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THE 8TH ANNUAL PITTSBURGH INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL PRESENTED BY CITIZENS BANK HAS A NEW HOME AND MOST HIGHLY ANTICIPATED LINE UP TO DATE
June 15-17, 2018

The weekend of June 15-17, 2018, marks a pivotal milestone for the 8th annual Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival presented by Citizens Bank. As a signature program of the African American Cultural Center at the newly relaunched August Wilson Center, the Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival will continue to be helmed by Janis Burley Wilson, the new president & CEO of the AACC, who created and directed the jazz fest since its founding in 2011. With her new appointment, she plans to make changes to the footprint and to expand the festival format. Burley Wilson says, “The new name, new venue, and expanded program will please our devoted jazz fest attendees and attract even more jazz lovers from around the world. The team at the African American Cultural Center is committed to the continued growth and success of this dynamic festival that is a celebration of joy and unity through jazz. ”

The festival moves to Liberty Avenue to take advantage of the wider street and closer proximity to the August Wilson Center. In addition, the festival will feature more educational opportunities that include master classes and artist talks throughout the weekend. On June 15th, the popular free JazzFest Crawl throughout downtown Pittsburgh features regional jazz artists performing from 5:30-9:00pm. An opening night ticketed concert with mega jazz star Marcus Miller kicks off the festival with a concert at the August Wilson Center at 7:00pm. After the concert, the Taste of Jazz party at the August Wilson Center will feature diverse live music performances; salsa, jazz, classic R & B and solo piano performances throughout the building with over 17 restaurants serving tasty samples for attendees holding tickets for the event. The evening concludes with the legendary jam sessions led by featured festival musicians.

The Pittsburgh Jazz Festival line up includes: Marcus Miller, Gregory Porter, Shemekia Copeland, Kenny Garrett, Polly Gibbons, Terri Lyne Carrington, Cory Henry & the Funk Apostles, Emmet Cohen with special guest, Tootie Heath, Donny McCaslin, Pedrito Martinez, Miguel Zenon, Jose Alberto, Ambrose Akinmusire, Orrin Evans, Noel Quintana, DJ Selecta, the University of Pittsburgh Jazz Ensemble and more

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DownBeat Magazine: Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival Builds on the City’s History

Pittsburgh’s contributions to the jazz firmament stretch from seminal figures like Roy Eldridge, Kenny Clarke and Earl “Fatha” Hines to modern-day luminaries like Geri Allen, Steve Nelson and Jeff “Tain” Watts. But as the 21st century dawned, the onetime Steel City lacked a major jazz festival.

That began to change one day in 2009, when Janis Burley Wilson, then an executive with the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, met with trumpeter Sean Jones, drummer Roger Humphries and bassist Dwayne Dolphin for a barbecue at Dolphin’s Pittsburgh-area home. Jazz advocates all, they cooked up a plan and two years later, the Pittsburgh JazzLive International Festival was born.

“We have a great legacy and history here,” Burley Wilson said. “It was the right time to do it.”

The inaugural event in 2011 was conceived along the lines of the Detroit International Jazz Festival, but on a smaller scale. “We wanted to make sure the festival had a certain vibe—energetic, easily accessible and free,” said Jones, then a professor at Pittsburgh’s Duquesne University.

That vibe persists. At this year’s event, now called the Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival (June 15–17), the bulk of the action will take place on three outdoor stages near Liberty Avenue. Though the staging area will be more spacious than last year’s location, near Penn Avenue and 9th Street, about 20,000 people are expected to pack the streets to hear the music—for free.

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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Marcus Miller to open the Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival

Marcus Miller, the jazz composer and recording artist best known as an electric bassist, will headline the opening-night concert of the eighth annual Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival, at the August Wilson Center and outdoors on Liberty Avenue, Downtown, June 15-17.

Among those scheduled to perform are Gregory Porter, Shemekia Copeland, Kenny Garrett, Polly Gibbons, Terri Lyne Carrington, Cory Henry & the Funk Apostles, Emmet Cohen with special guest, Tootie Heath, Donny McCaslin, Pedrito Martinez, Miguel Zenon and Jose Alberto, Ambrose Akinmusire, Orrin Evans, Noel Quintana, DJ Selecta, the University of Pittsburgh Jazz Ensemble and more.

Janis Burley Wilson, the new president and CEO of the African American Cultural Center at the AWC, created the former JazzLive festival in 2011 and directed it during her tenure at the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. She brought it with her to her new job and considers the festival to be a signature program of the center.

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Visit Pittsburgh: You don’t have to be a seasoned Jazz musician to love one of Pittsburgh’s coolest and funkiest summer festivals

Join us June 15-17, for the Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival presented by Citizens Bank, when Downtown Pittsburgh is transformed into a huge jazz club complete with jam sessions, beer gardens, and concerts that will keep you vibing all weekend long. With laid-back and intimate settings for some of the most highly anticipated Pittsburgh jazz performances of the year, it’s an event you won’t want to miss.

The two days of the Jazz Festival are jam-packed with music, food, and good fun. Between free and ticketed events at the August Wilson Center and beyond, the festival will feature master classes, artist talks, as well as concerts from over 140 local and international artists including Marcus Miller, Shemekia Copeland, Kenny Garrett, Polly Gibbons, Terri Lyne Carrington, Cory Henry & the Funk Apostles, Noel Quintana, DJ Selecta, the University of Pittsburgh Jazz Ensemble and much more.

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JAZZIZ Festival Guide: 8th Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival, June 15-17

The 8th annual Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival, formerly known as Pittsburgh JazzLive International Festival, returns to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on the weekend of June 15-17.

This year, the event will move to Liberty Avenue to take advantage of the wider street and closer proximity to Pittsburgh’s African American Cultural Center at the newly relaunched August Wilson Center. Janis Burley Wilson, who created and directed the festival since its founding in 2011, was appointed as the Center’s new president and CEO, and an official news release states that she plans to make changes to the footprint and to expand the festival format with her new appointment.

“The new name, new venue, and expanded program will please our devoted jazz fest attendees and attract even more jazz lovers from around the world,” Burley Wilson says. “The team at the African American Cultural Center is committed to the continued growth and success of this dynamic festival that is a celebration of joy and unity through jazz.”

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