MCG Jazz Concert Hall
February 10, 11, 24, 25
Various times

There are so many wonderful ways to honor Black History Month in February and all year long throughout Pittsburgh.

One celebration not to miss is a showcase of outstanding contributions that African Americans have made, and are making, to Pittsburgh’s rich jazz culture. Presented by Manchester Bidwell Corporation, the series includes two ticketed concerts and one free lecture program all open to the public.

Marking Black History Month and MCG Jazz’s momentous 30th anniversary, the showcase kicks off February 10 and 11 with a concert by internationally acclaimed bassist and composer Rufus Reid.

Rufus Reid

Rufus Reid.

Reid’s performance will pay tribute to the pioneering jazz master and Pittsburgh native Ray Brown, a gifted bassist and cellist who worked extensively with Oscar Peterson and Ella Fitzgerald. The night will feature three distinct acts—a bass quintet, Reid’s Out Front Trio, and a culminating performance with the Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra.

Nicole Henry

Nicole Henry.

On February 24, the series welcomes world-renowned vocalist and Bucks County, Pa. native Nicole Henry, who will facilitate a free discussion with jazz icons Harry Clark, Dwayne Dolphin, Nelson Harrison and Roger Humphries. The fascinating conversation will explore Pittsburgh’s role in jazz innovation, the development of “the Pittsburgh Sound,” and the importance of jazz education and mentorship.

The monthlong celebration culminates on February 25 with a not-to-miss performance by three of Pittsburgh’s jazz masters. The Lewis Nash Quintet will take the stage paying homage to two of the greatest jazz drummers of all time—Pittsburgh natives Kenny Clarke and Art Blakey.

Joining Nash will be an all-star lineup of special guests, including prolific jazz drummer Roger Humphries—himself a living legend—and five-time Grammy-winning trombonist, arranger and producer, Jay Ashby. Known for his versatility and expertise in a wide array of musical genres, Nash has played on 400-plus records, and was named Jazz’s Most Valuable Player by Modern Drummer magazine in 2009.

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Looking for more events? Check out our 11 Pittsburgh events not to miss in FebruaryTop 10 family events in Pittsburgh this February and our 17 can’t-miss Pittsburgh concerts in 2017 feature stories.