Pitt Jazz Week 2009 to Feature Community Outreach Activities, Lecture, Film, and Nov. 7 Concert

Issue Date: 
October 26, 2009

Jazz enthusiasts from throughout the region will be on the University of Pittsburgh campus Nov. 3-7 for the 39th annual Pitt Jazz Seminar and Concert, the longest-running event of its kind in the United States.

A stellar group of international jazz musicians will hold free on-campus lecture/demonstrations, visit area schools and community venues, and convene for the annual concert at 8 p.m. Nov. 7 in Carnegie Music Hall, 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland.

Guest performers include George Cables, piano; Terri Lyne Carrington, drums; Leon Lee Dorsey, Pitt assistant professor of jazz studies and coordinator of Pitt’s Jazz Studies Program, bass; Benny Golson, tenor saxophone; Donald Harrison, alto saxophone; Jimmy Owens, trumpet; Yotam Silberstein, guitar; and Lew Soloff, trumpet.

Golson’s participation in the Pitt event occurs the same year that the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has honored the sax man—a composer, arranger, lyricist, and producer—with a concert titled “Benny Golson at 80.” Hosted by actor Danny Glover, with appearances by the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, Al Jarreau, Ron Carter, and others, the Jan. 24 concert featured Golson performing his compositions that have become jazz standards.

“Benny wrote the kinds of tunes people whistled and sang,” said Billy Taylor, artistic director for jazz at the Kennedy Center, adding that Golson is also popular with those who recognize his distinctive sound from various movie soundtracks and theme songs from TV shows like M*A*S*H, Mission Impossible, and The Cosby Show.

Golson says he is looking forward to returning to Pitt to lecture and perform, an experience that he says is “always fulfilling.”

Founded by Nathan Davis, director of Pitt’s Jazz Studies Program, the Pitt Jazz Seminar and Concert was the first academic jazz seminar in the country to feature international artists connecting with aspiring students in a lecture format, then performing together as an ensemble.

Details on the Pitt Jazz Week events follow.


The Nov. 7 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 by calling ProArtsTickets at 412-394-3353 or visiting www.proartstickets.org. Tickets also are available at the University’s William Pitt Union (WPU) box office. Student tickets can only be purchased at the WPU.

The Honorable William R. Robinson, District 10 representative on the Allegheny County Council and former Pennsylvania state representative, will serve as the evening’s master of ceremonies. At intermission, one of the guest artists will be presented with the University of Pittsburgh Jazz Seminar Committee Award and 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 Lunches (Free and open to the public)

As a preview to Jazz Week and to set the mood on campus, brown-bag lunch performances by members of the Pitt Jazz Ensemble have been taking place throughout October in Nordy’s Place, on the lower level of the WPU. The public is invited to the free, remaining performances at noon on Oct. 29 and Nov. 5.

Evening Jazz Film/Lectures (Free and open to the public)
7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 3
Film screening: Round Midnight (Bertrand Tavernier, 1986)
WPU Assembly Room
About an expatriate tenor saxophonist living in Paris who is befriended by a French graphic designer who tries to help the musician overcome alcoholism.

7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 5
Heinz Memorial Chapel
Fifth and Bellefield Avenues, Oakland
Lecture, “Inside the Business of Music”

Charlie Fishman, president and executive producer of the DC Jazz Festival and former personal manager and producer for Dizzy Gillespie.

Morning and Afternoon Lectures/Demonstrations
All take place in the Frick Fine Arts Building auditorium
(Free and open to the public)
Friday, Nov. 6
10-11 a.m.
“A Tribute to Bud Powell, Bill Evans, and Herbie Hancock”

George Cables
2-3 p.m.
“A Salute to Max Roach”
Terri Lyne Carrington

3-4 p.m.
“The Genius of Wes Montgomery”
Yotam Silberstein

Saturday, Nov. 7
10-11:15 a.m.
“Trumpet Kings: The Music of Roy Eldridge, Dizzy Gillespie, Chet Baker, and Miles Davis”
Lew Soloff

11:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m.
“A Tribute to Jazz in Film: The Terminal”
Benny Golson