Business People

Jimmy Makarounis – Co-Founder of Portland’s Jimmy Mak’s

By PDX People

PORTLAND, Ore. – If you love listening to live jazz then you will also be familiar with Jimmy Mak’s, a legendary club in Portland that was solely for jazz music.

Portland Oregon Jazz Destination 

Founded in 1996, by Jimmy Makarounis and his family, Jimmy Mak’s quickly became a top destination in Portland Oregon for jazz and quickly developed a loyal following. Since 2006 the club has attracted top jazz musicians from around the country including names like Ravi Coltrane, Joshua Redman, and Ben Golson.

What’s unique about the jazz club is that Jimmy Mak’s flourished in Portland Oregon, especially over the last 10 years while other new jazz clubs came and went.

Many jazz fans agree that what made Jimmy Mak’s so successful was their ability to book national and local acts on the same stage and this success continued up until their last show on New Year’s Eve 2016.

RIP Jimmy Makarounis

Sadly, the success of Jimmy Mak’s has been bittersweet because for the last four years Jimmy Makarounis has been battling an aggressive form of cancer and he passed away on January 2nd, 2017 at the age of 53.

With the passing of Jimmy Makarounis some people are doubtful that his jazz club will continue since the location of the club was recently sold to an investor who wants to build apartments there and in spite of the hard work of Makrounis to move his club to the Pearl District this year his plans didn’t come together before his passing.

Besides his passion for jazz, Makarounis will be remembered by those who loved him for his generosity, kindness, tenacity and efforts to put Portland on the map as a top destination for jazz in the United States. 

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