Pitt Presents Its 42nd Annual Jazz Seminar and Concert

Issue Date: 
October 22, 2012

PITTSBURGH—The University of Pittsburgh Jazz Seminar and Concert—one of the region’s premier jazz events—kicks off Oct. 30 with a free series of lecture/demonstrations and culminates Nov. 3 with a gala concert at 8 p.m. in Carnegie Music Hall, 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland.Winard Harper

Founded in 1971 by Pitt Jazz Studies Program director and professor of music Nathan Davis as the first academic jazz seminar of its kind in the country, the event features international artists connecting with aspiring musicians in a lecture format, then performing together as an ensemble. 

In keeping with tradition, a stellar group of international jazz musicians will hold free on-campus lecture/demonstrations, visit area schools and community venues, and then convene for the annual concert Nov. 3.

Musicians taking part this year include Randy Brecker, trumpet; George Cables, piano;Winard Harper, drums; Javon Jackson, tenor saxophone; Abraham Laboriel, bass; Yotam Silberstein, guitar; Lew Soloff, trumpet, andBobby Watson, alto saxophone, performing under the direction of saxophonist Davis.

Details on events during the Pitt Jazz Seminar and Concert week follow.


The Nov. 3 concert is a one-of-a-kind performance, given the diverse playing styles and the show’s impromptu nature. Tickets are $18; students with a valid student ID pay $8. Tickets are available for purchase at the box office of the William Pitt Union, 3959 Fifth Ave., Oakland, and 1-4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays at the Pitt Repertory Theatre box office in the lower level of the Stephen Foster Memorial, Forbes Avenue and Bigelow Boulevard, Oakland. Student tickets must be purchased at one of those box offices. Tickets also are available for purchase at http://music.pitt.edu/tickets or by calling 412-624-PLAY (7529).

The Honorable William R. Robinson, District 10 representative to the Allegheny County Council and former Pennsylvania state representative, will serve as the evening’s master of ceremonies. At intermission, bassist Laboriel will be presented with the International Academy of Jazz Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award and trumpeter Soloff will be presented with the University of Pittsburgh Jazz Seminar Committee Award. Two other musicians (one living and one deceased)—whose selection by an international panel is not divulged in advance—will be inducted into the University of Pittsburgh International Academy of Jazz Hall of Fame. 

Brown-Bag Lunches
(Free and Open to the Public)

As a preview to Pitt’s week of jazz and to set the mood on campus, free brown-bag lunch performances by members of the Pitt Jazz Ensemble have been taking place throughout October at Nordy’s Place, Lower Level, William Pitt Union. The public is invited to the remaining free noon performance on Wednesday, Oct. 24. 

Evening Jazz Lecture and Film
(Free and Open to the Public)

Tuesday, Oct. 30Thursday, Nov. 1
William Pitt Union Assembly Room
7 p.m.
“Inside the Music Publishing Business”
Don Sickler, founder and president of Second 
Floor Music in New York City. Sickler also is a 
trumpeter and arranger and once was associate
professor of music and director of the University 
Jazz Orchestra at Columbia University.

Frick Fine Arts Auditorium
650 Schenley Drive, Oakland
7 p.m.
Jazz History Film (TBA)

Morning and Afternoon Lectures/Demonstrations
(Free and Open to the Public)

Friday, Nov. 2Saturday, Nov. 3
William Pitt Union Assembly Room                                   
10-11 a.m.
“Guitar Summit”
Yotam Silberstein, guitar
William Pitt Union Assembly Room
10-11 a.m.
“A Tribute to Miles”
Lew Soloff, trumpet
Randy Brecker, trumpet
11 a.m. – noon
“Saxophone Colossus: A Tribute to John Coltrane”
Javon Jackson, tenor saxophone
11 a.m. – noon
“Artistry in Rhythm”
Winard Harper, drums
3-4 p.m.
“Dynamic Concepts in Rhythm”
Abraham Laboriel, bass
1-2 p.m.
“The Piano in Jazz”
George Cables, piano

Outreach Appearances in Schools and in the Community
(Hill House event is only one open to the general public) 

Friday, Nov. 2Saturday, Nov. 3
Falk Laboratory School                                           
4060 Allequippa St., Oakland
1 p.m.
Abraham Laboriel, bass 
VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System
H.J. Heinz Campus
1010 Delafield Road
1 p.m.
Bobby Watson, saxophone 
Pittsburgh CAPA
111 Ninth St., Downtown
1 p.m.
Javon Jackson, saxophone
Hill House Association
Senior Services Center
2038 Bedford Ave., Hill District
11 a.m.
George Cables, piano 

For more than four decades, the Pitt Jazz Seminar and Concert has played host to some of the greatest names in American jazz history, including saxophonists Grover Washington Jr. and Sonny Stitt, drummer and bandleader Art Blakey, trumpet master Dizzy Gillespie, and many others. For more information, call 412-624-4187.