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Music fests sing praises of jazz, roots

Two local music festivals have announced the lineups for their shows in early 2011.

The theme for Portland Jazz Festival, Feb. 18 to 27, 2011, at various locations in Portland, will be 'Bridges and Boundaries: Jewish and African Americans Playing Jazz Together.'

Among the headliners: SFJAZZ Collective, which pays homage to Stevie Wonder; NEA Jazz Master Randy Weston, performing solo piano in his support of his album and autobiography, 'African Rhythms'; celebrated clarinetist Don Byron, dedicated to Jewish entertainer Mickey Katz; The 3 Cohens, featuring siblings; Regina Carter, a famed African American violinist; Joshua Redman, a saxophonist and son of African American saxophonist Dewey Redman and Jewish dancer Renee Shedroff; and the Portland Jazz Festival's new artistic and community ambassador, Esperanza Spalding.

Tickets are available at Ticketmaster outlets, by calling 503-228-5299 or online at pdxjazz.com.

The RiverCity Music Festival, meanwhile, returns after a one-year hiatus, Jan. 7 to 9, 2011, at Red Lion on the River, 909 N. Hayden Island Drive. It used to be known as the RiverCity Bluegrass Festival.

It's sticking to its bluegrass roots but has added acoustic, roots and Americana music.

Highlighted artists are Dave Alvin and The Guilty Women, and Guy Clark. Also appearing will be The Time Jumpers, a project that includes some of the best session players and features country star Vince Gill.

Other acts: Rhonda Vincent and The Rage, Quebe Sisters Band, Tim O'Brien and Bryan Sutton, Dan Crary and Thunderation, Lou Reid and Carolina, Infamous Stringdusters, Steep Canyon Rangers, Peter Rowan Band, John Jorgenson Quintet, David Grier and Mike Compton, John Reischman and The Jaybirds.

Tickets are now available; go to rivercitybluegrass.com for information.

- Jason Vondersmith