Details Unveiled for Pitt Jazz Seminar, Concert Nov. 1-5

Issue Date: 
October 24, 2011
Maurice BrownMaurice Brown

One of the region’s premier jazz events celebrates 41 years this November, as the University of Pittsburgh hosts its annual Pitt Jazz Seminar and Concert Nov. 1-5.

Founded in 1971 by Pitt Jazz Studies Program director Nathan Davis, the event features a stellar group of international jazz musicians, who will hold free on-campus lecture/demonstrations, visit area schools and community venues, and convene for the annual concert at 8 p.m. Nov. 5 in Carnegie Music Hall, 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland.

Musicians taking part this year include Pitt alumnus Geri Allen (A&S ’83G), piano; Randy Brecker, trumpet; Maurice Brown, trumpet; Billy Cobham, drums; Larry Coryell, guitar; Quamon Fowler, tenor saxophone; Curtis Fuller, trombone; Donald Harrison, Jr., alto saxophone; and Abraham Laboriel, bass. They will perform under the direction of Davis.

Details on Pitt Jazz Week events follow.

Jazz Concert

The Nov. 5 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 ID pay $8. Tickets are available through ProArtsTickets at 412-394-3353 or, or at the William Pitt Union (WPU) box office, Oakland. Student tickets are only available at the WPU. Tickets will be on sale the evening of the concert at Carnegie Music Hall for $20 and $10, respectively, cash only. Transactions at the WPU box office on Nov. 5 also are cash only.

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, Fuller will be presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award and Allen with the University of Pittsburgh Jazz Seminar Committee Award. Two other musicians (one living and one deceased) will be inducted into the University of Pittsburgh International Academy of Jazz Hall of Fame.

Brown-Bag Lunch

As a preview to Jazz Week 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, WPU. The public is invited to the remaining performance at noon on Oct. 27.

Evening Jazz Film (Free and open to the public), 7 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 1, WPU Assembly Room

International Sweethearts of Rhythm (Greta Schiller and Andrea Weiss, 1986). This film tells the story of the swinging multiracial all-women jazz band of the 1940s. A 16-piece band with a strong brass section, heavy percussion, and a deep rhythmic sense, the Sweethearts were not just a novelty but featured many of the best female musicians of the day. When the film was originally released, The New York Times hailed it as “a delightful trip down memory lane.”

Evening Jazz Lecture
(Free and open to the public), 7 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 3, WPU Assembly Room

Michael Cuscuna, independent record producer and cofounder and president of Mosaic Records, will deliver a talk titled “The Business of Jazz.” One of the key figures in the reissue boom of the 1980s and ’90s, Cuscuna had an early goal of starting his own record label. His career started in radio and in writing for Jazz and Pop and DownBeat magazines. But by the early 1970s, he was producing for the Atlantic label and freelancing for many other projects. In 1975, he gained access to the Blue Note vaults and began issuing a wealth of significant but unreleased material. In 1983, Cuscuna and Charlie Lourie cofounded Mosaic Records and went on to reissue lavish, limited-edition box sets. Mosaic is often called the Number One reissue label, and Cuscuna himself has frequently been voted Producer of the Year in the DownBeat Critics Poll.

Morning and Afternoon Lectures/Demonstrations (Free and open to the public), Friday, Nov. 4, Frick Fine Arts Auditorium, 650 Schenley Drive, Oakland, 10-11:15 a.m.—Curtis Fuller, trombone, 2-3 p.m.—Larry Coryell, guitar Saturday, Nov. 5, Frick Fine Arts Auditorium, 10-11 a.m.—Billy Cobham, drums, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.—Randy Brecker and Maurice Brown, trumpets, 1-2 p.m.—Donald Harrison, alto saxophone, Quamon Fowler, tenor saxophone, 2-3 p.m. —Geri Allen, piano

Outreach Appearances in Schools and in the Community, (Only the Hill House event is open to the public.)

Friday, Nov. 4, Falk Laboratory School, Aliquippa and Brackenridge streets, Oakland, 1 p.m.—Guest musician: Quamon Fowler, tenor saxophone

Pittsburgh CAPA (Creative and Performing Arts) 6-12, 111 Ninth St., Downtown, 1 p.m.—Guest musician: Maurice Brown, trumpet

Saturday, Nov. 5, Ronald McDonald House, 451 44th St., Lawrenceville, 11 a.m.—Guest musician: Abraham Laboriel, bass

Hill House Senior Community Service Center, 2038 Bedford Ave., Hill District, 11 a.m.—Guest musician: Larry Coryell, guitar. Light refreshments served.