Darrell Grant – Live at LV’s Uptown

Darrell Grant
Live at LV’s Uptown

by S.H. Watkins, Sr.

Following in the footsteps of clubs like The Mural Room, Sydneys, and the Jazz Quarry that brought jazz to the south end of Portland in days gone by, LV’s Uptown showcases Northwest jazz duos and trios every Friday and Saturday night. Tonite we were treated to a performance by none other than LV”s musical director, Darrell Grant. We showed up at the old “University Club” right after the first set began. LV’s Uptown was titled after the late, great Leroy Vinnegar, the atmosphere was cozy without being dark. There were groups of tables on three sides of the stage, one of which was in the restaurant area allowing minors to hear this great music as well. How cool. We walked past an animated Grant and his two counterparts on the stage, moving to the bar side to grab seats at the back of the room. Grant was tickling the baby grand amid a veeeery low murmer from the attentive crowd. Moving easily from song to song, Grant mesmerized the crowd for another three songs then a little pitter patter on the mic with the crowd before taking a break.

During the break, while the other musicians rested and rehydrated and spoke to those that came to the stage, Grant was out going through the crowd greeting and talking to people, some of whom he obviously know and others who were just jazz fans. He had time for them all, and even a moment for us reporter types.

After the break Grant and company got reacquainted with their instruments and delivered a nice set of Grant originals with some old fav’s mixed in. The night was one of musical enjoyment that would have been well worth the money if there was a charge. These wonderful weekly jazz events are all free of charge… just come in, sit down and enjoy.

Darrell Grant – Ricky Miller – S.H. Watkins, Sr.

Of course, we had a couple of beverages and some great calamari but it was the feast that Grant served up that was most satisfying.

About The Leroy Vinnegar Jazz Institute  
Established in 2002 with the support of the Estate of Leroy Vinnegar and the Portland jazz and arts community, the Leroy Vinnegar Jazz Institute (LVJI) is an independent, self-supporting institute housed within the Department of Music in Portland State University’s School of Fine and Performing Arts. Named for the late Portland resident and seminal jazz bassist Leroy Vinnegar, and directed by jazz pianist and PSU Associate Professor of Music, Darrell Grant, LVJI’s mission is to preserve and promote the art form, cultural heritage, and social history of jazz music in the Northwest through education, outreach, and historical documentation. The Institute’s programs and partnerships help to fill the void in arts education left by budget cuts in public school funding; provide opportunities for gifted young people to interact with world-class artists; encourage participation in the music making process at the community and individual levels, and increase the understanding and appreciation of our shared cultural heritage. For more visit the The Leroy Vinnegar Jazz Institute web site.