PITTSBURGH – On June 20-23, 2019, the 9th Annual Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival (PIJF), presented by Citizens Bank, will be held at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center (AWAACC) located on Liberty Avenue. This event is a signature event of the AWAACC and will be headlined by Patti LaBelle.

Curated and directed by Janis Burley Wilson, the President & CEO of the AWAACC, since its founding in 2011, the PIJF is a combination of ticketed shows inside of the AWAACC and free outdoor concerts.

2019 Jazz Festival Will Explore the Different Forms of Funk

According to Burley Wilson, the festival this year will explore Funk in a variety of forms. From Butcher Brown to WAR, and the Black Women Rock Coalition’s tribute to Betty Davis to the Stanley Clarke band, the program will appeal to a broad base of music fans while remaining true to the festival’s jazz roots and adding the sounds of Funk to the mix. Performances and events at the festival include:

  • Thursday, June 20th – Wall of Sound Series performed by drummer, producer and beat scientist, Makaya McCraven who has been compared to Archie Shepp meets Madlib and J Dilla by WIRE Magazine. This performance will be held in the intimate CAFÉ at the AWAACC.
  • Friday, June 21st 5:00-5:30 Hugo Alexander Cruz Machado is a Cuban-born, award-winning, internationally renowned drummer who has performed in South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Mexico, Venezuela, and the United States. He is the leader of the group Caminos, which had its Pittsburgh debut at the Pittonkatonk festival in May 2019, where they performed rhythms of the African diaspora and Cuban music for thousands. While a resident of Cuba, Hugo toured regularly with Síntesis, a leading Afrocuban rock-fusion group with traditional influences. In Pittsburgh, Hugo performs with several projects, including the Afro Yaqui Music Collective, and has been a guest teaching artist at the Afro American Music Institute and the University of Pittsburgh.
    • 5:30-7: 00 pm the signature Jazz Crawl around town will feature some of the best regional talents including Tubby Daniels Band and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
    • 7:30 pm – Butcher Brown, Virginia-based garage jazz/funk outfit, will play a free concert on the outdoor Smithfield stage.
    • 8:00 pm – Patti LaBelle will take the stage at the AWAACC. LaBelle belts out classic rhythm and blues renditions, spiritual sonnets, and pop standards that have created the unique platform of versatility she is known for.
    • 9:00 pm – Taste of Jazz party will begin at AWAACC, including tastings from around twenty downtown restaurants as well as a sampling of a variety of style of jazz.
  • Saturday morning, June 22nd – Pittsburgh Cultural Trust will hold the performance, Jazz Time!, created by Anqwenique Wingfield with music and lyrics by Douglas Levine. This performance tells the exciting story of Grandma Rose, taking children and adults on an adventure through time that explores the dynamics, tempos, melodies, and improvisation of jazz.
    Saturday evening, June 22nd – Late night sets in the Jazz Studio, the pop-up jazz club, will include the CD Release Party for the actor, director, and vocalist Tamara Tunie. A performance by Paul Jost, New York-based jazz vocalist known for scatting, swinging and breaking hearts, and his quartet will follow.
  • Saturday, June 22nd – 9:00 pm – Daughters of Betty, a project of the Black Women Rock Coalition, featuring Nona Hendryx of the 1970’s glam rock/funk group Labelle, will perform at the AWAACC stage. The band, founded in 2004 by acclaimed poet Jessica Care Moore, will feature 20 women musicians on the stage at one time who will rock out, inspired by artists like Betty Davis and other trailblazers in Funk, rock, and soul music.

Saturday and Sunday will also feature free concerts on the outdoor stages of the Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival. These free concerts will include performances from legendary, Grammy-winning and emerging headliners such as Nubya Garcia, Stanley Clarke Band, Charles Lloyd featuring Marvin Sewell, Reuben Rodgers, and Eric Harland, and many more!

It is recommended that tickets be purchased in advance for concerts being held inside of the theater due to limited seating.

Additional Features of the Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival

The Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival will also feature more educational opportunities to those who attend including master classes, community concerts, and artist talks throughout the weekend. Attend the 9th Annual Pittsburgh Jazz Festival where you can join the AWAACC in celebrating joy and unity through jazz music.