JazzLive: Jazz Appreciation Month, April 2017



APRIL 2017


Pittsburgh, PA – The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, together with returning JazzLive sponsor, BNY Mellon, celebrates National Jazz Appreciation Month throughout April 2017. The theme, GROOVE TRAVELERS, features Grammy Award winners, legendary musicians, and hot new artists on the rise. Exciting concerts, special ticketed events and more fill the entire month, kicking off Tuesday, April 4th with Davina and the Vagabonds in the Cabaret Theater and wrapping up on Tuesday, April 25th with funk pioneers Average White Band at the August Wilson Center.

Jazz Appreciation Month, cleverly abbreviated “JAM,” originated at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in 2002 as a way for all people to celebrate the extraordinary heritage and history of jazz music.

Tickets will be available at www.TrustArts.org. Stay connected at https://trustarts.org/pct_home/events/series/jazzlive/ to remain up to date on jazz events.


April 4 | Cabaret at Theater Square | 8 p.m. | $25.75
Considered “one of the most distinctive and expressive vocals to come around in a while, with tight backing from the Vagabonds (Phoenix Blues Society) “Davina and her crew of vagabond musicians will turn the Cabaret into a raucous speakeasy.  Get ready to stomp your feet and clap your hands to the Vagabond groove with Davina at the helm.  Davina and the Vagabonds is a jazz blues band based in the Twin Cities, Minnesota and formed in 2006. The band consists of Davina Sowers, Dan Eikmeier, Ben Link, Connor McRae and Matt Blake. The band has released multiple albums. Their 2014 release titled Sunshine charted at #13 on the Billboard Blues Chart. One of the singles from Sunshine, “I Would Rather Drink Muddy Water” peaked at number 21 on the Billboard Blues Digital Songs. The earlier album Black Cloud, released in 2011, was named by the Minneapolis Star Tribune as one of the ten best releases of the year. Davina and the Vagabonds have toured extensively throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and are favorites on any festival line up.

April 18 | Cabaret at Theater Square | 8 p.m.  | $38.75
“Robert Glasper’s energy is infectious… Intelligent, creative, and incredibly impassioned, the pianist is the ideal flag-bearer for the new jazz era.” Grammy-winner, hip hop, jazz and R&B maverick, Glasper has ushered in a wave of modern, relevant jazz music that is embraced by music enthusiasts of all ages.  Returning to Pittsburgh for his third visit, Robert Glasper will play his heavy groove inflected songs from the new album ArtScience.

April 25 | August Wilson Center | 8 p.m. | $41.75
Still funky after all these years, the Average White Band created grooves that have been imitated, sampled, but never duplicated to the level of legend that they have established since naming the band AWB in 1972.  AWB is widely regarded as one of the best soul and funk bands in the history of music. Though perhaps best known for their timeless instrumental mega-hit “Pick Up the Pieces,” the band’s strength actually lay in their consistently accomplished song-writing, stretching across several gold selling albums and multi-Grammy nominations for the legendary Atlantic Records. Somewhat incongruously, given their Scottish roots, the six piece took the influences of their R&B heroes – people like Marvin Gaye, James Brown, Donny Hathaway and others – and developed their own ‘authentic’ sound which was eagerly adopted by black audiences in the US and elsewhere around the world.  Average White Band performs as part of the Soul Sessions Series. 

April 26 | August Wilson Center | 8 p.m.  | $22.25
The Hypnotic Brass Ensemble’s sound was described by Fader Magazine as “a huge brass bridge of hypnotic polyphony connecting the cosmic jazz of Sun Ra’s Arkestra with the urgency of hip hop and the sweeping emotional scale of Curtis Mayfield’s Blaxploitation opus.”  News of the ensemble’s sound has spread throughout the industry, and they have been featured as part of emcee/actor Mos Def’s Big Band.  The group tours the world sharing their groove internationally.

With weekly jazz since 2005, BNY Mellon presents JazzLive is the most consistent supporter of the local jazz scene. The Backstage Bar continues to be the hub for downtown jazz, with BNY Mellon presents JazzLive programming continuing throughout April.   

April 4, 5:00-8:00 p.m.: Anton DeFade

April 11, 5:00-8:00 p.m.: DK Cypher

April 18, 5:00-8:00 p.m.: Jevon Rushton

Backstage Bar
The Backstage Bar at Theater Square is a favorite Cultural District hotspot for drinks, a quick bite to eat, live entertainment, and great company through the evening.  It’s the perfect place to meet before a performance, or lounge after a show, or just a great gathering place with friends and colleagues. The Backstage Bar serves an outstanding list of premium wines, spirits, specialty drinks and beers to complement the fun and casual food menu and often features live entertainment with no cover charge.

The Backstage Bar is open before and after shows and for Happy Hour (9–11 pm Tuesdays – Fridays).  Often called a hidden treasure, you can enter the bar from behind the fountain in Katz Plaza, or through the main entrance to the Cabaret at Theater Square, under the Theater Square marquee.

For more information and a full schedule of events occurring at the Backstage Bar, visit www.TrustArts.org/visit/facilities/backstage-bar/ .

August Wilson Center
The August Wilson Center is an architectural gem that offers multiple exhibition galleries, a 472-seat theater for performances in all genres, an education center for classes, lectures and hands-on learning, and dazzling spaces for community programs and events.

The African American Cultural Center is the non-profit organization that owns the August Wilson Center. For rental inquiries, visit the African American Cultural Center pages on CulturalDistrict.org.

For more information and a calendar of events presented by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust taking place at the August Wilson Center, call 412-456-6666 or visit www.trustarts.org/visit/facilities/august_wilson.

Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has overseen one of Pittsburgh’s most historic transformations: turning a seedy red-light district into a magnet destination for arts lovers, residents, visitors, and business owners. Founded in 1984, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a non-profit arts organization whose mission is the cultural and economic revitalization of a 14-block arts and entertainment/residential neighborhood called the Cultural District. The District is one of the country’s largest land masses “curated” by a single nonprofit arts organization. A major catalytic force in the city, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a unique model of how public-private partnerships can reinvent a city with authenticity, innovation and creativity. Using the arts as an economic catalyst, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has holistically created a world-renowned Cultural District that is revitalizing the city, improving the regional economy and enhancing Pittsburgh’s quality of life. Thanks to the support of foundations, corporations, government agencies and thousands of private citizens, the Cultural Trust stands as a national model of urban redevelopment through the arts. For more information, visit TrustArts.org.

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