Gordon Lee is a pianist composer, arranger, and educator who has travelled the world performing in Paris, Germany, Vienna, Tokyo, Lima, and Istanbul. Lee has been a featured performer at the Mt. Hood Festival of Jazz, the Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl, the JFK Center for the Performing Arts, and the Smithsonian Institute for Native American Art. He performed with the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the Oregon Festival Symphony, and the Oregon Symphony.
Lee moved to Portland in 1977 and began performing with Native American saxophonist, songwriter, and jazz-rock fusion innovator, Jim Pepper, an association that would continue until the saxophonist’s death in 1992. Together they performed throughout North America and Europe. Later, Lee spent several years working as a jazz pianist in New York City, performing with Don Cherry, Bobby Hutcherson, Dewey Redman, Houston Person, Richie Cole, Frank Foster, Bill Frisell, Leroy Vinegar, Bob Moses, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Bobby Vinton, Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, and The Temptations.
In 1985 Lee moved back to Portland joining Motown drummer Mel Brown’s band the next year. In 1989 The Mel Brown Sextet, performing Lee’s pieces and arrangements, won the International Hennessy Jazz Search. The following year, Lee’s recording, Gordon Bleu, won Best Jazz Recording of 1990 from the Northwest Music Association. Lee’s association with Mel Brown continues to this day.