Lynn Darroch

Lynn Darroch has been writing about jazz and related music for the Oregonian and nationally-circulated magazines since 1979. He edits the monthly magazine Jazzscene, and has written chapters on music figures for The Encyclopedia of United States Popular Culture (Popular Press) and covered the history of jazz in Portland, 1965-present, in the Afterword to Jumptown: the Golden Years of Portland Jazz (Oregon State University Press). He hosts a weekly show on KMHD 89.1 FM and performs live music/spoken word pieces about jazz musicians, recorded on the CDs, Local Heroes/American Originals (2009) and Jazz Stories — Heroes of the Americas (2005). 

Author's Entries

  • "Sweet Baby" James Benton (1930-2016)

    James Benton has been a singer of jazz, blues, and R&B; during two distinct eras in Portland's musical history. He first came to prominence in the 1950s, during the heyday of the African American entertainment district along North Williams Avenue, and performed steadily until the late 1960s. During that …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Cleve Williams (1930-2007)

    Trombonist and singer Cleveland "Cleve" Williams Jr. was an important musician in a jazz scene that thrived in the African American neighborhood along Portland's Williams Avenue during the 1940s and 1950s. He was at the forefront of players who developed the bebop style in the city. Beginning in the 1960s, …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Darrell Grant (1962-)

    A pianist, vocalist, composer, and educator, Darrell Grant arrived in Portland in 1997 with a national reputation. His contributions to the area jazz scene quickly elevated him to prominence based not only on his high level of musicianship but also on the attention and legitimacy he brought to jazz education …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Eddie Wied (1925 - 2007)

    Known as “the Professor,” jazz pianist Eddie Wied was an influential teacher and exemplary player during the years he lived in Portland. His work as a teacher and mentor to younger players, in addition to his regular nightclub performances, provided a crucial link between Portland’s jazz past and the jazz …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Glen Moore (1941-)

    As a founding member of the pioneering chamber jazz group, Oregon, Glen Moore helped redefine jazz in the late twentieth century. His love for the European symphonic tradition began as a child in Milwaukie, Oregon, where he was trained on both bass and piano. He performed around the state in …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Janice Scroggins (1955-2014)

    It is unusual for musicians to achieve the respect of peers and professional success in more than one field. Pianist, music director, educator, and composer Janice Scroggins did. Between her arrival in Portland in 1979 and her death at age fifty-eight in 2014, she played a central role in the …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Jazz de Opus

    One of the definitive nightclubs in the Portland jazz scene, Jazz de Opus presented touring jazz legends as well as many area performers from 1972 until it closed in 2003. During that time, the club, with space for fewer than 100 patrons, became a cultural nexus that reflected changing social …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Leroy Vinnegar (1928 – 1999)

    Though he spent only the last thirteen years of a long career in Portland, celebrated bassist Leroy Vinnegar became a central figure in the local jazz scene. In 1995, the Oregon legislature honored his contributions to the cultural life of the state by designating May 1 as Leroy Vinnegar Day. …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Marianne Mayfield (Hill) (1936-2004)

    During more than thirty years on the Portland jazz scene, singer and bassist Marianne Mayfield was a rare female instrumentalist in a male-dominated jazz world and was proud of her place in it. “I’m grateful for…the fact that I have enjoyed the respect of my contemporaries, the musicians, the guys. Not …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Mel Brown (1944-)

    If one had to choose a single musician to represent the history of jazz in Portland, it would be drummer and bandleader Mel Brown. One of the most active, influential, and respected artists in the area jazz scene since the 1970s, Brown’s roots are in Portland’s historic jazz district that …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Nancy King (1940-)

    For most of her career, Nancy King has been considered the Pacific Northwest's pre-eminent jazz singer. National recognition was slower to come, though she always received the praise of her peers. For twenty years, King was known as an underground classic—a supremely talented vocalist whose strict adherence to straightahead …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Thara John Memory (1948-2017)

    Thara John Memory was a trumpet player, composer, educator, and activist in the Portland jazz community. In 2011, the Portland Jazz Festival named him an Oregon Jazz Master, and he was selected as a Portland Jazz Hero by the Jazz Journalists Association in 2014. In 2013, Memory won a Grammy …

    Oregon Encyclopedia