Portland jazzman Thara Memory charged with sex abuse

Thara Memory, 68, is a Grammy-winning Portland jazz teacher

Thara Memory, February 27, 2017 (Multnomah County Sheriff's Office)
Thara Memory, February 27, 2017 (Multnomah County Sheriff's Office)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Thara Memory, a Grammy-award winning jazz teacher in Portland, was indicted on 11 counts, mostly for sex crimes.

Memory, 68, was arraigned Monday morning on 8 counts of 3rd-degree sex abuse, 2 counts of 3rd-degree attempted sex abuse and one count of harassment. He pleaded not guilty.

The indictment lists four alleged victims, two of whom were under the age of 18 at the time of the alleged unwanted contact, the Portland Tribune reported.

Portland jazz teacher Thara Memory has been indicted for inappropriate contact with students. (Courtesy: The Portland Tribune)
Portland jazz teacher Thara Memory has been indicted for inappropriate contact with students. (Courtesy: The Portland Tribune)

The well-known musician was booked and released from the Multnomah County Jail.

Investigators said they began looking into Memory after a complaint about his conduct with a student was lodged in September 2016. During the investigation, more victims and incidents came to light dating back to 2014, police said in a release.

Some victims are under-age, some are adults and all are female, police said. The investigation continues and police believe there may be more victims. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Jeff Myers at 503.823.0595.

KOIN 6 News contacted Thara Memory, who deferred all questions to his attorney Lisa Ludwig.

Memory is a diabetic with a prosthetic leg. He undergoes dialysis sessions several times a week and often uses an oxygen tank, the Portland Tribune said.

The Portland Tribune also reported Memory oversees the American Music Program Pacific Crest Jazz Orchestra, which accepts students from around the region. Many of his students have gone on to greater success, including Esperanza Spalding, a nationally known, award-winning musician for whom Memory was a mentor.