The fifth annual Portland Jazz Festival scheduled for February in Portland, OR, has been cancelled due to lack of funds as the main sponsor Qwest Communications withdrew its support, reportedly worth $50,000. The festival, which would have needed $100,000 to make a go of it, was going to present 150 sets over a 10-day period.
The festival started in 2004 and has presented Wayne Shorter, Chick Corea, Dianne Reeves, McCoy Tyner and Ravi Coltrane, as well as many others. Over the past few years, an array of international artists have also been prominently spotlighted, including Trygve Seim and Tord Gustavsen (Norway), Tomasz Stanko (Poland), Nik Bartsch’s Ronin (Switzerland), Amina Figarova (Holland), and Diego Ramirez (Mexico).
“Operations and planning for the 2009 February event could not continue because of a decline in funding and sponsorship support,” organizers said in a statement on the festival Web site. “New sponsors could not be found and other short falls accumulated making it impossible to survive on ticket sale projections and related forms of earned revenue. Even with the anticipation of the ’09 festival dedicated to the 70th anniversary of Blue Note Records, recent attempts to develop support throughout the community were not successful.”
The 2008 Portland Jazz Festival presented 150 separate events over a 10-day February period with total attendance at 36,000 people. It was nominated as one of the top five jazz events by the Jazz Journalists Association last June.