Past Events › Producing
School of Swing at MCG
School of Swing is back, LIVE at MCG Jazz! All 3rd and 4th grade students are invited to experience this 50 minute interactive and educational concert, in-person. Throughout the concert students will learn about the different elements of music Harmony, Melody and Rhythm and how they relate to jazz. Students will be turned into a human drum machine, sing a scat solo, and get groovy on the dance floor. Come experience jazz, maybe for the first time. Learn about the music’s history and how Jazz uses creativity, improvisation and teamwork.
All performances are free and will be held on May 23, 2023 at MCG Jazz 1815 Metropolitan Street Pittsburgh PA 15233. Use the form in the link to register for one of the following performances on May 23, 9:45am, 11:30am, or 1pm.
Find out more »
Brandee Younger Trio at MCG Jazz
A leading voice of the harp, Brandee Younger recently made history at the 2022 GRAMMY Awards as the first Black female solo artist nominated in the Best Instrumental Composition category for her song “Beautiful Is Black.” The mesmerizing track is from her 2021 critically well-received major label debut album, Somewhere Different, that also received a 2022 NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Jazz Album – Instrumental. Over her career Ms. Younger has performed and recorded across countless genres with artists including John Legend, The Roots, Lauryn Hill, Common, Pharoah Sanders, Ravi Coltrane, Ron Carter, and Charlie Haden. Additionally her original composition “Hortense” was featured in the Netflix Concert Documentary, Beyoncé: Homecoming and in 2019 the tireless musician was selected to perform her original music as a featured performer for Quincy Jones and Steve McQueens’ “Soundtrack of America.”
Ms. Younger’s ability to seamlessly inject the harp into arrangements and venues where it has historically been overlooked is a testament to her deep love for and exemplary command of the instrument. In addition to performing, she is on the teaching artist faculty at New York University and The New School College of Performing Arts in New York City.
Brandee Younger- Harp
Rashann Carter – Bass
Allan Mednard – DrumsFind out more »
MCG Jazz presents Frank Vignola with guest Jimmie Highsmith, Jr. at Pittsburgh Playhouse
Steve Smith and Vital Information at MCG Jazz
Drummer Steve Smith has been touring and recording with his all-star group Vital Information since 1983, making 2023 the 40th Anniversary of the group. Steve Smith and Vital Information celebrate the occasion with a newly recorded double CD release entitled “TIME FLIES.”
The newest line-up of Vital Information features virtuoso musicians with vast experience. Keyboardist Manuel Valera, a Guggenheim Fellow and Grammy nominated artist, was born, and raised in Havana, Cuba and is now living in NYC. Manuel plays and records with many of the New York jazz elite like Antonio Sanchez, Dafnis Prieto and John Patitucci. Electric Bassist Janek Gwizdala, originally from London, currently living in Los Angeles, records and tours with Peter Erskine, Mike Stern and Randy Brecker and is one of the most in-demand bass players in the world. Both new members of Vital Information are bandleaders and recording artists with multiple recordings to their names. The new trio version of Steve Smith and Vital Information collectively creates a powerhouse sound. Although the band is rooted in the straight-ahead swing of bebop, at times the group explores exotic time-signatures from the world of South Indian Carnatic music and have arranged adventurous funk-driven renditions of jazz standards. Seeing Steve Smith and Vital Information live-in concert is a perfect opportunity to experience their high-level musicianship, sense of joy onstage and collective virtuosic improvisation.Find out more »
MCG Jazz Presents Jeff Kashiwa at Pittsburgh Playhouse
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH N-MOTION JAZZ
Find out more »
Samara Joy at MCG Jazz
With a voice as smooth as velvet, Samara Joy’s star seems to rise with each performance. Winner of the 2023 GRAMMY Award for Best New Artist and Best Jazz Vocal Album. Following her winning the 2019 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition, Joy has dug deep to discover her jazz roots without losing sight of the innate simplicity that makes her sound shine. Her first album announces the arrival of a young artist destined for greatness.Find out more »
MCG Jazz Presents Grace Kelly at Pittsburgh Playhouse
Danilo Perez’s Global Messengers
Danilo Pérez’s Global Messengers project advances a mission which is wholly relevant today. When discussing the healing properties of music, the Panamanian jazz pianist, humanitarian, and educator speaks of “recovering the function of the artist as a tool to redirect humanity in a positive direction.” The Global Messengers came to fruition through the culture and experiences of its members, hailing from North and Central America, Europe, and Western Asia. Pérez uses their talents to make an impression through beautiful melodies and strikingly syncopated rhythms.
Danilo Perez – Piano
Farayi Malek – Vocalist
Angela Varo – Violin
Naseem Alatrash – Cello
Ian Ashby – Bass
Giorgos Lernis – Percussion
Bahar Badieitabar – OudFind out more »
Ashby Family Band at Con Alma Downtown
MCG Jazz Presents Badi Assad Trio at Pittsburgh Playhouse
Innersense Sound Healing Event
Sound healing uses a variety of instruments and vocal tones to create vibrational frequencies that balance and heal mind, body and spirit. Sound frequencies work to break up blocks within our bodies allowing our energy to flow unimpeded while the cells in our body work to repair themselves and bring you back to physical and emotional wellness. The goal of sound therapy is ultimately balance and restoration. Bring a mat, pillow and blanket.
The event is at, Three Treasures Health
5822 Irish Town Road
Bethel Park, PA 15102
Find out more »
An Evening with Eliane Elias at MCG Jazz
Join us for an intimate concert with the reigning queen of bossa nova, Eliane Elias’ new album, “Quietude” has been nominated for a Latin GRAMMY Award, was #1 Billboard Traditional Jazz Charts, #1 iTunes Latin & Jazz Charts, and #1 Amazon Jazz, Latin & Brazilian Best Seller.
.Find out more »
Film Screening: We Knew What We Had at The Frick Pittsburgh
The Frick’s exhibition on the Great Migration features automobiles like those used by musicians traveling the Northeast jazz circuit in the early 20th century. Spend an afternoon immersed in the exhibition and the history of jazz in Pittsburgh with a special screening of We Knew What We Had, the 2018 documentary created and produced by MCG Jazz.
This documentary explores the social conditions and historical events that made Pittsburgh one of the leading contributors to the legacy of Jazz music in the world. At the conclusion of the 1-hour film, Marty Ashby, Vice President and Executive Producer of MCG Jazz and Producer of We Knew What We Had and MCG Jazz Pittsburgh Jazz Legend, Dwayne Dolphin, will discuss the process of making the film and tell stories about the legacy of Jazz in Pittsburgh.
After the screening and discussion, join us in the Car & Carriage Museum to enjoy live jazz music by the Mark Strickland Duo, refreshments, and a chance to see the exhibition, Pittsburgh and the Great Migration: Black Mobility and the Automobile.
Matthew Whitaker at MCG Jazz
Born in 2001 in Hackensack, NJ, Matthew Whitaker grew up surrounded by music. His love for playing music first began at the young age of 3 after his grandfather gave him a small Yamaha keyboard. At 9, Matthew began teaching himself how to play the Hammond B3 organ. Four years later, he became the youngest artist to be endorsed by Hammond in its 80+ year history. He was also named a Yamaha Artist at 15, becoming the youngest musician to join the stellar group of jazz pianists.Find out more »
Hubert Laws at MCG Jazz
NEA Jazz Master, internationally renowned flutist Hubert Laws is one of the few classical artists who has also mastered jazz, pop, and rhythm-and-blues genres, moving effortlessly from one genreto another.Find out more »
Aurora Jazz Fusion at Con Alma Pittsburgh
In 1979, Marty Ashby started a band called AURORA JAZZ FUSION to perform the contemporary jazz cross-over music of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Jazz was mixing with rock, funk, Latin and R&B which gave musicians the opportunity to explore unique connections and seek out new possibilities. This new iteration of AURORA, with veteran and younger musicians, allows the band to take a fresh look at the music from this important time in the evolution of jazz. AURORA focuses on playing instrumental jazz by such artists as Jeff Lorber, Chick Corea, The Brecker Brothers, The Crusaders, Weather Report as well as renditions of Freddie Hubbard’s “Super Blue” and Grover Washington Jr.’s “Winelight.”
AURORA is Marty Ashby on guitar, Mike Tomaro on saxophones, Jeff Bush on trombone, Max Leake on keyboards, Brian Stahurski on bass and Hugo Cruz on drums.
Find out more »
MCG Jazz at the Mt. Lebanon Library
Pianist Craig Davis is on a mission to raise Michael “Dodo” Marmarosa’s profile in the jazz consciousness.
Part of that stems from hometown pride; a fellow native of Pittsburgh, Davis has spent most of his career as an active and in-demand member of the Steel City jazz scene. He also recognizes parallels to his own approach to the piano in Marmarosa’s, as both men blend classical influences with a taste for progressive jazz and a spirited lyricism.
Joined by guitarist and executive director of MCG Jazz the music of Dodo Marmarosa will come to life.
To observers of the jazz scene during the late 1940s, Marmarosa would have seemed a safe bet to join the pantheon of bebop pianists alongside the likes of Bud Powell and Thelonious Monk. He had worked in bands led by most of the major swing-era bandleaders, including Tommy Dorsey, Gene Krupa, and Artie Shaw; he recorded with Charlie Parker on Bird’s seminal Dial Records sides; and worked with legendary musicians including Lester Young, Barney Kessel, Lionel Hampton, Slim Gaillard, and Mel Tormé. But by the end of the decade Marmarosa’s star had already begun to fade. He returned to his native Pittsburgh for health reasons and became a near recluse for much of the rest of his life. Craig Davis and Marty Ashby will discuss and perform Marmaros’s music and share their knowledge of this legendary Pittsburgh artist.
Join us for an evening of music! Hear the music of a legend, and learn about this piece of Pittsburgh Jazz.
This is an IN PERSON event. Registration required.Find out more »
Sean Jones “Dizzy Spellz” at MCG Jazz
Dizzy Spellz offers an Afro futuristic lens into a deeper look at the intersecting cultural and spiritual dilemmas within the African Diaspora through the music of Dizzy Gillespie. Sean Jones (trumpeter/musical director) and Brinae Ali (choreographer/tap dancer/vocalist) have teamed up to create a piece that fuses elements of jazz, tap, Hip Hop, and Bebop to articulate the social vernacular language of the African American experience.
Find out more »
Violins of Hope at MCG Jazz
Klezmer Meets Jazz
Experience a concert featuring one of the top US klezmer violinists, Steven Greenman, and Alexander Fedoriouk, extraordinary Ukrainian cimbalom player, playing together with a jazz trio. They will explore the similarities between Klezmer and jazz, but also highlight their subtle differences. The jazz trio is formed by some of the best musicians from Pittsburgh: Alton Merrell (piano), Paul Thompson (bass), and Tom Wendt (drums).Find out more »
New York Voices “Let It Snow” at MCG Jazz
New York Voices has fashioned a Christmas album that honors beloved traditional and sacred classics as well as secular favorites, while incorporating sophisticated jazz and swing elements.
Find out more »