Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival

Photo by Brian Cook

Welcome to our HOMECOMING, as the Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival (PIJF) returns to its roots.  With the celebration of the 15th anniversary of the opening of the August Wilson African American Cultural Center, we bring the festival back to the streets and the 65,000 square feet of the iconic building. This year we celebrate RESILIENCE.   We’ve emerged from a pandemic and artists are forging ahead with tenacity, some at their most creative. At PIJF, we are anxious to hear new explorations in jazz and blues music.  Our mission is to preserve the legacy of jazz and amplify the creativity of artists sharing their stories through music.

The PIJF attracts music lovers from all over the country, and Pittsburgh’s rich jazz legacy flows through our city, connecting neighborhoods and carrying our culture worldwide.  We are proud to be the home and birthplace of jazz legends like Mary Lou Williams, Jeff “Tain” Watts, George Benson, Earl “Fatha” Hines, Roger Humphries, and a proving ground for so many great jazz musicians.  

It’s going to be a music packed weekend! Thursday, our signature Jazz Train pulls out of the station in NYC and jams with Orrin Evans and company all the way to Pittsburgh.  You’ll get a chance to hear some of the people that are still living and jazzing in our city as we showcase our local greats at the Jazz Crawl on Friday at restaurants and venues around the city. After the jazz crawl, we honor the great vocalist, Maysa Leak at a ticketed concert in our beautiful theater.  Maysa started her career with Stevie Wonder, then after auditioning over the phone for the UK musician/producer, Bluey, became the voice of the groundbreaking group Incognito starting the acid-jazz movement.  With numerous solo projects, awards and music that has moved us for over 30 years, we will honor Maysa with the 2024 PIJF Luminary Award.  Following the concert, we celebrate the 15th anniversary of the building with the Taste of Jazz Party, with 15 restaurants and live jazz throughout the building.  Get your tickets now for Friday night!

Come together for the FREE street party on Saturday and Sunday with live music on outdoor stages. Bring a chair, grab a delicious meal from the variety of food trucks, enjoy a cold craft beer at our bars curated by Barrel & Flow, let the kids play at our KidZone, and jam to live performances by some of the people leading jazz ahead; Robert Glasper, Sean Jones, Endea Owens & the Cookout, Orrin Evans, Emmet Cohen and more.   Blues diva Shemekia Copeland will rock the stage, and we will bid farewell and honor the Scottish soul legends, the Average White Band, on their final tour as a group after 51 years.  We will travel musically to Cuba with CimaFunk and to Brazil with Luedji Luna.  Don’t miss this opportunity to hear new sounds, and jam with your favorite artists.  

The 2024 Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival is co-presented by Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, with generous support from the Mellon Foundation. Additional sponsors include UPMC, UPMC Health Plan, P&W BMW and Mini of Pittsburgh, Rivers Casino, Visit Pittsburgh, Comcast NBC Universal and Xfinity and Allegheny County Airport Authority. Our Presenting Sponsors, Libation Station Tent, are Bacardi and Arsenal Cider House. Luedji Luna’s performance is made possible by Mid Atlantic Arts. We also thank our media partner, Jazz Corner.   Special thanks to our members and individual donors for their year-round support! Major support for AWAACC’s operations is provided by Richard King Mellon Foundation, Henry L. Hillman Foundation, Heinz Endowments, and the Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD).

Janis Burley Wilson
President & CEO/Artistic Director
PIJF Director

August Wilson African American Cultural Center

PIJF Advisory Board