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A Mosaic Of Sound

David Ornette Cherry Jam Celebration

The multi-instrumentalist/composer David Ornette Cherry


“Our Cherry Jam” is a jazz storytelling happening in the spirit of David Cherry’s Organic Nation Listening Club vision and will feature his compositions, concepts, visual art, and soundtracks as a community celebration of Cherry’s innovative art, and creative action.


The event will take place on April 13, from 7pm to 9pm, at the Historic Alberta House in Portland, Oregon. “This gathering is an opportunity for all of us who loved and admired David to celebrate his gifts of creative expression, and his generous presence,” said Susan Banyas, event producer, collaborator, and friend. “He offered encouragement to many—a great legacy. He created new kinds of music, music rooted in culture and spirituality, music happenings, music for dance, and theatre. David was also a painter and poet. We Hear Too Fast—his philosophy in words and paintings, in a booklet form—will be offered to those who gather as part of the evening, so that his thoughts on music and life will be remembered and continue to nourish the creative spirits he touched, and those he will continue to touch.”


Internationally-lauded artist, David Ornette Cherry was a musician, composer, arranger, improviser, visual artist, and educator, who made his home in Portland, Oregon. Cherry toured and traveled extensively, but regularly contributed to the arts scene in Portland. He led Organic Roots bands, directed three jazz and storytelling Organic Nation Listening Club productions, composed soundtracks for The Hillsboro Story, No Strangers Here Today (Cherry/Banyas collaborations), worked with poets on stage and in recordings, collaborated with dancers, and produced a tribute concert to Portland raised, legendary Kaw /Muscogee Creek saxophonist and composer, Jim Pepper.

The pulses and melodies that arise from his jazz, classical, African, world music background, and from playing with some of the great jazz artists of our times, speak about collective human experiences through the language of sound. They are a musical fusion of cultures laid firmly down on a foundation of purely garage-style beats. He listened with an open heart and fresh mind to his collaborators and the world around him in a way that makes his compositions not only music, but a way of life, a positive form of energy, and a way to connect. He trained young musicians in world music, theory, and improvisation, encouraging them to “learn the music, own the music, and then give it back.” David Ornette Cherry (64) was born on April 13, 1958, in Watts, Los Angeles, and died November 21, 2022, in London following a tribute performance to his father, legendary jazz trumpeter and world music composer, Don Cherry. His last release is titled Organic Nation Listening Club, the Continual.

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