It was on a high school band trip in 1986 when a high school junior named Andrew Durkin found out Jill Knapp could sorta carry a tune. A musical partnership was born that year and never stopped.
Andrew and Jill were in a zillion bands together in high school, college, and beyond… in NJ, in Los Angeles, and even in Portland. No matter how far apart they lived from each other, they still found ways to collaborate across the miles.
In 2000, Andrew created a small jazz combo who eventually called themselves The Industrial Jazz Group. When they needed a singer, Andrew called on Jill despite them living several states away. Over the next few years The Industrial Jazz Group grew in size from a quintet to a septet, to a nonet (9 pieces) to a dectet (10 pieces), and eventually all the way to a a 17-piece monstrosity. They toured extensively around the US and Europe, and their music even served as as bumper music for various NPR segments and shows. Critics almost universally loved them (except for one stabby New York Times review, but hey, even bad press is good press, right?) Neat!
In 2007 The Industrial Jazz Group played at The Hague Jazz Festival in The Netherlands, as well as at the world-famous Bimhuis in Amsterdam. From the Amsterdam show, the band got a magnificent live recording which ultimately became their 2008 release “LEEF” (which loosely translates to “Live” in Dutch).
Andrew took a hiatus from The Industrial Jazz Group so he could focus on writing a book (which comes out this November!), and coincidentally during that time, Hot Breakfast! gained lots of momentum… so Jill never stopped performing. It’s very different to front a big band dressed as a bee than it is to be one-half of an acoustic dork-rock power duo… but it’s an absolute joy either way.
These days, the center of Jill’s musical universe is undoubtedly Hot Breakfast!, but it sure feels nice to play with The Industrial Jazz Group when the rare opportunity arises… it’s like seeing old, dear friends and picking up where you left off as if no time has passed at all.
ANYWAY. All of that history is to tell you that this Friday is a dream come true for Jill: A joint gig of the two bands that are the great loves of her life. It’s happening in one of her favorite cities: Portland, Oregon, which has been the new home of The IJG since about 2006.
The show is taking place in a multi-purpose coffeehouse space in Portland called Tabor Space. The place has events ranging from yoga to children’s music classes to touring rock bands and fancy coffee tastings. It’s so very Portland. What’s not to love?
If you’re a regular reader of this website, there’s a good chance you’re located on the east coast… so we really don’t expect you to show up to this show. But if you know anyone in Oregon who is looking for a somewhat family-friendly musical experience this weekend, send them our way.
WHO: Hot Breakfast and The Industrial Jazz Group!
WHERE: Tabor Space, 5441 SE Belmont St, Portland, Oregon 97215
WHEN: Friday, July 11, 2014. Doors open at 7:00. Hot Breakfast plays at 7:30sharp; IJG plays at 8:30. We have to be out of the building by 10pm, so it’ll be an early night.
COVER: $10-$15, sliding scale.
FOOD: I don’t think there’s food, but there will likely be coffee. It is Portland, after all.
FACEBOOK EVENT: Here ya go! http://www.facebook.com/events/867466406600726/
This is gonna be one hell of a show. We can’t wait.