The Kerry Politzer Quartet features George Colligan, Garrett Baxter, and Tim Wilcox.
Kerry Politzer is a Portland-based jazz pianist, composer, and educator. She is on the music faculty of Portland State University, and she has taught at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Swing University, the University of Portland, and the Oregon Jazz Workshop. Kerry received a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Piano from the New England Conservatory of Music, where she studied improvisation and composition with the late jazz guru Charlie Banacos. In May 2023, she earned a Master of Music in Jazz Studies from Rowan University. Kerry is an alumna of the 2003 and 2005 Banff Jazz Workshops.
Prior to moving to Portland, Kerry lived in New York for many years, where she studied Brazilian music and performed original compositions at clubs including Smalls. She also toured with DIVA No Man’s Band, playing with Diane Schuur, Slide Hampton, and Larry Coryell. In 1996, Kerry was one of six finalists in the American Pianists Association’s 3rd Biennial Jazz Piano Competition. Her composition Rhodes Rage won Third Prize, Jazz Category in the 2005 International Songwriting Competition.
Kerry has released seven jazz CDs as a leader, including Blue in Blue, which featured saxophonist Donny McCaslin and was termed a “first-rate jazz outing” by AllAboutJazz.com. She has also been a featured sideman on albums of George Colligan, Laura Dreyer, and the Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble and was featured on Sax And The City: Musical Contributions From New York’s Best Women Jazz Instrumentalists (Apria Records, 2004). The pianist’s latest CD is In a Heartbeat (PJCE Records, 2022).
In 2019, Kerry was awarded a Regional Arts and Culture Council Artistic Focus grant to explore the music of Brazilian composer Durval Ferreira. The project culminated in the August 2019 release of Diagonal: The Music of Durval Ferreira. In 2020, she received another RACC grant to produce the first edition of Music of Brazilian Piano Masters, which can be accessed at the Music of Brazilian Piano Masters YouTube page. In 2021, Kerry received grants from MusicPortland and the RACC for her Driveway Jazz Series project, which provided an outdoor venue for musicians during the pandemic.
Kerry leads Bossa PDX, a samba-jazz and bossa nova group for which she has transcribed dozens of classic arrangements from the original recordings. With this music, she has performed around the country at venues such as Jazz Forum Arts, the Black Dolphin, the Oregon Coast Jazz Party, Ellenburg’s Jazz in the Valley, and the Florence Wine & Jazz Festival, among other venues.
Kerry has also headlined the Montavilla Jazz Festival and was a featured performer at the 25th Annual Gene Harris Jazz Festival. In addition to DIVA No Man’s Band, she has also performed with the Chuck Israels Jazz Orchestra, the Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble, and the 1905 Orchestra. She is now at work on a project that pays homage to the great multi-instrumentalist and composer Jimmy Giuffre, with whom she studied at New England Conservatory.
Date & Time
Mon, Jan 22, 2024 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
The Mississippi Pizza Pub & Atlantis Lounge3552 North Mississippi Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97227