University of Pittsburgh
March 22, 2001



Sharon Blake


Cell: 412-277-6926

PITTSBURGH, March 23 -- Renowned pianist Monty Alexander will be the featured performer at the annual Pitt Jazz Ensemble Concert on Tuesday, April 10, at

8 p.m., in the Assembly Room of the William Pitt Union, 3959 Fifth Avenue, Oakland.

The Pitt Jazz Ensemble, made up of student musicians and vocalists, is under the direction of Nathan Davis, head of Pitt's Jazz Studies program. Concert tickets are $8 for the general public, and $4 for students and senior citizens. They are available at the William Pitt Union Box Office. Call 412-624-4187 for more information.

Monty Alexander, a native of Kingston, Jamaica, began playing piano when he was four years old. Shortly after Alexander moved to the United States at age 17, Frank Sinatra and his friend Jilly Rizzo saw him perform in Las Vegas. Sinatra convinced Rizzo to hire Alexander at "Jilly's," his popular New York nightspot, where Alexander accompanied Sinatra, Judy Garland, Sammy Davis, Jr., and many others. He was invited to sit in with jazz legend Miles Davis at New York's "Village Vanguard" and eventually recorded more than 45 albums, including "Echoes of Jilly's," "Stir It Up: The Music of Bob Marley," "Monty meets Sly and Robbie," and the just-released CD, "Goin' Yard." His compositions often are flavored with the Caribbean rhythms of his native land, and some of his recordings combine jazz with a steel band.

Pittsburgh musicians performing at the concert will include Mike Taylor on bass, James Johnson on piano, Greg Humphries on drums, and Cecil Washington on Latin percussion.