American Music Program Pacific Crest Jazz Orchestra

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The American Music Program Pacific Crest Jazz Orchestra is a nationally known jazz band in Portland, Oregon and magnet school program, professionally training young musicians from 7th-12th grade, under the direction of jazz trumpeter Thara Memory.


The band was founded in 2005, by Thara Memory. Many of the members came from his previous band program at Beaverton's Arts and Communication Magnet Academy and from the jazz orchestra he led within Portland’s Metropolitan Youth Symphony.

Its American Music Program performs in competitions across the country, including the Essentially Ellington Competition at Lincoln Center, Monterey Jazz Festival, Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, Swing Central at the Savannah Music Festival, and locally at events such as the Mt. Hood Jazz Festival.[1]

They have performed with or opened for Obo Addy,[citation needed] alumni Patrick Lamb, Chuck Redd, Terell Stafford, and Curtis Salgado,[2] among others.

Notable achievements and alumni[edit]

Students frequently receive scholarships to the country’s top music colleges, such as The Juilliard School, Berklee College of Music, Manhattan School of Music, The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, USC Thornton School of Music, California Institute for the Arts, Oberlin College Conservatory, and countless others.[3] Every year, students in the band are selected for the Jazz Band of America, The Grammy Band, and The Monterrey Next Generation Jazz Band. During the summer time, younger ones often get scholarships to attend the Berklee 5-Week Summer Program and the Vail Jazz Workshop. Many of his current students participate in the Metropolitan Youth Symphony, Portland Youth Philharmonic, PDX Jazz Project, and Alan Jones Academy of Music, as well.

Notable alumni include Aubrey Cleland [4] Esperanza Spalding Hailey Niswanger [5] Patrick Lamb


External links[edit]