MCG JAZZ 36th ANNUAL JAZZ CONCERT SEASON
MCG Jazz is pleased to announce our 2023-2024 annual jazz concert series that focuses on being “In The Moment.” There are 13 moments to choose from including the reigning queen of bossa nova, Eliane Elias; NEA Jazz Master Hubert Laws, Smooth jazz saxophonist, Gerald Albright, and a lineup of trending rising stars such as Pasquale Grasso, Veronica Swift, Jazzmeia Horn and, making his debut at MCG Jazz in October 2023, Matthew Whitaker. Experience a futuristic moment with Sean Jones: “Dizzy Spells” featuring Brinae Ali. There are historic moments with Blue Note Records 85th Anniversary featuring Gerald Clayton, Joel Ross, Immanuel Wilkins, Kendrick Scott, and Matt Brewer and The Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra celebrating the 125th anniversary of Duke Ellington. Vocal ensemble moments include New York Voices and according to Quincy Jones, “baddest vocal cats on the planet!,” Take 6. MCG Jazz closes its series with a family moment on May 11, 2024, with urban-jazz artists, Kim and Kayla Waters.
MCG Jazz has been named one of DownBeat Magazine’s 2023 Best Jazz Venues in the world! The brand-new renovations to the MCG Jazz Music Hall, new customer and archives center and expanded concession area will make your experience engaging and memorable.
Choose-your-own concert subscription packages of four or more concerts are available now. Please visit www.mcgjazz.org or call the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild Jazz Box Office at 412-322-0800 for more information.
The concert series is held at the MCG concert hall located at 1815 Metropolitan Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15233. Concerts include:
An Evening with Eliane Elias – September 30, 2023
The reigning queen of bossa nova, Eliane Elias’ new album, “Quietude” is #1 Billboard Traditional Jazz Charts, #1 iTunes Latin & Jazz Charts, and #1 Amazon Jazz, Latin & Brazilian Best Seller. Her recent double GRAMMY win for her duet recording with the late Chick Corea exemplified the virtuosity of her piano playing.
Matthew Whitaker – October 14, 2023
Matthew began playing piano at the young age of 3 and at 9 he 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. Now 21, Matthew is taking the musical world by storm.
Hubert Laws – October 21, 2023
NEA Jazz Master and 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 repertory to another. Hubert is considered to be the finest jazz flutist of all time.
Sean Jones – “Dizzy Spellz” featuring Brinae Ali – November 11, 2023
“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.
New York Voices “Let It Snow” – December 2, 2023
New York Voices has fashioned a Christmas program that honors beloved traditional and sacred classics as well as secular favorites, while incorporating sophisticated jazz and swing elements. Their performance will feature the groups “greatest hits” as well as their unique holiday arrangements.
Gerald Albright – December 16, 2023
Gerald Albright launched his solo career in the infancy of what became the smooth jazz format, in 1987 and has been a core part of the genre with chart-topping albums, countless radio hits and as a member of many all-star tours.
Diego Figueiredo Solo and Pasquale Grasso Trio – January 27, 2024
Guitarist Diego Figueiredo was born in Franca, Brazil. He has a unique interpretation of jazz, with a ton of technique and huge emotion. He has released 26 albums and has played in more than 60 countries around the world. His style fuses Jazz, Bossa nova and Classical music.
In his interview for Vintage Guitar magazine’s February 2016 cover story, Pat Metheny was asked to name some younger musicians who had impressed him. “The best guitar player I’ve heard in maybe my entire life is floating around now, Pasquale Grasso,” said the jazz-guitar icon and NEA Jazz Master. “This guy is doing something so amazingly musical and so difficult.
Blue Note Records 85th Anniversary Celebration – February 24, 2024
Starring The Blue Note Quintet
featuring Gerald Clayton, Joel Ross, Immanuel Wilkins, Kendrick Scott, and Matt Brewer
The hottest young names in jazz join forces to perform classic tunes from the legendary Blue Note label, as well as original compositions.
Veronica Swift – March 9, 2024
Having made her mark on the international jazz scene as one of the star vocalists of her era, Veronica Swift has now expanded her style, establishing herself as a skilled rock and soul singer as well as a dynamic performer mixing jazz and classical with rock, soul, and funk paying homage to greats like Janis Joplin, David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix and Duke Ellington.
Jazzmeia Horn – March 23, 2024
Award-winning vocalist Jazzmeia Horn showcases her perception of the world and her endlessly unfolding talents with the combination of her assured delivery and spoken word segments, deft arrangements, and fiery musical ideas.
The Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra Celebrates Duke Ellington at 125 – April 6, 2024
Under the Direction of Charlie Young
In celebration of the 125 anniversary of Duke Ellington’s birth, the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra brings the Ellington archive collection to life with a performance directed by Charlie Young, the current Artistic Director and Conductor of both the Duke Ellington Orchestra and the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra.
Take 6 – April 27, 2024
Take 6 (Claude McKnight, Mark Kibble, Joel Kibble, Dave Thomas, Alvin Chea and Khristian Dentley), heralded by Quincy Jones as the “baddest vocal cats on the planet!,” is the quintessential a cappella group and the model for vocal genius.
Kim and Kayla Waters – May 11, 2024
Kim Waters’ instantly recognizable sound has found the perfect equilibrium between sensitivity and brawn, intellect and emotion and technique and soulfulness. The daughter of jazz saxophonist Kim Waters, Kayla Waters is an award-winning urban-jazz pianist, chart-topping recording artist, composer, producer, and music director.
ARTISTS AND DATES SUBJECT TO CHANGE.
About MCG Jazz
MCG Jazz is a social enterprise of Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild, a subsidiary of Manchester Bidwell Corporation, a non-profit arts and learning center in Pittsburgh, PA.
Through our guiding principles: environment shapes behavior, people are assets and creativity fuels enterprise, and our mission to preserve, present and promote jazz, we aim to strengthen the Pittsburgh jazz community and contribute to the overall cultural and artistic diversity of the region.
The MCG Jazz concert series – one of the longest running subscription-based jazz performance series in the county –has been a safe place for artists to share their art and discuss relevant issues of the time. Our recording label produces distinctive albums from a wide variety of artists, our educational programs serve elementary, middle and high school aged students in urban and rural communities, and our archives of audio/video recordings, photographs, interviews and individual artist collections exists as a model for learning for future generations to help grow the audience for jazz and enhance the artform and its creators.
MCG Jazz 2023-2024 Concert Series Sponsors
The MCG Jazz concert series is supported through sponsorships and contributions. This year’s concert season partners are: Allegheny Regional Asset District, The Opportunity Fund, Peirce Family Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation. Media sponsors are Downbeat Magazine and The Pittsburgh Jazz Channel WZUM.