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Thara Memory is a trumpeter and educator from Eatonville, Florida. He attended Rutgers and Alabama State University. He has lived in Portland, Oregon, United States since the 1980s. He has been involved with the Portland jazz scene for over 40 years. He has played with Dizzy Gillespie, James Brown, Stanley Turrentine, The Four Tops, Eddie Harris, The Commodores, and many others. Memory also is Esperanza Spalding's mentor. In 2005, Memory founded the American Music Program Pacific Crest Jazz Orchestra (often shortened to American Music Program), a youth jazz orchestra in Portland, Oregon, that has won national accolades. During the 2012 Portland Jazz Festival, Memory was honored as 2012's Portland Jazz Master. Memory is a member of the Oregon Music Hall of Fame.
On February 10, 2013, he won a Grammy Award in the Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s) category for his arrangement for the Esperanza Spalding track City of Roses from her album Radio Music Society, which featured the students of the American Music Program in the music video and backing up Spalding on the album.
On May 9, 2015, the American Music Program, which Memory still directs despite failing health, won Jazz at Lincoln Center's Essentially Ellington high school jazz band competition, playing Ellington's Tattooed Bride from memory.
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