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March 2020

Pierre Bensusan & Frank Vignola Trio

March 26, 2020 @ 7:30 pm
Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild 1815 Metropolitian StreetPittsburgh, PA+ Google Map
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Thursday, March 26,   7:30 p.m.

Winner of the Independent Music Award, Rose d’Or of the Montreux Festival, and Best World Music Guitar Player by the readers of Guitar Player Magazine, Pierre Bensusan is recognized as one of the premier musicians of our time.

Born in Oran, French-Algeria in 1957, Bensusan’s family moved to Paris when he was 4 years old. He began formal studies on piano at the age of 7 and at 11 taught himself guitar. Influenced in those early days by the folk revival, Bensusan began first to explore his own diverse musical heritage and then moved to the horizons beyond.

Bensusan has the ability to make a single guitar sound like an entire band as he brings the audience on a mesmerizing musical journey. And yet, he is more than what any musician or music lover expects from a guitarist. He is a composer as well as a bilingual and brave improvisational vocalist, melding whistles and resonant low notes with something like his own scat technique.

Frank Vignola’s stunning virtuosity has made him the guitarist of choice for many of the world’s top musicians, including Ringo Starr, Madonna, Donald Fagen, Wynton Marsalis, Tommy Emmanuel, the Boston Pops, the New York Pops, and guitar legend Les Paul.

With over 1000 engagements in the last five years alone, Vignola has become one of the most popular and sought after guitarists on the international music scene. His genre-spanning music has brought him to 14 countries on three continents performing in some of the world’s most illustrious venues including the Sydney Opera House, Carnegie Hall, The Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, New York’s Lincoln Center, and Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza, Italy.

Vignola’s jaw-dropping technique explains why The New York Times deemed him “one of the brightest stars of the guitar.”

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April 2020

Nicole Mitchell: Radical Transformation: For Angela Davis

April 17, 2020 @ 7:30 pm
Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild 1815 Metropolitian StreetPittsburgh, PA+ Google Map
Event Category:

Saturday, April 18,   7:30 p.m.

Nicole M. Mitchell is an award-winning flutist, composer, bandleader, and educator. Repeatedly awarded top flutist of the year by Downbeat Magazine Critics Poll and the Jazz Journalists Association, Mitchell initially emerged from Chicago’s innovative music scene in the late 1990s, and her music celebrates contemporary African American culture. She is the founder of Black Earth Ensemble, Black Earth Strings, Sonic Projections, and Ice Crystal.

Activist and scholar Angela Davis has been an incredible force for social justice for over 50 years. Mitchell’s “Radical Transformation” is a musical celebration of Davis’ courage and resilience. It strives to amplify Davis’ activist vision and concerns towards creating a better world.

The former first woman president of Chicago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, Mitchell celebrates endless possibilities by creating visionary worlds through music that bridge the familiar with the unknown.

In January 2018, Mitchell was the Artist in Residence at New York’s Winter Jazz Fest, where she performed four suites of her compositions. As a composer, Mitchell has been commissioned by the French Ministry of Culture, Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, Art Institute of Chicago, the Stone, the French American Jazz Exchange, Chamber Music America, Chicago Jazz Festival, and Chicago Sinfonietta. Mitchell has performed with creative music luminaries including Craig Taborn, Roscoe Mitchell, Joelle Leandre, Anthony Braxton, Geri Allen, George Lewis, Mark Dresser, Steve Coleman, Anthony Davis, Myra Melford, Bill Dixon, Muhal Richard Abrams, Ed Wilkerson, Rob Mazurek, Billy Childs, and Hamid Drake. She is a recipient of the Herb Alpert Award, the Chicago 3Arts Award, and the Doris Duke Artist Award. Mitchell was recently named by the University of Pittsburgh as the William S. Dietrick III Endowed Chair Director of Jazz Studies and Creative Arts Ensemble.

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Drum Bar Rivers Casino

April 17, 2020 @ 9:00 pm
Rivers Casino 777 Casino Dr,Pittsburgh, + Google Map
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April 17, 2020, 9:00 p.m. – midnight

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jazzPGH Jazz Day Celebration

April 30, 2020 @ 5:30 pm - 9:30 pm
This Is Red 605 E.Ninth StreetPittsburgh, PA+ Google Map
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MCG Jazz and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, in partnership with WZUM, present jazzPGH Jazz Day.

5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. 

Duquesne University Jazz Ensemble performs at 6:00 p.m. For All We Know album celebration featuring Gloria Reuben and Marty Ashby will perform at 7:00 p.m. jazzPGH All Stars featuring Thomas Wendt, Lynn Speakman, Antonio Croes, and Mark Strickland will perform at 8:00 p.m.


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February 2021

Marty is at MCG Jazz

February 12, 2021 - May 21, 2021
Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild 1815 Metropolitian StreetPittsburgh, PA+ Google Map
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I hope that you and yours are staying safe and healthy. Thank you for your patience during this extended pause in the MCG Jazz programming. The global COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact all performing arts in Pittsburgh, as well as across the country. The priority remains to keep everyone in the audience, on stage, and behind the scenes healthy and safe.

In an effort to keep everyone safe, MCG Jazz paused all previously planned in-person concerts and educational events. When restrictions are lifted and we can safely hold in-person events, we will. I do not have a date set to reopen our doors, but we are proactively working with artists, their managers and agents to present these artists when it is safe to do so.

This decision is based on information from local and state governments, the CDC, and the WHO. All measures we are taking are grounded in our understanding of public health science and infectious disease control to create a safe environment when we are permitted to reopen.

The MCG Jazz mission to preserve, present, and promote jazz has never been stronger.

Every day and in every way, MCG Jazz will continue to do what we do best – preserve, present, and promote jazz. The focus has always been to keep patrons, artists and staff safe and provide an enjoyable musical experience. So, until we are able to be together in our music hall – we are coming to you!

Starting in September 2020 we are providing you with a wide variety of interactive offerings to keep you connected to MCG Jazz and bring the New Jazz Age to you:

Live Performances – When restrictions will allow, we will host a socially distanced live performance from the MCG Jazz stage and stream it LIVE! Subscribers will have a special code to watch the performance at their convenience within 48 hours.

Live from the Archives – We are streaming concerts from the 33-year history of MCG Jazz. Relive a show you attended or see one you may have missed.

MCG Jazz Spotlight Show – Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, MCG Jazz hosts a 60-minute radio show on The Pittsburgh Jazz Channel, WZUM, 101.1 FM or stream online at wzum.org.

Pittsburgh Jazz Legends Spotlight – Each month we will post an oral history of one of the MCG Jazz Pittsburgh Jazz Legends and feature photos, music clips and memorabilia from each artist throughout the month.

[Visit mcgjazz.org to see the full schedule of events.]

What happens now and what can I do?

The MCG Jazz team looks forward to connecting with each of you individually. If you purchased a subscription for the 2020-2021 season or if you have tickets for a concert that would have occurred in March, April or May 2020, we will be in touch with you to discuss your options. For your convenience, you can schedule a call immediately to speak with a member of the MCG Jazz team directly. Please use the calendar tool below to select your preferred day and time by clicking on email hidden; JavaScript is required/bookings/">https://outlook.office365.com/owa/calendar/email hidden; JavaScript is required/bookings/

We need your support now more than ever. Music is a primary way that our culture is passed on and celebrated. For the past 120 years, jazz has been at the center of American culture and will continue to be with your help. MCG Jazz is a non-profit organization, relying on revenue from both ticket sales and contributions to bring exceptional jazz experiences to Pittsburgh. Please help us keep this strong tradition alive by donating or becoming an MCG Jazz member. Your donation is tax-deductible and critical in supporting us during this challenging time. Please click here if you would like to donate your tickets….

Together we are the New Jazz Age.

When we all work together, we will keep each other safe and healthy. The sooner this virus is eradicated, the sooner we can enjoy live jazz again. We will never stop swingin’ and never stop believing in the power of music.  Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to connecting with you virtually for now.

The MCG Jazz staff –

Marty Ashby, Vice President and Executive Producer | Renée Govanucci, Director | Mark Jackovic, Education and Archives Manager | David Sykut, Producer Manager | Nick Pesanka, Patron Services and Sales Specialist | Natalie Larsen, Administrative Assistant Senior Level


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July 2021

Marty Ashby and Friends

July 24, 2021 @ 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Marty Ashby and Friends ,
Event Categories:

MCG Jazz presents at Market Square Night Market, Saturday, July 24, 5:00 – 10:00 pm. FREE.

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The Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra Plays Pittsburgh

July 29, 2021 @ 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
The Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra Plays Pittsburgh ,
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Part of the Pittsburgh Playhouse Inside/Outside Series, Thursday, July 29, 4:30-6:30 pm. Tickets are $10.00, include a free drink, and are available at the Pittsburgh Playhouse Box office at pittsburghplayhouse.com or by calling 412.392.8000.

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September 2021

Jazz At Fallingwater

September 12, 2021 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Fallingwater 1491 Mill Run RoadMill Run, PA+ Google Map
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MCG Jazz and Fallingwater present an intimate evening of live jazz, wine, and hors d’oeuvres in the living room of Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece.

Live performance Gloria Reuben’s and Marty Ashby’s celebrated duo album, For All We Know.

“If you’ve been waiting for music that will make you ‘feel it’, you owe it to yourself to listen to Gloria’s wonderful romantic jazz vocals.  Marty’s guitar enhances the experience, and the duo is simply magic.” – Dick Metcalf, Contemporary Fusion Reviews

Proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test required for entry. Masks are required when indoors.

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September 24, 2021 @ 7:30 pm - September 25, 2021 @ 9:30 pm
Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild 1815 Metropolitian StreetPittsburgh, PA+ Google Map
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Friday, September 24, 2021,  7:30 p.m. +  Saturday, September 25, 2021,   7:30 p.m. 

The Yellowjackets have consistently forged ahead in their evolving artistic statements. The band has recorded close to 30 albums, been nominated for 17 GRAMMY® Awards, and has adventurously amplified the eclectic, electro-acoustic soundscape creating a unique jazz sound since its fusion beginnings.

While the Los Angeles-based Yellowjackets have been a creative force on the jazz scene since 1981 when they recorded their eponymous debut, their fourth Mack Avenue Records album, “Raising Our Voice,” once again ups the ante with bold new strides.

“The band keeps moving forward,” says saxophonist Bob Mintzer who joined the group in 1990. “It’s one of the few partnership bands in the last four decades. It’s democratic, laissez-faire and accommodating to everyone in the band to contribute. We’re constantly reinventing ourselves as a reflection of what’s happening in the world.”

The Jackets are comprised of pianist/keyboardist/co-founder Russell Ferrante, bassist Dane Alderson in his second recording with the group and drummer Will Kennedy, who joined the band in 1987 and then in 2000 took a 10-year hiatus before returning to the drum chair.

Mintzer sees a bright future for the Yellowjackets. “What attracts me about the group is how stylistically broad we are,” he says. “There are no barriers. We’re free to try new things without making the music overly complex. I always say this is the band you always wanted to be in. We’ll see where we go next.”

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Central PA Friends of Jazz Fundraiser Honoring Steve Rudolph

September 26, 2021 @ 4:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts 222 Market St.Harrisburg, PA+ Google Map
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Steve will be playing in concert with a band of some of his favorite musicians from over the years. This will be a once-in-a-lifetime performance for Steve, and you don’t want to miss it!

Following the concert, event guests will join Steve for a light reception. Rumor has it that Steve and his musician friends may start a jam session at the reception…

A co-founder of the Friends of Jazz, Steve retired as executive director in October 2019. This gives Steve more time to play, compose, and teach. However, our commitment to sharing live jazz doesn’t end with Steve’s retirement. In addition to celebrating Steve’s years of service to the Friends of Jazz, This One’s For You! will expand the community of supporters we need to ensure that jazz continues to be a major part of the cultural landscape of Central Pennsylvania.

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October 2021

Kirk Whalum & Keiko Matsui

October 2, 2021 @ 6:00 pm - 10:30 pm
Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild 1815 Metropolitian StreetPittsburgh, PA+ Google Map
Event Category:

OCTOBER 2, 2021
6:00 pm & 8:30 pm

In a career spanning decades, Kirk Whalum has a sound that is uniquely his;
it is a sound that leaves an indelible imprint on the listener.
Keiko Matsui is one of the most dynamic and important voices in
instrumental music. Acclaimed pianist, composer and humanitarian,
her transcendent and haunting melodies have long sought to build bridges.

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Marty Ashby Claudio Roditi Tribute

October 14, 2021 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Con Alma Ellsworth 5884 Ellsworth AvenuePittsburgh, PA+ Google Map
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Marty Ashby pays tribute to master trumpeter and composer, Brazilian Jazz superstar, Claudio Roditi.

Joining Marty will be James Moore on trumpet, Paul Thompson on bass and James Johnson III on drums.

Con Alma Ellsworth, 6:30 – 8:30 pm

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Ann Hampton Callaway & Tierney Sutton

October 16, 2021 @ 6:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild 1815 Metropolitian StreetPittsburgh, PA+ Google Map
Event Category:

Saturday, October 16, 2021 6:00 p.m. + 8:30 p.m.

These two world-renowned jazz stars team up for the first time as their new albums share a common theme: unforgettable film songs. Ann Hampton Callaway’s focus is mostly on the iconic gems from the 1930s and 1940s, while Tierney Sutton lends her imagination to beloved contemporary classics. Featuring the Tierney Sutton Band rhythm section, the night is filled with solos and duets arranged in fresh ways featuring the two singers’ dazzling musicality and connection to the brilliant lyrics of their songs.

An Omaha native, Sutton found her footing as a singer and bandleader shortly after arriving in Los Angeles in the mid-1990s where she’s led one of the most durable working bands in jazz for the last two decades. She is a nine-time GRAMMY® nominated jazz vocalist that has received a nomination for every project she’s released in the past decade. Appropriately, her latest project is the 19-track opus “ScreenPlay”—an innovative approach to the history of film music released monthly as a series of digital EPs along with an accompanying podcast and background material.

An artist who has made indelible marks on jazz, cabaret, and on Broadway as a writer and performer. Callaway has composed over 250 songs for the stage, screen, and television making an indelible mark on jazz, cabaret, and Broadway. A prolific writer and performer, Callaway’s music has been recorded and performed by the likes of Barbra Streisand, Michael Feinstein, and Carole King. Callaway has shared the stage with great artists from many genres including George Shearing, Dizzy Gillespie, Stevie Wonder, Dr. John, Liza Minnelli, Betty Buckley, Dianne Reeves, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Audra McDonald, Harvey Fierstein, Ramsey Lewis, and Kurt Elling. Callaway has released 15 albums since 1992 including her 2018 Shanachie Records session “Jazz Goes to the Movies,” an entrancing collection of songs from Hollywood’s golden age.

Get ready for a night of sensational cinematic delights!

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Marty Ashby Trio

October 30, 2021 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Con Alma Downtown 613 Penn AvenuePittsburgh, PA+ Google Map
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Marty Ashby, Dwayne Dolphin and Thomas Wendt at Con Alma Downtown, 6:00 – 8:00 pm

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November 2021

Georgia On My Mind: Celebrating The Music Of Ray Charles

November 6, 2021 @ 6:00 pm - 10:30 pm
Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild 1815 Metropolitian StreetPittsburgh, PA+ Google Map
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NOVEMBER 6, 2021, 6:00 pm & 8:30 pm

Ray Charles, a Georgia native son, was an American treasure who won every major honor from the Georgia Music Hall of Fame to the Hollywood Walk of Fame. From the Kennedy Honors to a GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award and induction into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame, Ray Charles transcended racism and cultural upheavals, and spread his music based on Gospel, Blues, Jazz and Country around the world. Boasting iconic tunes from the catalogue of the genius himself, the artists make each song a winning part of the tapestry that is Ray Charles’ music. Join us as we celebrate Ray’s music with an all-star cast of award winning performers.

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Patti Austin

November 20, 2021 @ 6:00 pm - 10:30 pm
Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild 1815 Metropolitian StreetPittsburgh, PA+ Google Map
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NOVEMBER 20 , 2021

6:00 pm & 8:30 PM

Since breaking through to solo success in the mid 1970s, Grammy winner Patti Austin has become one of the world’s most popular and versatile vocalists. In the past decade, it is in the world of jazz (a genre that is close to her heart) that Ms. Austin has been building a solid international audience.

The New York native is in constant demand globally for live performances, thanks to a legacy of recordings that started in 1955; she continued through the ‘60s with success as a teenage R&B star before establishing herself as a mainstay among jazz and soul audiences through her ‘70s recordings. By the ‘80s Ms. Austin became known to the wider international audience as a result of the Grammy -nominated “Baby Come to Me” and “How Do You Keep the Music Playing”, her early ‘80s classic duets with James Ingram, masterminded by musical godfather Quincy Jones.

Unquestionably a 21st century renaissance woman, Patti Austin continues to create milestones in an incredible career; a further testament to her status as a member of that rare breed: a true artist whose creativity knows no limits.

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December 2021

The Hot Sardines “Holiday Stomp”

December 4, 2021 @ 6:00 pm - 10:30 pm
Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild 1815 Metropolitian StreetPittsburgh, PA+ Google Map
Event Category:

DECEMBER 4, 2021
6:00 pm & 8:30 pm

Celebrate in the holiday season with The Hot Sardines “Holiday Stomp. This hot jazz band will infuse yuletide classics with their unique and swinging sound. Fun arrangements of holiday tunes include: “White Christmas,” “Santa Claus Got Stuck in My Chimney” and “Please Come Home for Christmas.” Fueled by the belief that classic jazz feeds the heart and soul, The Hot Sardines are on a mission to make old sounds new again and prove that joyful music can bring people together in a disconnected world.

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Lisa Ferraro: Jazz Up the Holidays

December 6, 2021 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild 1815 Metropolitian StreetPittsburgh, PA+ Google Map
Event Category:

Celebrating it’s 18th season!

Lisa Ferraro brings her acclaimed Jazz up the Holidays back home to Pittsburgh!

Benefiting non-profit SoulCall Global, Jazz Up the Holidays, will be both LIVE and VIRTUAL CONCERT this year

Join us for this internationally acclaimed show and Billboard charting Jazz vocalist Lisa Ferraro as she serves up the holiday classics in swinging style. With arrangements by Grammy winning composer and arranger Mike Tomaro who also plays woodwinds. A stellar band of Jazz luminaries featuring the amazing Max Leake, Kurt Lorence, Bob Matchett, David Glover and JD Chaison is sure to lift your spirits and ring in the season of Light, Peace and Love.

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Marty Ashby’s Holiday Jazz Celebration 2021 Featuring Ann Hampton Callaway and the music from her album “The Hope of Christmas”

December 18, 2021 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Musical Instrument Museum 4725 E Mayo Blvd.Phoenix, AZ+ Google Map
Event Categories:
$44.50 - $54.50

A musical review of traditional favorites and new songs for the Holidays; performed by the Marty Ashby Quartet including Lewis Nash with special guest Ann Hampton Callaway. Celebrate the Holiday season with songs that feel familiar yet fresh.

 Marty Ashby is a jazz guitarist, GRAMMY® Award-winning producer, programming consultant, motivational speaker and lifelong advocate of jazz music and its unique place in American culture. Ashby has performed and recorded with Slide Hampton, Claudio Roditi, Nancy Wilson, Paquito D’Rivera, Herbie Mann, Phil Woods, The Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band and others.  In addition to his musicianship, Ashby has curated and managed national tours for Jazz Across the Americas, the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra’s Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald and SJMO’s 2019 world tour Jazz Beyond Borders: From the Golden Gate to the Great Wall. Ashby is Executive Producer of MCG Jazz, which he started in 1987.

 An artist who has made indelible marks on jazz, cabaret, and on Broadway as a writer and performer, Ann Hampton Callaway has composed over 250 songs for stage, screen, and television, and her music has been recorded and performed by the likes of Barbra Streisand, Michael Feinstein, and Carole King. Callaway has shared the stage with great artists from many genres including George Shearing, Dizzy Gillespie, Stevie Wonder, Dr. John, Liza Minnelli, Betty Buckley, Dianne Reeves, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Audra McDonald, Harvey Fierstein, Ramsey Lewis, and Kurt Elling. Callaway has released 15 albums since 1992 including her 2015 MCG Jazz album “The Hope of Christmas.”

 Q ON STAGE says,The album is jazzy, hopeful, modern, and infused with the dark golden honey of one of the finest voices in jazz today. The pure heart and the hope that Christmas feelings will last all year.”

Please note, the MIM is requiring that audience members either be vaccinated or have a negative COVID test within 72 hours prior to the performance. We also strongly encourage guests to wear masks.
Proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test result will be required for entry and may include the following options: a vaccination card (or photo), a digital record within an app, an official immunization record, or documentation of a negative test result. All MIM Music Theater team members are vaccinated and will wear masks.

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Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra Holiday Concert co-produced with MCG Jazz

December 22, 2021 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Event Categories:
$35 - $53

The Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra (PJO) is one of the finest ensembles in the country and is comprised of top jazz musicians from the Pittsburgh region. The orchestra’s holiday celebration concert has become a tradition for families all over the Greater Pittsburgh region as a way to take a break from the busy prep of the season. The critically acclaimed PJO recording, “Joyful Jazz,” was one of the top holiday albums of 2015 and continues to receive widespread airplay each holiday season. The concert will feature music from the album as well as some special new surprises.

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