14th Annual Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival Returns September 19 – 22, 2024 with FREE Concerts on Liberty Avenue and Pays Tribute to the 15th Anniversary of the Opening of the August Wilson African American Cultural Center

Artists Include Robert Glasper, Shemekia Copeland, The Average White Band Farewell Tour, Maysa, Sean Jones, Orrin Evans & The Captain Black Big Band, Emmet Cohen Trio, Endea Owens & The Cookout, Cimafunk, Luedji Luna, Dan Wilson, Vanisha Gould and More

Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Signs on as Lead Festival Sponsor

All Aboard The Jazz Train™, Which Picks Up Festival-bound Passengers in New York, Newark and Philadelphia

Tickets Go Sale Wednesday, May 15, 10:00 am at

PITTSBURGH, PA – April 30, 2024 – Get ready for The Homecoming when the Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival (PIJF) returns to the Cultural District, September 19 – 22, 2024 featuring a Free celebration along Liberty Avenue, between 10th and 7th Streets. Co-presented by Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield with additional support from UPMC and VisitPittsburgh, the 14th annual festival kicks off with concerts at area clubs on Thursday, followed by ticketed concerts and the popular Taste of Jazz Party on Friday at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center (AWAACC), 980 Liberty Avenue, and then takes the music to the streets on Saturday and Sunday, it was announced today, which is lauded around the world as International Jazz Appreciation Day.

“We are celebrating resilience on a number of levels,” said Janis Burley, PIJF founder, curator and President/CEO of AWAACC. “In addition to returning to two full days of free concerts on Liberty Avenue after two years of observing pandemic safety precautions at the beautiful Highmark Stadium, our Homecoming also commemorates the 15thanniversary of AWAACC, which opened on September 17, 2009. We are still HERE! We invite the community, friends near and far, to celebrate jazz music with food trucks, a beer garden and a Game Zone for Kids.  Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield has been a steadfast supporter since 2011, and now serves as our lead sponsor for 2024 along with support from UPMC and VisitPittsburgh.  With this international lineup, artists from Pittsburgh to Cuba to Brazil, jazz leaders and a blues superstar, I know that The Homecoming PIJF 2024 will be one of the best we’ve produced at AWAACC.”

“Highmark is honored to be the lead festival sponsor for the 2024 Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival,” said Kenya T. Boswell, Senior Vice President of Community Affairs at Highmark Health. “Supporting the August Wilson African American Cultural Center’s community impact and meaningful work is what our Highmark Bright Blue Futures community involvement and corporate giving program is all about.”

The great gathering of musicians assembled for Homecoming include Robert Glasper and his post-bop/hip-hop, Black Radio sounds, the velvet-toned vocalist Maysa and the blues diva Shemekia Copeland. The legendary Average White Band makes a stop on their Farewell Tour, while Cuban hip-hop musician Cimafunk and Brazilian singer Luedji Luna bring their grooves to Pittsburgh’s Cultural District. Trumpet titan/educator Sean Jones will premiere new music, and Philadelphia pianist/composer/bandleader Orrin Evans returns to the festival with his Captain Black Big Band and New York pianist Emmet Cohen joins the party with his telepathically tight trio.

Detroit native and Late Show with Stephen Colbert bassist Endea Owens & The Cookout bring their music feast to the fest, and Akron guitarist Dan Wilson, California-born vocalist/songwriter, PIJF Emerging Artist-in-Residence Vanisha Gould make return visits to the festival. Also featured are some of Pittsburgh’s finest musicians including pianist/keyboardist, B.U.I.L.D Artist-in-Residence Howie Alexander and turntablists Selecta, DJ SMI and DJ Big Phil. Other musicians include Cleveland saxophonist Chris Coles and dynamic vocalist Reagan Gray & Black Vitaminz.

As an old tradition is revived, a new one started last year.  Orrin Evans returns as host of The Jazz Train™, a reserved Amtrak car featuring a live jazz session, refreshments, games and spirited camaraderie with fellow jazz lovers. The journey starts on September 19 at 10:52 am in New York, picks up travelers in Newark (11:09 am) and Philadelphia (12:42 pm) and arrives in Pittsburgh in time to catch some jazz in the Steel City. This year, vocalist Vanisha Gould joins Evans and his band.  The Jazz Train departs Pittsburgh on Monday morning, September 23. Tickets are on sale now at

The daily schedule, including more artists and events, will be announced later.


For more information and tickets for concerts at AWAACC and VIP packages for the free concerts, please log on to Tickets go on sale to the general public Wednesday, May 15, 10:00 am. Members of the August Wilson African American Cultural Center enjoy early access starting May 9.

Hailed by DownBeat magazine as one of the largest festivals in the Northeast, “with live jazz and R&B legends and emerging artists,” the festival has featured some of the most accomplished jazz artists on the globe including, Ron Carter, Dianne Reeves, Bob James, Gregory Porter and Chaka Khan, and future masters, Chelsea Baratz, Nubya Garcia and Jazzmeia Horn. From the city that gave us George Benson, Erroll Garner, Stanley Turrentine, Dakota Station, Billy Strayhorn, Mary Lou Williams and so many more, it is only fitting that the city’s magnificent festival brings the jazz world to Pittsburgh.

For more information on the Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival log on to


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, VisitPittsburgh, Comcast NBC Universal and Xfinity, 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. Special thanks to media partner, Jazz Corner.

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).

AWAACC’s programming is made possible by generous support from its donors. For a complete list, visit


An independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Highmark Inc., together with its Blue-branded affiliates, collectively comprise the fifth largest overall Blue Cross Blue Shield-affiliated organization in the country with approximately 7 million members in Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia and western and northeastern New York. Its diversified businesses serve group customer and individual needs across the United States through dental insurance and other related businesses. For more information, visit

The Highmark Bright Blue Futures program is designed to ensure healthier, brighter, stronger futures for all, and it focuses on improving equitable access to care, quality of life, and economic resilience in the communities the enterprise serves. For more information, visit Highmark Bright Blue Futures.


The August Wilson African American Cultural Center is a non-profit cultural organization located in Pittsburgh’s cultural district that generates artistic, educational, and community initiatives that advance the legacy of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson. One of the largest cultural centers in the country focused exclusively on the African American experience and the celebration of Black culture and the African diaspora, the non-profit organization welcomes more than 119,000 visitors locally and nationally. Through year-round programming across multiple genres, such as the annual Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival, Black Bottom Film Festival, AWCommunity Days, TRUTHSayers speaker series, and rotating art exhibits in its galleries, the Center provides a platform for established and emerging artists of color whose work reflects the universal issues of identity that Wilson tackled, and which still resonate today.

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Media Contact: Carolyn McClair
(212) 721-3341 |