University of Pittsburgh
September 23, 2004

International Music Council at UNESCO and Pitt Jazz Seminar Outreach Program Celebrate International Music Day with a Tribute to Jazz in Education

Professor Nathan Davis to perform with other international jazz legends at UNESCO event in Paris

Sharon Blake


Cell: 412-277-6926

PITTSBURGH—The University of Pittsburgh will team with the International Music Council (IMC) at UNESCO Oct. 1-2 in an International Music Day event at UNESCO's world headquarters in Paris.

IMC is presenting Jazz Meets the World: A Tribute to Jazz in Education—a two-day event including a concert as well as lectures and demonstrations by legendary jazz artists and students from around the world. Pitt Professor Nathan Davis, performer, musical director, and head of Pitt's Jazz Studies Program, also will moderate a roundtable discussion Oct. 2 titled "Jazz in Paris in the 1960s: The Golden Years." Jazz Meets the World, to take place at the Maison des Cultures du Monde Theater, is modeled after the annual Pitt Jazz Seminar and Concert, about to mark its 34th anniversary this fall.

The concert will take place Oct. 1. In addition to Davis, guest artists include: Jon Faddis, trumpet; Maurice Brown, trumpet; Marc Godfroid, trombone; Johnny Griffin, saxophone; Makoto Kuriya, piano; Billy Cobham, drums; Abraham Laboriel, bass; Nelson Veras, guitar; and David Linx, vocals. Pianists Martial Solal and Billy Taylor will be guest soloists.

Pitt Provost James V. Maher and IMC President Kifah Fakhouri will present Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Awards from Pitt's International Academy of Jazz and IMC during the concert's intermission. Receiving the awards are Griffin, Solal, Taylor, and pianist Michael Sardaby.

"It is very gratifying to see the legacy of the Pitt Jazz Seminar and Concert extend to Paris," remarked Maher. "We strongly believe the University of Pittsburgh is helping to carry out UNESCO's vision of a genuine dialogue based on respect for shared values and individual cultures. The sounds of jazz, born in the United States, have become part of this international language."

"This event further establishes Pitt as having one of the leading jazz programs in the United States," added Davis.

Damien Pwono, executive producer of Jazz Meets the World, is a former student of Davis. He received the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in ethnomusicology from Pitt in 1986 and 1992, respectively.

"Nathan has broadened my horizons in the world of jazz," said Pwono. "He helped me understand the connections jazz has to different cultures. Over the last two years, Nathan and I have been able to expand the Pitt Jazz Seminar Outreach Program to some of those places—in Bahia, Dubai, the University of Ghana, and now, Paris."

Pitt alumni have a long-standing association with UNESCO. Ella Phillips Stewart—a 1916 School of Pharmacy alumna, the first licensed Black female pharmacist in Pennsylvania and one of the earliest practicing Black female pharmacists in the United States—was appointed in 1963 and reappointed in 1966 a U.S. Commissioner for UNESCO. She advised the government on matters related to UNESCO and traveled to 23 countries as a UNESCO goodwill ambassador for the United States.