oregon.  The Society supports jazz education, as well as fostering a greater appreciation of this thoroughly American art form.