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Jazz Veteran Don Lucoff Becomes PDX Jazz Managing Director

United States
Collectively Lucoff and artistic director Bill Royston hold more than 50 years of combined experience in the jazz industry

October 13th, 2009, PORTLAND, Ore. – Scoring a major coup, PDX Jazz has appointed music industry veteran Don Lucoff as the organization’s next managing director. Lucoff, president of DL Media, has represented nearly every major jazz label and a wide spectrum of jazz artists throughout his 26-year career. He has also driven the national publicity efforts of the Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air Portland Jazz Festival presented by US Bank for the past two seasons.

Lucoff joins artistic director and PDX Jazz co-founder Bill Royston, who holds his own impressive resume in jazz as an artistic director and event producer. Royston was nominated as Jazz Producer of the Year in both 2007 and 2008 by the Jazz Journalists Association (JJA) and has been a driving force behind bringing groundbreaking jazz to the Portland area for 14 years.

“After working with the Portland Jazz Festival for the past couple of years, I’ve been part of one of the most innovative and entrepreneurial approaches to jazz presentation, and I am honored for this opportunity to join PDX Jazz in an expanded role as managing director,” states Lucoff. “This new challenge brings my career full circle — I began working professionally in jazz with Festival Productions on the 1982 Kool Jazz Festival, then moved on to become a freelance broadcaster for NPR and journalist for music publications. Live music presentation and audience development are the cornerstones of our industry and this position gives me a great opportunity to bring my breadth of experience to cultivate audiences for jazz and perpetuate America’s indigenous art form for generations to come.”

“Don is a top jazz professional and long time colleague,” states Royston, “and I look forward to working with him to continue to raise the international profile of the Portland Jazz Festival and the city’s music scene.”

A Los Angeles native, Don Lucoff began his career in jazz in 1983 as publicist for the Playboy Jazz Festival, and moved to New York in 1984 to join Peter Levinson Communications. In 1985, Lucoff became National Director of Publicity for the jazz division of MCA Records. In 1988, he formed DL Media, a major jazz PR and marketing firm with offices in New York and Philadelphia and has represented such record labels as Blue Note Records, Mosaic, Justin Time, ECM, RCA Victor, Marsalis Music, Mack Avenue, Warner Bros., Verve, Concord Music Group and Columbia Records. DL Media has guided the careers of such esteemed artists as Branford, Wynton and Ellis Marsalis, Joe Lovano, Freddie Hubbard, Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea, Abby Lincoln, Max Roach, Dianne Reeves, Al Green, Bruce Hornsby, Derek Trucks, Charles Lloyd, Marian McPartland, and Willie Nelson among others.

Lucoff has also been involved in marketing, promotion and audience development for the Detroit International Jazz Festival, Jazz Aspen (Colorado), Barcelona International Jazz Festival, Tuscia in Jazz (Italy), Vancouver International Jazz Festival, Freihofer’s Jazz Festival (Saratoga, NY), Mellon Jazz Festival (Philadelphia), Festival d’Ete (Quebec, Canada) Bell-Atlantic Jazz Festival (New York/ Boston/ Philadelphia/ Washington), BET Jazz Event Productions (Barbados, St. Lucia, Anquilla, Cayman, and Bermuda), Akbank Jazz Festival (Istanbul), and Jazz Marciac (France).

For 14 years, he was the Industry Panels and PR Director of the annual International Association of Jazz Education (IAJE) conference and collaborated with Jazz @ Lincoln Center (JALC) on the Essentially Ellington High School Big Band Competition. Also for JALC, he launched the PR campaign for Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola. As a founding member of the Jazz Alliance International (JAI), and as a NARAS member, Lucoff helped conceive the “Salute to Jazz” initiative sponsored by the Academy, as a pre-Grammy award presentation. He has continually guided the careers of his staff and interns, many of whom have founded their own firms or work at recording labels including JR Rich (VP of Public Relations, EMI Music) who was the publicist responsible for breaking Norah Jones.

In addition to Lucoff and Royston, Portland Jazz Festival has created an interim staff team to assist during Lucoff’s transition that includes longtime PDX Jazz supporters – Aaron Cole (Production Manager), Spencer Crandall (Marketing & Communications Director), Bea Eidsness (Business Manager), Matthew Jones (Development Manager), Pam Jones (Volunteer Manager), and Jenn Lawson (Special Projects and Events Manager). Together, they are shaping and carrying out immediate plans for the 2010 Portland Jazz Festival.

About the 2010 Portland Jazz Festival

From February 22 through 28, jazz audiences from around the country will descend upon downtown Portland to experience the 2010 Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air Portland Jazz Festival presented by US Bank. Headline artists include Pharoah Sanders, Dave Holland Quintet, Mingus Big Band, Dave Douglas & Brass Ecstasy, and Luciana Souza.

The headline performances pay tribute to today’s innovative jazz styles from the United States in tandem with a sampling of young Norwegian artists making their North American debuts under the thematic title Is Jazz Dead (Or Has It Moved to a New Address)? – New Music from Norway, based on British jazz writer Stuart Nicholson’s book tracing the new Norwegian jazz movement. In addition to headline concerts and free performances featuring local Portland artists, the Portland Jazz Festival includes education and outreach events – The Incredible Journey of Jazz, an historical jazz musical for middle schools, and Jazz Conversations, a series of free in-person interviews with artists.

As a cultural tourism initiative, the jazz festival draws thousands of visitors to downtown Portland each February during a typically slow month for the hospitality industry. Audiences hail from around the country, and the event attracted approximately 27,000 jazz fans last year.


PDX Jazz Members have the advantage of reserving the best seats during the exclusive pre-sale period from October 13 – October 26. New and renewing members can join any time.

Starting Tuesday, October 27 at 10:00 AM PST Portland Jazz Festival tickets will be available to the general public at all TicketMaster locations, by calling 503-228-JAZZ (5299), or online at pdxjazz.com. Those who sign up for the PDX Jazz mailing list will receive the first notification when tickets go on sale to the public.

About PDX Jazz

Founded in 2003, PDX Jazz, Portland’s jazz membership organization, presents both regional and international jazz artists throughout the year. Dedicated to nurturing jazz musicians and audiences, PDX Jazz is best known for its critically acclaimed Portland Jazz Festival. PDX Jazz also presents nearly 200 performances annually showcasing Portland jazz artists with the ongoing series PDX Jazz @ RiverPlace (RiverPlace Hotel) and PDX Jazz @ the ArtBar (Portland Center for the Performing Arts), as well as the annual PDX Jazz @ RiverFest each August along Portland’s South Waterfront.
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