Pianist Darrell Grant brings his collection of self-composed jazz to Astoria Saturday, Oct. 25.

The concert comes as the Portland-based performer releases his CD "Spirit" nationwide. The CD, released in late 2002 in Portland, attracted the attention of many non-jazz listeners with interpretations of James Taylor's "Shower the People" and Curtis Mayfield's "People Get Ready."

"Spirit is connecting to people in a deeper way than anything I've ever done," Grant said. "Listeners have written to me out of the blue to say things like, 'This music moves me deeply and give me hope.'"

Spirit began when Grant reflected on his life as he turned 40 years old. But he was performing many years before that. He was based in New York for several years and performed with vocalist Betty Carter. In 1994, The New York Times selected his debut recording as a bandleader, Black Art, as one of the top 10 jazz recordings of the year.

In 1997, he moved to Portland, where he founded and directs the Leroy Vinnegar Jazz Institute at Portland State University.

His current CD includes vocals by Grammy award-winning vocalist Lari White.

"In many ways the challenge of these times is to remain open, to wear your heart on your sleeve and risk sincerity," Grant said.

If you go ...What: "Spirit: An evening of music from the heart" solo concert.

Where: The Liberty Theater, 1203 Commercial St.

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25

Admission: $12 for adults and $5 for children under 12.

For more information:Call the theater at (503) 325-5955.

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