Pitt Presents 45th Annual Jazz Seminar and Concert

Issue Date: 
October 26, 2015

The University of Pittsburgh Annual Jazz Seminar and Concert—one of the region’s premier jazz events—will run Nov. 2-7 and feature free lunchtime concerts, a jazz film screening, free on-campus seminars, and an outreach event in the Hill District. The event culminates with a 7:30 p.m. Nov. 7 concert at Carnegie Music Hall, 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland.

Under the direction of renowned pianist, composer, and Pitt Jazz Studies Program Director Geri Allen, the following artists are expected to participate:

Kenny BaronKenny Barron (piano), National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Jazz Master who has performed with Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespie, and others and who is called “one of the top jazz pianists in the world” by the Los Angeles Times;

Mino Cinelu (percussion), dynamic jazz percussionist who played with Miles Davis and Weather Report;

Jimmy Cobb (drums), NEA Jazz Master, who recorded Kind of Blue with Miles Davis and also performed with John Coltrane, Wes Montgomery, and the Wynton Kelly Trio;

Robin Eubanks (trombone), award-winning trombonist who has performed with Dave Holland and the SFJAZZ Collective, an award-winning jazz ensemble;

Robert Hurst (bass), who has backed up Wynton Marsalis and Branford Marsalis, as well as a Who’s Who of musicians ranging from Dave Brubeck to Sir Paul McCartney;

Jimmy OwensJimmy Owens (trumpet), NEA Jazz Master and respected jazz educator, who performed with Count Basie, Duke Ellington, and many others;

Tineke Postma (saxophone), a rising star in her native Holland who has recorded with Wayne Shorter and Dianne Reeves; and

Pharoah Sanders (tenor saxophone), who emerged from the John Coltrane bands of the 1960s to become “probably the best tenor player in the world,” according to jazz innovator the late Ornette Coleman.

The jazz concert will be performed without an intermission. There will be two Masters of Ceremonies: Terrance Hayes, 2014 MacArthur Fellow, Pitt professor of English, and celebrated poet, and Yona Harvey, award-winning poet and Pitt assistant professor of English. 

Concert Ticket Information

Orchestra or floor seats are $30 in advance, $35 at the door; general admission is $25 in advance, $30 at the door; and tickets for students with valid University IDs are $10 in advance and at the door. Ticket sales at the door the night of the concert are cash only. Tickets are on sale at music.pitt.edu/tickets or through the University of Pittsburgh Stages box office, 412-624-PLAY (7529), on the 16th floor of the Cathedral of Learning. Box office is open noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Brown Bag Lunch Performances

(Free and open to the public)

To set the mood on campus leading up to Jazz Week, members of the Pitt Jazz Ensemble will perform at various locations. The public is invited to bring lunch and listen during the noon hour.

Thursday, Oct. 22

Noon, Nordy’s Place, Lower Level of William Pitt Union 

Thursday, Oct. 29

Noon, Lobby, Sutherland Hall

Jazz Ensemble Performance

(Free and open to the public)

Monday, Nov. 2

Noon, Lower Lounge, William Pitt Union

Performance by the full Pitt Jazz Ensemble, comprising Pitt students, led by  ensemble director Ralph Guzzi 

Jazz Film Screening/Discussion

(Free and open to the public)

Tuesday, Nov. 3

6 p.m., Frick Fine Arts Auditorium

Filmmaker Carol Bash, producer and director of Mary Lou Williams: The Lady Who Swings the Band, will discuss the award-winning documentary about the life and music of one of the great jazz pianists, composers, and arrangers. At a time when women were expected to stay home and raise children, Williams forged a career creating some of the most sophisticated big band hits for Andy Kirk, Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, and other bands of the 1930s. Raised in East Liberty, Williams taught herself to play the piano and had a gig with Ellington by the time she was 13. She was also a mentor to many rising musicians of that era, including Thelonious Monk and Bud Powell.

7 p.m., Frick Fine Arts Auditorium

Screening of Mary Lou Williams: The Lady Who Swings the Band

Evening Jazz Seminars

(Free and open to the public)

Wednesday, Nov. 4

7 p.m., Frick Fine Arts Auditorium

Bill Doggett, lecturer, historian, and nephew and namesake of legendary Philadelphia jazz organist and pianist Bill Doggett, will conduct a presentation on jazz great Billy Strayhorn, who would have been 100 years old this Nov. 29. Strayhorn grew up in Homewood and studied music at an early age. He joined Duke Ellington’s band and collaborated with him on “Lush Life,” “Take the “A” Train,” and other hits. He went on to be one of America’s greatest composers.

Thursday, Nov. 5

7 p.m., Frick Fine Arts Auditorium

In this panel discussion, Jocelyn Arem, senior producer and strategic consultant to the Erroll Garner Jazz Project, and Susan Rosenberg, its director, will discuss their project, which is dedicated to preserving and promoting Garner’s cultural and musical legacy. They will also talk about Pitt’s Erroll Garner Archive—correspondence, recording contracts, photographs, sheet music, sound and video recordings, and other memorabilia—donated this summer to the University by the late Martha Glaser’s estate and housed in the University Library System. A third panelist, Pitt Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies Michael Heller, will describe how the archive will be used by researchers, students, and the public, around the globe.

Morning/Afternoon Jazz Seminars

(Free and open to the public)

Thursday, Nov. 5

4 p.m., Frick Fine Arts Auditorium

Artist Seminar: “Expanding Musical Ideas through Rhythmic Variety”

Robert Hurst, bass

Friday, Nov. 6

11 a.m., O’Hara Student Center Ballroom

Artist Seminar: “Working on a Personal Sound and Style”

Tineke Postma, saxophone

Friday, Nov. 6

1 p.m., O’Hara Student Center Ballroom 

Artist Seminar: “An Oral History Interview and Drum Circle”

Jimmy Cobb, drums

Friday, Nov. 6

2 p.m., O’Hara Student Center Ballroom

Artist Seminar: “Finding Your Own Voice”

Robin Eubanks, trombone

Eubanks will be interviewed by Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies Aaron Johnson.

Saturday, Nov. 7

10 a.m., Frick Fine Arts Auditorium

Artist Seminar: “How to Prepare for a Career in the Music Industry”

Jimmy Owens, trumpet

Saturday, Nov. 7

Noon, Frick Fine Arts Auditorium

Artist Seminar: “Influences and Beginnings: Stories from the Jazz Well”

Kenny Barron, piano

Community Outreach Appearance

(Free and open to the public)

Saturday, Nov. 7

Noon, Elsie H. Hillman Auditorium, Hill House Association Kaufmann Center, 1825 Centre Ave., Hill District

Master percussionist Mino Cinelu will perform and take questions from the audience.

Pre-Concert Awards Reception

(By invitation only; media coverage is welcome)

Saturday, Nov. 7

6 p.m., Frick Fine Arts Auditorium and Cloisters

Community and Pitt leaders, and friends and supporters of the Pitt Jazz Program will gather to hear a musical tribute to Garner, Strayhorn, and Williams. They will also honor educator and arts consultant Harry Clark and guitarist and Pitt faculty member Joe Negri for their contributions to jazz.