May-31st-2005, 11:13 PM
Mellon Jazz Series
PITTSBURGH, May 31 /PRNewswire/ -- The Three Rivers Arts Festival, The
Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and Mellon Jazz today announced The Mellon Jazz
Series, three fall and winter concerts that will bring jazz giants Pat Metheny
and Ahmad Jamal plus a multimedia tribute to jazz immortal Billie Holiday to
the Byham Theater in downtown Pittsburgh. The Pat Metheny Group featuring the virtuoso guitar stylings of the group's namesake will take the Byham stage at 8 p.m. on Thursday, October 27; "Billie & Me," a multimedia tribute to Billie Holiday featuring Dianne Reeves, will be performed at 8 p.m. on Thursday, November 17; and Pittsburgh native Ahmad Jamal will demonstrate his keyboard mastery at 8 p.m. on Friday, January 13, 2006.
Sponsored by Mellon Financial Corporation, The Mellon Jazz Series is being
co-presented by Three Rivers Arts Festival and The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.
Tickets for the concerts go on sale on Monday, August 15, at the Box Office at Theater Square, online at http://www.pgharts.org , and by phone at
(412) 456-6666. Information on group reservations and discounts is available
at (412) 471-6930.
"Bringing these three top-notch attractions to a theater ideally suited to
live jazz performances is a significant step forward in our continuing efforts
to make quality jazz programming available to local audiences on a year-round
basis," said Rose M. Gabbianelli, Mellon executive vice president and director
of corporate affairs.
"Jazz has been a staple of the Three Rivers Arts Festival for many years,
and this June is no different, with the great Chick Corea appearing on Sunday,
June 12, sponsored by Mellon Jazz. We are proud to integrate jazz into our
growing calendar of fall and winter programs, and to help Pittsburgh stay
connected to great art all year long," said Elizabeth Reiss, executive
director of Three Rivers Arts Festival.
"The Byham Theater provides a great setting to showcase jazz performances, and the world-renowned artists featured in the Mellon Jazz Series have the potential to draw audiences from around the region and beyond to the heart of the Cultural District," said J. Kevin McMahon, president and chief executive officer of The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. "We are very pleased to work with Three Rivers Arts Festival on this great collaboration, and we're grateful to Mellon Financial Corporation for their generosity and support of Pittsburgh's rich jazz heritage."
The mission of the Three Rivers Arts Festival is to connect the Pittsburgh
community to the arts. Its June Festival presents over 1,000 artists, serves
over half a million people, and generates over 19 million dollars in spending.
In addition to the Festival, TRAF co-presents the CD Live concert series with
The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and WYEP FM, produces First Night Pittsburgh for The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and operates a gallery dedicated to furthering the artistic creativity of our region.
The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a non-profit organization whose mission
is the cultural and economic development of Pittsburgh's 14-block Cultural
District through public and private partnerships. The Trust presents and
encourages diverse performing and visual arts programs within the District,
and is an impetus for additional development in downtown Pittsburgh. The Trust owns Theater Square and the Cabaret at Theater Square; the Benedum Center for the Performing Arts; Byham, O'Reilly, and Harris Theaters; Wood Street Galleries; SPACE; Future Tenant and 707 Penn; as well as 937 Liberty, a multipurpose performance and exhibit space, among other downtown arts facilities.
Mellon Financial Corporation's year-round celebration of jazz excellence,
Mellon Jazz is marking its 19th anniversary in Pittsburgh this year and 20th
in Philadelphia. In both cities Mellon Jazz supports non-profit organizations
engaged in live jazz performances and jazz education, and recognizes
individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to each
city's rich jazz tradition.
The Pat Metheny Group's fall tour features Christian McBride on bass and
Antonio Sanchez on drums. Winner of 15 Grammy Awards, including Best
Contemporary Jazz Recording and Best Jazz Instrumental Solo, Metheny has been acclaimed as the father of modern jazz guitar since his debut as a teenager more than 20 years ago. Obliterator of stylistic boundaries and creator of some of the best jazz/jazz-fusion music ever recorded, Metheny has brought his signature guitar sounds to a broad range of collaborations, performing with Ornette Coleman, Sonny Rollins, Herbie Hancock, Dave Holland, Roy Haynes and Joshua Redman, as well as Joni Mitchell, Bruce Hornsby, and David Bowie. Metheny has taught at both the University of Miami and Berklee, and has written scores for several motion pictures, including "The Falcon and the Snowman."
A celebration of Billie Holiday's spirit and musical genius, "Billie & Me"
combines live performances, readings and interpretations of Lady Day's
repertoire with film footage and audio recordings. The tribute takes the
audience on a journey from Billie's beginnings, growing up in the brothels of
Baltimore to the life of a hard-traveling star during the golden era of jazz.
Featuring Dianne Reeves, a consummate jazz vocalist who was awarded the Grammy
for Best Jazz Vocal Performance for each of her last three recordings -- a
Grammy first in any vocal category -- the tribute completed a nearly month-
long, sold-out run in London earlier this year, and is scheduled for Carnegie
Hall prior to its Pittsburgh engagement.
Appearing with Ahmad Jamal will be James Cammack on bass and Idris
Muhammad on drums. One of the premiere jazz pianists in the world today,
Jamal is a Pittsburgh native and Westinghouse High School graduate. A child
prodigy, he played the piano at the age of 3 and began formal studies at age
7. After completing the equivalent of college master classes while still in
high school, he joined the musicians union at the age of 14, and he began
touring upon graduation from Westinghouse at the age of 17. Jamal burst on
the scene in Chicago with his first trio in the early 1950s, and quickly
established himself as a key jazz influence, receiving plaudits from the likes
of Miles Davis and Bill Evans. The movies have been a welcome home for his
artistry, with Jamal performing the title tune for the soundtrack of the film
"Mash!," and in 1995, two tracks from his hit album "But Not For Me" featured
in "The Bridges of Madison County," directed by Hollywood icon and noted jazz
aficionado Clint Eastwood. A Mellon Jazz honoree, Mr. Jamal received the
American Jazz Masters award from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1994,
and during that same year was named a Duke Ellington Fellow at Yale
More information on Mellon Jazz is available via the Mellon Jazz link
at http://www.mellon.com . More information on The Three Rivers Arts
Festival, including the schedule of events for this year's Festival, is
available at http://www.artsfestival.net . The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's
Web site presents a complete listing of events in the Cultural District; to
find out more, click on http://www.pgharts.org/events/.
SOURCE Mellon Financial Corporation; Three Rivers Arts Festival;
The Web Site: http://www.mellon.com http://www.pgharts.org