Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble Names Ryan Meagher Artistic Director

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Meagher is an established guitarist in Portland, Oregon’s jazz community.

(Photo: Chad Lanning)

Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble has appointed Ryan Meagher as its new artistic director. Meagher (pronounced Marr) is an established guitarist in Portland, Oregon’s jazz community and is also known for his roles as a co-founder and programming director of Montavilla Jazz, PJCE’s director of operations and director of PJCE Records, an editor of Jazzscene Magazine, as well as in his role as an educator with Mt. Hood Community College, University of Portland, Lower Columbia College, and with Metropolitan Youth Symphony. His work in this new role at PJCE begins immediately.

Meagher succeeds Douglas Detrick, who served as both the executive director and artistic director from 2013 to 2022, leading PJCE’s production of more ambitious, culturally relevant programming, raising the profile of the organization and building a more diverse coalition of partners.

“I am incredibly honored to continue down the path Douglas Detrick, Andrew Oliver and the rest of our founders laid for PJCE, and I am excited to expand PJCE’s reach,” Meagher said. “Since I arrived in Portland 10 years ago, I have only been focused on one thing, and that is deepening the impact of the jazz scene. You can expect us to carry on our mission of creating and performing original jazz music that engages and supports our community’s diverse artists, cultures, and places. But you can also expect to see and hear that mission realized in new ways. We will be putting out new music in live performances and recordings, widening our educational outreach and creating opportunities for more people to feel truly invested in our work. Celebrating original music by jazz and improvising musicians is all I have cared about since I can remember, and I know that this little thread in the cultural fabric of our fair city is going to shine brightly for years to come.”

Meagher is a graduate of the University of Nevada at Reno who has lived in Portland since 2012. He will continue in his educational roles as well as his work as an individual artist and stewarding the PJCE Records label.

PJCE Executive Director Meg Morrow said, “Having Ryan step into this new role with PJCE is very exciting for our future. With his deep connection to the Portland jazz scene, and his dedication to amplifying Portland musicians through his work with Montavilla Jazz fest, PJCE Records and his own creative productions, Ryan will be integral in continuing our mission to support new works in jazz in our city and help bring those works to wider audiences.” DB



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