University of Pittsburgh
October 14, 2015

Pitt Presents 45th Annual Jazz Seminar and Concert

Evening seminars include presentations on Pittsburgh jazz greats Mary Lou Williams, Billy Strayhorn, and Erroll Garner

Sharon Blake


Cell: 412-277-6926

PITTSBURGH—The University of Pittsburgh Annual Jazz Seminar and Concert—one of the region's premier jazz events—will run Nov. 2 through 7 and feature free lunchtime concerts, a jazz film screening, free on-campus seminars, and an outreach event in the Hill District, culminating Nov. 7 with a 7:30 p.m. 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 Barron (piano), National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Jazz Master who has performed with Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespie, and others and 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;

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 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 what Ornette Coleman called “probably the best tenor player in the world.” 

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 or through the University of Pittsburgh Stages box office by calling 412-624-PLAY (7529) or by visiting the box office on the 16th floor of the Cathedral of Learning Monday through Friday from noon to 5 p.m.

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
Nordy's Place, lower level of William Pitt Union, 3959 Fifth Ave., Oakland

Thursday, Oct. 29
Lobby, Sutherland Hall, 3725 Sutherland Dr., Oakland 

Jazz Ensemble Performance
(Free and open to the public)

Monday, Nov. 2
Lower Lounge, William Pitt Union
Performance by the full Pitt Jazz Ensemble, comprising Pitt students, under the direction of Ralph Guzzi

Jazz Film Screening/Discussion
(Free and open to the public)

Tuesday, Nov. 3
6 p.m.
Frick Fine Arts Auditorium, 650 Schenley Dr., Oakland
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 up-and-coming 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 that initiative as well as the Erroll Garner Archive—correspondence, recording contracts, photographs, sheet music, sound and video recordings, and other memorabilia—donated this summer to Pitt 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, the public, and many others 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, 4024 O’Hara St., Oakland
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
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
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 leaders, Pitt administrators, and friends and supporters of the Pitt Jazz Program will gather to hear a musical tribute to Garner, Strayhorn, and Williams and to honor educator and arts consultant Harry Clark and guitarist and Pitt faculty member Joe Negri for their contributions to jazz.

Jazz Concert

Given the musicians' diverse playing styles and the unique nature of the show, the Nov. 7 concert is a one-of-a-kind performance. This year, it will be performed uninterrupted without an intermission.

Prior to its start, Geri Allen will introduce two Masters of Ceremonies—

Terrance Hayes, 2014 MacArthur Fellow, Pitt professor of English, and celebrated poet, and
Yona Harvey, award-winning poet and assistant professor of English at Pitt.

The following awards will be presented at that time: 

Pitt-BNY Mellon Jazz Scholarship
Given to Pitt sophomore Iyanna Boatwright-Buffaloe
Presented by N. John Cooper, Bettye J. and Ralph E. Bailey Dean, Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences 

Dietrich School Distinguished Professional Achievement Award
Given to Lawrence Simpson, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost, Berklee College of Music
Presented by Pitt Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor Patricia E. Beeson

In addition to the public events throughout Jazz Week, several of the musicians will hold private coffees and classroom discussions with Pitt students, and Sanders is scheduled to talk to a group of community members at the Afro American Music Institute.