Sunday, May 19, 2013

City of Portland proclamation of Jim Pepper Day, May 20

Portland Mayor Tom Potter declared May 20 was/is Jim Pepper Day in the City of Portland. Here's what the Mayor had to say:

City of Portland proclamation of Jim Pepper Day, May 20, 2005

Whereas, Jim Pepper, a resident of Portland and a Native American of the Kaw and Creek nations, was recognized best for his eclectic playing style as a jazz musician and collaborated with many world-renowned musicians including several from the State of Oregon; and

Whereas, Jim Pepper, who began playing at jazz clubs in Portland, was an unforgettable tenor and soprano saxophone player, singer, composer, dancer and bandleader; and

Whereas, Jim Pepper has become one of the most important musicians and composers in jazz history—his unique style and blend of traditional Native American rhythms with African and Latin American jazz created a whole new style of music; and

Whereas, in the 1960s, Jim Pepper and his band, The Free Spirits, were one of the first to fuse Native American song with the harmonic structures of jazz and rock to define a new genre of music that remains important worldwide; and

Whereas, Jim Pepper has been the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions both during his lifetime and posthumously including the Lifetime Music Achievement Award by the First Americans in the Arts, and has been inducted into the Indian Hall of Fame and the Native American Music Awards Hall of Fame; and

Whereas, an award-winning documentary on the life of Jim Pepper titled “Pepper’s Powwow” was produced by Sandra Osawa and will be shown at this year’s 2005 Portland Jazz Festival; and,

Whereas, the 2005 Portland Jazz Festival will include a tribute to the “remembrance” of Jim Pepper, where many of his songs will be performed; and

Whereas, although Jim Pepper has passed on, his innovative genre of music serves as an inspiration to all indigenous peoples around the world;

Now, therefore, I, Tom Potter, Mayor of the City of Portland, Oregon, the “City of Roses”, do hereby proclaim May 20, 2005 as Jim Pepper Day in Portland and encourage all citizens to observe this day.


Tom Potter

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