Honoring the Musical Legacy of Dave Frishberg

Oregon Senator Ron Wyden's Statement:

Oregon is mourning a Portland treasure, Dave Frishberg, who passed away on November 17.

While perhaps best known for writing the song “I’m Just a Bill” for the iconic Schoolhouse Rock television series, Dave was also a virtuoso pianist with a songwriting gift that reached far beyond his work for that classic series. During his career, Dave worked with a wide array of talented musicians, including Rosemary Clooney, Gene Krupa, and Zoot Sims. A versatile composer, his compositions ranged from melancholy ballads to satirical ditties, and his wry wit was well known as one of the sharpest in the business.

Dave has left an indelible mark not only on Capitol Hill, where one frequently sees references to “I’m Just A Bill” on floor charts and in press releases, but also in the minds of generations of young Americans lucky enough to grow up watching Schoolhouse Rock with the lyrics still etched in their memories decades later.

David Lee Frishberg was born on March 23, 1933 in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He took an early interest in jazz, bebop, and boogie woogie as a teen, while playing as a house musician in Saint Paul. Noting in his memoir, “Jazz musicians were hip, they were funny, they were sensitive, they were clannish, and they seemed to have the best girlfriends.” In 1957, Dave moved to New York City, where he established himself as a pianist in the vibrant music scene of Greenwich Village. While in New York, he wrote and performed other well-known songs such as “My Attorney Bernie” and “Peel Me a Grape.” He moved to Los Angeles in 1971, where he earned acclaim in the jazz and comedy scenes through his work with Schoolhouse Rock and his “Dave Frishberg Songbook” series. An unassuming vocalist with a reedy voice, Frishberg was nominated four times during his career for Grammy awards, all for Best Jazz Vocals.

Dave, who called Portland his home for the past 35 years and is survived by his wife April Magnusson and his two sons from a prior marriage, inspired millions of school children and music lovers across Oregon and the entire country.

He will be greatly missed, even as his legacy lives on for generations to come.

The 1905 will be hosting a tribute to the esteemed musician Dave Frishberg on December 9th, 2021. The event will be available for in-person patrons and streaming online from our Facebook page and Youtube channel.

Purchase tickets for the 5pm in-person event HERE, and the live stream can be found HERE

Purchase tickets for the 8pm in-person event HERE, and the live stream can be found HERE

Rebecca Kilgore, Vocals
Randy Porter, Piano
Tom Wakeling, Bass
Charlie Doggett, Drums

At the request of the family, proceeds from performances will be donated to musicares.org.

More information on Dave Frishberg: (b. March 23, 1933) enjoyed a career remarkable for both its quality and its diversity. Long known as one of the outstanding pianists in jazz, Frishberg also established himself as an internationally recognized composer and lyricist as well as a solo performer with a loyal following.

Early in his career, during the 1960s, he was a busy pianist in New York City, playing regularly with the major jazz artists of the time, including Ben Webster, Al Cohn, Zoot Sims, Carmen McRae, and Gene Krupa. In 1971 he moved to Los Angeles where he worked as a studio musician and stayed active in jazz circles. He has recorded with a diverse array of artists, including Manhattan Transfer, Jimmy Rushing, Bud Freeman, Bill Berry’s L.A. Band, Susannah McCorkle, Kenny Davern, and Rebecca Kilgore.

Frishberg became best known for writing and recording his own songs and performing them in prominent jazz and cabaret venues. His song credits include cult classics My Attorney Bernie, Van Lingle Mungo, Peel Me A Grape and You Are There. Four Frishberg albums have earned Grammy nominations for Best Jazz Vocal. Other artists who have recorded his songs include Susannah McCorkle, Rosemary Clooney, Michael Feinstein, Diana Krall, Blossom Dearie, Carol Sloane, John Pizzarelli, Bob Dorough, Tony Bennett, Jamie Cullum, and Mel Torme. His songs, including the well-known I’m Just A Bill, appeared regularly on ABC’s Schoolhouse Rock series.

Frishberg’s latest recordings are on the Arbors Jazz label. Latest Arbors CD is Retromania: Dave Frishberg at The Jazz Bakery. His earlier recordings are available on the Concord, Blue Note, and Fantasy labels.

The 1905 Turns 5!

To our dear friends, families, patrons, and the incredible Portland jazz community...

On this day 5 years ago, we opened our doors as a humble pizza shop and watering hole for the Mississippi neighborhood. While we dreamed big, we had no idea that our little shop would become a nationally renowned establishment for our delicious food, thirst-quenching booze, and world class jazz.

We take a few moments to look back over the past five years, and the especially challenging times during the pandemic, with a smile on our face knowing we did the very best we could to deliver a terrific experience to the tens of thousands that have come through our gate, hungry, thirsty, or in the mood for some jazz.

As excited as we are about how far we have come, we are even more excited to share about some of the great things we have in store, all made possible by your support. In honor of our 5th birthday, here are 5 things to get jazzed about, starting when our doors open this afternoon.


  • Introducing: ‘Round Midnight @ The 1905 – Starting TONIGHT, we’re bringing an entirely new jazz experience to the 1905. Intimate, romantic, energizing, and special midnight jazz sessions on Friday and Saturday nights. Complete with a special cocktail, food, and dessert menu we’ll share soon. You cannot get an experience like this anywhere else in Portland (that we know of) and we think you will LOVE IT. See our calendar for sessions already booked and look for more coming soon.


  • Birthday Cake! – A birthday celebration is not complete without CAKE! Our own insanely talented Gabbi Rinehart has whipped up some delicious cake that is available to you ‘on the house’ until supplies run out. Get it while you can! 


  • Introducing: The 1905 Pizza Party Giveaway – October is National Pizza Month! Celebrate your love for your favorite crispy, cheesy slice at The 1905 and get rewarded with $100 for you to fund dinner and drinks. We’re going to try this out in October, and if it works well, we’ll repeat this every month over the next year (if we can!) Look for details on Monday to see how to get in on some free food and drink.


  • ICYMI: Nonprofit Partnership – The 1905 has partnered with Kareem Kandi World Orchestra, a small and innovative nonprofit from jazz leader Kareem Kandi. With this partnership, The 1905 is able to raise funds for more live music, venue improvement, and education & outreach. Learn more at https://the1905.org/donate/


  • Other Exciting Things in Store – 1. In an attempt to keep The 1905 ‘HIP’ our social media lead and design extraordinaire, Haley Riley, helped whip up some fancy GIFs for you to use in your IG stories, or anywhere you can use the giphy app. 2. We are making MERCH to rep the spot you know and love. Stay tuned for more info about hats, shirts, slap bracelets, glassware, or whatever else our mad scientist management team cooks up. 


We hope you’re as excited as we are about the incredible experience we have to offer, and look forward to creating an even better experience for you all. See you soon.

Our very best,

The 1905 team


The logo for the 1905 over a shot of Portland Oregon

Staying Safe in Portland Restaurants

Dear Patrons of The 1905:

In an effort to do our part to limit the spread of COVID-19, along with our colleagues at many other restaurants and performance venues, on Wednesday, August 11th, we will begin requiring proof of COVID vaccination (or proof of a negative COVID test within the last 72 hours) for indoor seating. This is for the protection of all of our guests, performers, and staff.

To be seated indoors, please bring your vaccination card (or a photo of the front and back) or negative test results, along with state- or school-issued ID. Seating on the patio does not require proof of COVID vaccination or negative test.

Regardless of vaccination/test status, we will require that you wear your mask, except when actively eating or drinking.

We genuinely thank you for doing your part to keep our staff, performers, and patrons as safe as possible while helping to ensure that we can continue to present world-class jazz music.

Aaron Barnes & The 1905

Partnering with the Kareem Kandi World Orchestra

At The 1905, we are grateful for the relationships we have made with Portland’s jazz community. Before the pandemic, we were thrilled to have provided the stage, cocktails, and pizza to support the musicians, their work, and their fans. We are excited to return to seven nights per week of some of the best music Portland has to offer. We have some big plans and are excited for our newest partnership: The Kareem Kandi World Orchestra.

Like The 1905, The Kareem Kandi World Orchestra shares our values in bolstering the Jazz community across the country:

The Kareem Kandi World Orchestra exists to create and sustain cultural exchanges by collaborating, educating, and performing through jazz and is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to providing high quality performances and music education to communities around the globe. Through the use of concerts, workshops, composing, recording, and cultural exchanges, the Kareem Kandi World Orchestra brings people together through the broad scope of music and the jazz art form.

The alignment of their vision and ours has allowed for an excellent, mutually-beneficial opportunity to raise funds for:

• Live music
• Jazz education & outreach
• Venue enhancements (stage, lights, sound, etc.)

Use the box below and make a contribution today or scan our QR code!

TAX ID: 81-3965821

Moving forward

The logo for the 1905 over a shot of Portland Oregon

As we learn to live in the world of COVID19, The 1905 is committed to the health and safety of its staff and customers, while working to deliver against the promise of our Brand.

Delicious Food. Quality Booze. Live Jazz.

Over the past several months, we have seen tremendous innovation in our small business that has allowed us continue serving our delicious Italian food for you to enjoy from a distance. 

We have reopened our patio with very limited seating space, and expanded our menu, so you and a friend or two can join us (safely) in person, and enjoy a cocktail. 

We’ve streamed some incredible live Jazz performance on the internet, and are actively working to bring a safe, fun, and live experience to our patio. 

We’ve done all this to help bring to you the comforts our little jazz club has provided for you in the past. Stay tuned for more updates as we continue to explore new safe ways to deliver quality FOOD, BOOZE, and JAZZ.  

Stay Healthy. Stay Happy. Eat Pizza.
The 1905 team


Dear 1905 Community,

In the face of the novel Coronavirus and COVID-19 illness, The 1905 has opted to close its doors temporarily. We feel strongly that this is the most socially responsible step we can take. However, as you can imagine, this will cause extreme hardship for this small  business and its hard-working employees, as well as the musicians who perform here.

We kindly ask you to donate to our gofundme. Our top priority will be to keep our staff paid so that they may be safer and healthier while we weather this storm.

We will post updates when possible, as we hope to host a couple safe events for people in the very near future. Stick with us and be kind to one another.

The 1905

For The Love of Jazz Gofundme