Briefly Noted

Issue Date: 
April 16, 2007

Benefits Fair Scheduled for April 17-18; Open Enrollment Period Begins This Week

Eligible Pitt faculty and staff members may change their current benefits elections during the University’s annual benefits open enrollment period, April 17 through May 9. Changes will be effective July 1, 2007.

Apart from this annual open enrollment period, the only time faculty and staff may change their benefits elections, according to IRS regulations, is when a change-in-status (i.e., life event) occurs—marriage, divorce, birth of a child, a spouse’s gain or loss of employment, etc.

Pitt’s Office of Human Resources will sponsor a benefits fair from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 17 and 18 in the Alumni Hall Ballroom. During the fair, faculty and staff may talk with representatives of Pitt’s benefits department and the University’s insurance carriers. For information about open enrollment, visit and click on “Open Enrollment.”

Pitt Jazz Ensemble Concert to Feature Curtis Fuller and Jimmy Owens

Jazz trombonist Curtis Fuller and trumpeter Jimmy Owens will be the featured guest performers in the Pitt Jazz Ensemble’s Spring Concert, titled “The Brass Connection,” to be held at 8 p.m. April 16 in the William Pitt Union’s (WPU) Assembly Room. Tickets are $10 for general admission and $5 for students and senior citizens and can be purchased at the WPU box office. For more information, call 412-624-4187.

The 25-piece student jazz ensemble will perform under the direction of Nathan Davis, head of the Pitt Jazz Studies Program. The ensemble has served as artists-in-residence for one week every year since 1980 in Jamaica, performing for schoolchildren in rural villages, absorbing Caribbean culture, and building goodwill and friendships. Proceeds from this year’s concert will help fund the annual trip.

Curtis Fuller is regarded as one of the most distinctive trombone stylists in jazz. He emerged from the thriving Detroit music scene of the late 1940s and early ’50s, and after just eight months in New York City, the 22-year-old had recorded six albums as a leader and appeared on 15 others. He performed and recorded with John Coltrane, Bud Powell, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Lester Young, Art Blakey, and many others.

Jimmy Owens began playing the trumpet when he was 10 years old and later studied with his mentor, Donald Byrd. By his mid-20s, Owens had been a sideman with Lionel Hampton, Hank Crawford, Charles Mingus, Herbie Mann, Gerry Mulligan, and Duke Ellington. He played on Billy Cobham’s Spectrum album in 1973 and worked extensively in Europe.

Greg Humphries on drums, Dwayne Dolphin on bass, James Johnson on piano, and Cecil “Valdez” Washington on Latin percussion will accompany Fuller and Owens. —Sharon S. Blake

Pitt Alumnus Will Talk About His Experiences as a Hollywood Executive, Producer, Lawyer

During an April 19 appearance in 324 Cathedral of Learning, Pitt alumnus and New Castle native John Dellaverson will talk about his experiences as a Hollywood executive, producer, and entertainment lawyer. The free public event, scheduled to begin at 5 p.m., is being cosponsored by the Steeltown Entertainment Project, Pitt In Hollywood, and the University’s Film Studies program. See for more information.

Dellaverson will discuss his journey from Pittsburgh to becoming executive vice-president of Lions Gate Entertainment and chair of its subsidiary Cinegate as well as his career as an entertainment attorney and producer. Gate Entertainment is a leading independent studio that has produced and distributed such movies as Crash and Saw and such television series as Weeds and Kill Pitt, an upcoming series currently filming in Pittsburgh.

From 1983 to 2000, Dellaverson was a partner at Loeb & Loeb, LLP, one of the world’s largest entertainment law firms. There, he specialized in motion picture and television financing and talent representation. His client list included film and television producers, distributors, and talent. In 2001, he joined Lions Gate as executive vice president and chair of Cinegate, one of the company’s subsidiaries. In 2005, he entered into producer’s agreement with the company. Recently, he joined the law firm of Miller Barondess, LLP.

Born and raised in New Castle, Pa., he received his Bachelor of Science degree in political science from Pitt in 1968 and was the Frances Perkins Fellow at Cornell University from 1970 to 1972. In 1977, he received his J.D. degree from the Fordham University School of Law.

The event will be moderated by Carl Kurlander, visiting distinguished senior lecturer at Pitt and cofounder of the Steeltown Entertainment Project.