Hall of Fame Jazz Singer to Perform at NCRD in May | Community


“She preaches every time she sings…” Marty Jones, MJ Arts

Marilyn Keller, inducted into the Jazz Society of Oregon Hall of Fame in 2016, is a 38-year veteran of music and stage performance in jazz, gospel, R&B, pop and theater. His voice can be heard on several recordings, film soundtracks and documentaries.

She appears frequently at clubs, festivals and holiday events throughout the Pacific Northwest and performs annually at the “Gospel Christmas with the Oregon Symphony” in Portland.

In 1997, Marilyn joined the Black Swan Classic Jazz Band, establishing a loyal following in the Dixieland and Ragtime scene. She was the lead singer of the Augustana Jazz Quartet, performing weekly for 28 years, alongside Ron Steen, Kevin Deitz and George Mitchell.

Marilyn’s career has taken her to Denmark, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, Spain, Australia, Russia and the United Kingdom. Since 2004, she has performed with the Copenhagen-based band New Orleans Delight, touring Denmark and Sweden every summer.

In 2017, Marilyn performed Darrell Grant’s Suite: “Step by Step – The Ruby Bridges Story”, for the Unitarian Universalist National Assembly of New Orleans and in 2019, at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, in Washington, DC.

Marilyn is currently an adjunct professor at Portland State University, where she teaches vocal jazz improvisation. She is also a board member of the Portland Symphonic Choir and the Portland Jazz Composer’s Ensemble and is currently working with Darrel Grant on his jazz opera ‘Sanctuaries’.

She is dedicated to music education and conducts clinics and masterclasses for arts councils, as well as high school, middle school and elementary school choirs and bands.

Marilyn will appear as part of the NCRD Spring Music Series on May 7 at 7:00 p.m. at the NCRD Performing Arts Center in Nehalem.

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