Jackson has lived in the city since 1988. As the Portland Trail Blazers’ official DJ and the president of the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the Recording Academy, he has been very active in the music scene over the years.
“One of the things that has always troubled me is that we have a wealth of talent in Portland, particularly Black talent that can really compete on all levels, but the platforms were very limited,” Jackson said.
After hearing artists express their frustrations with Portland venues that don’t highlight Black music, Jackson felt that he and Ozier should create something of their own.
“That’s when Tony Ozier and I got together and decided, ‘Hey, let’s start it. Let’s build it ourselves and create a platform where we can highlight the amazing talents that are in our city,” Jackson explained.
But when the pandemic struck as the two founders were planning the expo, they had to get creative for the first-ever PBME in October 2020. Despite being held virtually and not garnering a huge profit, the now-annual event was ultimately a success. This gave Ozier and Jackson the motivation to keep it going.
Their dedication is why the PBME is back and better this year with both performances and informative discussions.
“In 2020 and 2021, we held virtual panels where we had industry professionals come on and talk about everything from the history of music in Portland, to music business, all those conversations,” Jackson said. “We want people not only just to have the experience of seeing talent perform, but we want artists and musicians to be able to walk away with something tangible that they can apply to their professionalism.”
The PBME kicks off Friday with a jam session at the Alberta Street Pub at 1036 NE Alberta Street from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. The jam session features Ozier and the Doo Doo Funk All-Stars, a legendary jam group that is coming back from their hiatus just for this special event. The cover is $10.
Sunday is all about soul — with performances from Tahirah Memory, Arietta Ward, LaRhonda Steele and Ronnie Wright in the Mission Theater on 1624 NW Glisan Street. The show is from 12–5 p.m, for $25 in advance or $40 at the door.
“I think it’s important for our community overall to see and value the talents that are right here. We have to make a bigger deal out of the talents here and, and really be advocates for each other,” Jackson said.