BendBroadband’s Jazz at the Oxford is the brainchild of local business consultant Marshall Glickman.
It all started six years ago when Glickman and his wife, Lisa, enjoyed an evening in downtown Bend.
“After dinner, we went to one of the downtown bars but quickly realized that we were a bit too old to be there,” Glickman said. “I said to my wife, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if we had a jazz club in Bend?’”
The club that Glickman envisioned is now the event known as BendBroadband’s Jazz at the Oxford.
Looking back, Glickman says the idea of creating a jazz club was the easy part of the conversation. The next step – the money side of the equation – was fraught with risks.
“We weren’t in the position to offer [the artists] the kind of money they might get playing a larger jazz club like the Jazz Alley in Seattle or Yoshi’s in San Francisco,” Glickman said.
While the larger venues hold 300-400 people, the Oxford ballroom seats 120.
“But sometimes artists need to fill dates because they are moving from San Francisco to Portland or Seattle,” Glickman said. “The idea of picking up some extra dates, even if it is for less money, can be attractive for an artist.”
Glickman started out booking Portland artists. Five years later, the concept of bringing local and regional talent to Bend has led to a thriving jazz program. Today, Glickman is receiving phone calls from agents and artists who want to play at Jazz at the Oxford.
Glickman is looking forward to the coming years. It’s all about creating something that will keep the audience guessing.
One way to keep things fresh is to pair regional jazz bands with A-list guest artists.
Glickman is particularly excited about one such matchup this season. In February, Jazz at the Oxford will present Soul Vaccination, a Portland-based R&B band that plays music inspired by Tower of Power, Stevie Wonder and Earth, Wind & Fire. Keyboardist Chester Thompson, who played with Tower of Power for 10 years and with Carlos Santana’s band for more than 25, will perform with the band on a Hammond B-3 organ.
Jazz at the Oxford audiences can expect more such matchups as well as singular A-list artists such as Randy Brecker, who is slated to play the club early next year.
Jazz fans are grateful to BendBroadband for its support of the concert series, Glickman said.
“BendBroadband has been incredibly supportive of all things local, and they like the idea of arts and culture,” he said.