Manchester Bidwell Corporation is honoring Black History Month in conjunction with MCG Jazz’s 30th anniversary by highlighting the contributions African Americans have made to Pittsburgh jazz through a public lecture and two concerts.

Nicole Henry, one of the world’s most acclaimed vocalists, will facilitate a discussion between African American Jazz legends, Dr. Harry Clark, Dwayne Dolphin, Dr. Nelson Harrison and Roger Humphries at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 24, in the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild Concert Hall. The discussion will focus on why Pittsburgh is so widely known for being an innovator of Jazz, what constitutes the “Pittsburgh Sound,” and how Jazz education in Pittsburgh continues to be a mentoring relationship.  This lecture is free and open to the public; however reservations are recommended.

“Pittsburgh is blessed with an unprecedented number of African American Jazz musicians who created so much of what we know as Jazz today.  We are honored to celebrate these Jazz Masters as well as the MCG Jazz Pittsburgh Jazz legends who continue to promulgate Jazz in Pittsburgh on a daily basis,” says Marty Ashby, MCG Jazz Executive Producer.

In addition, MCG Jazz invites the public to attend the following ticketed performances in February that focus on three legendary African American Pittsburgh Jazz Masters:

Rufus Reid Tribute to Ray Brown with Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra
February 10 & 11 at 8 p.m.
Rufus Reid, one of today’s premiere bassists on the international jazz scene, will pay tribute to Jazz Master and Pittsburgh native, Ray Brown in three distinct acts: to open there will be a bass quintet, then showcasing Reid’s “Out Front Trio” to include songs arranged to pay tribute to Brown; and to close, Reid will be joined by the Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra.

Lewis Nash Quintet Celebrates Kenny Clarke and Art Blakey
with featured guests Roger Humphries and Jay Ashby
February 25 at 6 & 8:30 p.m.
The “Lewis Nash Quintet” will pay tribute to Pittsburgh Jazz drumming masters, Kenny Clarke and Art Blakey. MCG Jazz Pittsburgh Jazz Legend, Roger Humphries, will join Nash onstage during the evening’s performance.

Individuals interested in purchasing tickets to a concert should contact Nick Pesanka in the MCG Jazz box office at 412-322-0800 or online at http://mcgjazz.org.

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About Manchester Bidwell Corporation and its divisions
At Manchester Bidwell Corporation, we have a simple philosophy – environment shapes people’s lives. By constructing an atmosphere of art, light, music and supportive staff, we enable our students to become productive society members. We do this through two programs: Bidwell Training Center provides accredited and state licensed adult career training while Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild’s Youth & Arts program serves public school students by offering courses in our ceramics, design, digital and photography studios. We are so confident in our vision that we founded the National Center for Arts & Technology to create similar educational environments across the nation … and the world!

About MCG Jazz
MCG Jazz’s mission is to preserve, present and promote jazz. Through their performances, they strengthen the long time Pittsburgh jazz community and contribute to the overall cultural and artistic diversity of the region. Through their live recordings they reach a national and international audience – a market they’d like to grow. Through their educational programs they are able to have students attend the concerts at low or no cost to them, make artists available for master classes and provide opportunities for internships in production and marketing.

Since 1987, MCG Jazz has brought audiences together with jazz artists at its 350-seat music hall in Pittsburgh for innovative 4-day performances and recordings. Many of these international masters of jazz would headline a list of Jazz’s “Needs No Introduction” — Joe Williams, Billy Taylor, Dizzy Gillespie, Stanley Turrentine, and Ray Brown. MCG Jazz Archives now contain over 300 CDs worth of jazz history by those who represent the past, present and future of jazz music. The performance series, one of the oldest in the nation, is an anchor of Pittsburgh cultural and community life.

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