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Although it's best to keep quiet in a library, sometimes some bossa nova music works well there

ELIZABETH USSHER GROFF - Kerry Politizer, Ben Graves, and Bernardo Gomez (shown left to right), recently performed Bossa Nova and Brazilian jazz in the Woodstock Branch Library, S.E. 49th at Woodstock Boulevard. Pleasantly lilting Brazilian music wafted through the Woodstock Library on the bright fall Saturday afternoon of October 26th. "BOSSA PDX" performed classic Bossa Nova and Brazilian jazz for an hour, as library patrons of all ages filled tables and wandered through aisles of books.

BOSSA PDX is a Portland-based band that plays arrangements of well-known Brazilian composers. They have performed at the Oregon Coast Jazz Party, the Lincoln City Cultural Center, Jazz in the Valley, and at PDX Jazz's "Jazz at the Lan Su Garden" in downtown Portland, among other venues in Portland, Salem, and Eugene.

Woodstock Librarian Cathy Griffin, who also lives in Woodstock, selects music for periodic performances at the library. All performances are free, and sponsored by The Library Foundation and the National Endowment for Humanities. Her selection of BOSSA PDX is typical of the pleasant, low-key, rhythmic music that she seeks out for Woodstock Library performances.

BOSSA PDX is led by jazz pianist, vocalist, and composer, Kerry Politzer. In the band she is accompanied by sax, flute, guitar, bass, or percussion musicians, and on this occasion at the library she was joined by Ben Graves on guitar, and Bernardo Gomez on bass. THE BEE met them all while they were there.

Politzer is a jazz pianist and composer influenced by classical and Brazilian musical traditions. She is a graduate of New England Conservatory of Music, and a student of the late Charlie Banacos, who died in 2009 – and was a well-known American pianist, composer, author, and jazz educator, who created over 100 courses of study in improvisation and composition.

Ben Graves, guitarist, holds his Bachelors of Music in Jazz Studies degree from Portland State University where he focused on orchestration, composition, jazz arranging and jazz piano.

Bassist Bernardo Gomez, commented on the band: "It [the band's music] is a great mix of Brazilian with BeBop influences. She [Politzer] is a very accomplished pianist, but also a beautiful singer. Ben on guitar also understands the roots of the music. What I like best is that together the groove we accomplish is fun, and makes you tap your foot at the very least, without being overpowering." 

Music performances, crafts, plays for children and more are offered free at the Woodstock Branch Library. Details online – www.multcolib.org/events/woodstock.

And, to hear BOSSA PDX play, and for information on the band, go to –www.bossapdx.com


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