About the Band - The Purple Herons


About the Band

Jim with his harp guitar

Jim Dorman
Bass, percussion

Jim is a musician, teacher, and podcaster who used to be a juggler. But instead of juggling balls or clubs, now he juggles notes. In addition to bass, he also plays a variety of guitars, the Japanese koto, and harp guitar. He plays these as a solo musician at venues around Oregon and Washington.

When he’s not playing music, Jim works underwater as a tour guide aboard the USS Blueback. He also serves as a mentor to other musicians in the Bandmakers program and is the creator of The Acoustic Pedestrian, a podcast that focuses on bringing people together through art & other creative pursuits.


Nyleen leads an eventful life. When she’s not making music at an event, she’s probably making it sweeter.

Nyleen has been singing on stages since she was 6, but her musical talents don’t stop there. She also plays flute, piccolo, guitar, ukulele, piano, percussion, and tenor saxophone. But as she is quick to point out, “Not all at once.”

Her skills and passion for music have enabled her to play with symphonies & orchestras, bands in Texas, on tour across the US, on KBOO radio, the internet, and now with us! She’s still doing her own musical thing, too. Check out Nyleen’s website here. When staying closer to home, Nyleen teaches music and also does session work around the Portland area.

Nyleen’s skills are not limited to music! She is the owner & operator of Azúcar, Portland’s first artisan Fairy Floss (cotton candy) company. They offer an amazing assortment of flavors, maybe even something jazzy & purple to celebrate the band.

When she’s not playing music or spinning Fairy Floss, Nyleen enjoys art, cooking and beach trips. How she finds time for all that, we aren’t quite sure.

Jeff Johnston
Saxophone, flute, alto trombone, clarinet, guitar, trumpet, shakuhachi

Jeff’s music has taken him from Florida to Japan and then some. He’s played with orchestras, club bands, and even done work for TV with his music, voice, and creative energy. He also does various gigs as a freelance artist. We are excited to have his knowledge and experience as part of our universe!

And if that’s not enough, Jeff owns not one, but TWO purple horns! If that’s not an omen, we don’t know what is.