3:30 am
Sun January 18, 2015

Small Jazz ‘Club’ to Open in Pittsburgh Bus Shelter

“I have this image in my mind of people walking in, and the music starts playing and people looking around at each other confused,” said Amy Kline, describing the bus shelter located near Chatham Square downtown.

As the Patron Services and Marketing Manager as Manchester Craftmen’s Guild Jazz, it was her idea to create “Pittsburgh’s Smallest Jazz Club” in the bus shelter – and Awesome Pittsburgh, which awards $1,000 grants for projects in the city, is helping that image move from her mind to reality.

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Essential Pittsburgh
1:59 pm
Fri January 9, 2015

Celebrating Pittsburgh Jazz:The Launch of "Steel City Grooves"

This weekend will mark the launch of a new program celebrating Pittsburgh’s jazz history. Steel City Grooves: Celebrating Western Pennsylvania Jazz will chronicle the past, present and future of jazz in Pittsburgh. Joining us for a preview of this Senator John Heinz History Center Volunteer Ambassador Program is WESA jazz host Bob Studebaker.

Bob Studebaker gives us a taste of what to expect:

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:21 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

The 44th Annual Jazz Seminar and Concert Runs Next Week

Grammy-award winning bassist, cellist, and singer Esperanza Spalding will perform as part of the 44th Annual Jazz Seminar and Concert next week.
Credit Charlie Llewellin / Flickr

The 44th annual Jazz Seminar and Concert will take place next week. WESA Jazz host Bob Studebaker previews the event with Geri Allen, director of the Jazz Studies program at the University of Pittsburgh.

Essential Pittsburgh
5:41 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

Jazz Saxophonist Roby Edwards Comes to the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater

Credit Asaf Antman / Flickr

After living abroad for a number of years, jazz saxophonist Roby Edwards has returned to Pittsburgh. This weekend he’ll be taking part in the Alto Madness concert at the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater.

He speaks with WESA jazz host Bob Studebaker. Also taking part in the conversation is Mensa Walli, artistic director of the Kente Arts Alliance.

Essential Pittsburgh
4:46 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Exploring Sonic Sanctuaries On The North Side

City of Asylum, located on the North Side
Credit Joseph A / Flickr

Perhaps you’re familiar with the North Side — maybe you’ve lived there, or maybe you just visited the Aviary. Is there any way for someone who’s visited the Pittsburgh neighborhood to see it in a different way?

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Arts & Culture
3:30 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Pittsburgh Jazz Festival Puts Steel City On International Stage

One Pittsburgh summer tradition, the Three Rivers Arts Festival, is behind us and another one is ahead – the Pittsburgh JazzLive International Festival.

The fourth annual celebration of jazz has grown since it started and has attracted a wide audience that benefits the region.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:17 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Pittsburgh Jazz Performers: Past And Present

Dianne Reeves at Carnegie Hall in 2011.
Credit Joella Marano / Flickr

Pittsburgh's Black Jazz Musicians Union

Every Saturday, a group of local musicians gathers in the auditorium of the Homewood Library to carry on Pittsburgh’s rich jazz tradition. They are the descendants of the Black Musician’s Union, a collection of pianists, drummers, and other performers who worked Pittsburgh’s clubs and dissolved in the 1960s.

Many of the clubs and musicians are long gone, but the stories of this small group continue to thrive, and they're now seeing increased attention because of a new film.  Anthology: Local #471 Musicians Union, is about the now-defunct union and some of its more famous members.

With the Pittsburgh JazzLive International Festival starting next week, it was the perfect time for Essential Pittsburgh to look back at Pittsburgh’s rich jazz history. Labor historian Charles McCollester and Jackie Young, whose father Harold founded the local jazz group talked about how the Black Musician’s Union was established.

“The 460 (the original musician’s union) just didn’t really want to represent the black musicians, they didn’t want to give them their share of gigs, they didn’t want to represent them if they had some type of conflict, so that’s why the 471 was erected in the first place.”

McCollester talked about the importance of the 471 in the local jazz scene.

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:37 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Roger Humphries: Uplifting Pittsburgh Through the Generations

Pittsburgh jazz legend Roger Humphries
Credit Billy Jackson / NOMMO Productions

Roger Humphries is one of Pittsburgh’s most notable jazz musicians. He’s performed professionally since the age of 14 with artists such as Horace Silvers and Ray Charles. But his contributions to the Pittsburgh community go beyond music, he’s uplifted generations of young people.

Humphries is the focus of the award-winning documentary Roger Humphries: Pass it On made by Billy Jackson.

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:17 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Rediscovering Pittsburgh's Ragtime Roots

Pittsburgh's rich jazz history documented here on Centre Avenue.
Credit Boring Pittsburgh / flickr

Recently rediscovered compositions of early 20th century ragtime tunes will be presented by the Allegheny City Ragtime Orchestra as tribute to the rich musical history of Pittsburgh.

Noted pianist and conductor Tom Roberts says it took some digging to piece together Pittsburgh’s jazz history between Stephen Foster and bebop, but results reveal a wealth of contributions by local musicians.

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:32 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Local Jazz Pioneer is Living Legacy

Saxophonist and educator established, in 1969, one of only a few curriculum-based jazz studies programs at a major university.
Credit University of Pittsburgh School of Music

Multi-instrumental jazz musician Dr. Nathan Davis is the founder of the Jazz Studies Program at the University of Pittsburgh and the Pitt Jazz Seminar and Concert.  He recently announced his retirement from Pitt and reflected back on his career in the United States and in Europe, and his legacy in the world of jazz.

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:10 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Jazz Live International Preview and Anniversary

This year marks the 10th anniversary of live summertime Jazz in Katz Plaza
Credit OZinOH / Flickr

This year marks the tenth anniversary of Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's summer long Jazz concert series in Katz Plaza. This year also marks the third annual Jazz Live International Festival.

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