Lineup includes Average White Band, Buster Williams, Orrin Evans Trio, Aymée Nuviola with Gonzalo Rubalcaba and more
April 26, 2022 – Pittsburgh, PA –The August Wilson African American Cultural Center (AWAACC) announced today its 2022 Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival (PIJF) presented by Citizens Bank. Taking place from September 16-18, 2022, the 12th annual festival will feature more than one hundred musicians, from award-winning legends to new and unique voices in jazz, funk, and fusion. The lineup includes the most recorded bassist in history, multi-Grammy winner Ron Carter; jazz fusion pioneer Stanley Clarke; soul funk icons, the Average White Band; award-winning vocalist and current phenom, Samara Joy; vocal storyteller and stylist, Vanisha Gould; award-winning pianist, Orrin Evans; innovator and cultural interpreter, trumpeter, Chief Adjuah (formerly Christian Scott); UK-based acid jazz favorites, Incognito featuring Maysa Leak, and many others, performing at August Wilson African American Culture Center (980 Liberty Avenue) and the Highmark Stadium (510 W. Station Square Drive) over the September 16-18 weekend. A full lineup of performances is available below with more artists to be added. The Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival is curated by Janis Burley Wilson, AWAACC President & CEO and Artistic Director, who created the festival in 2011 and has built it into a signature program of the Center as well as an international tourism event for Pittsburgh.
The Ron Carter Foursight will kick off the festival on Friday, September 16 at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center. On Saturday, September 17 and Sunday, September 18, PIJF will then move to Highmark Stadium for back-to-back performances by Stanley Clarke, Incognito featuring Maysa Leak, Ledisi, Average White Band, Buster Williams & Something More, Melissa Aldana, Vanisha Gould, Orrin Evans Trio, Nate Smith + KINFOLK, Chief Adjuah (formerly Christian Scott), Aymée Nuviola and Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Dan Wilson Trio, Samara Joy featuring Pasquale Grasso Trio, Laurin Talese, and more to be announced. AWAACC member and sponsor pre-sale tickets will be available on Saturday, April 30 at 10 a.m. ET, with general tickets on sale Monday, May 9 at 10 a.m. ET at pittsburghjazzfest.org.
“Jazz is synonymous with Pittsburgh, being the home of innovators like Ray Brown, Art Blakey, George Benson, Mary Lou Williams, Ahmad Jamal, Stanley Turrentine, and Roger Humphries, so it was important for me to share this strong jazz lineage and invite jazz lovers ‘home’ to Pittsburgh for this annual festival,” said AWAACC President & CEO Janis Burley Wilson. “For more than a decade, the Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival has been a highly anticipated weekend destination for music lovers and the most innovative jazz musicians in the world. For example, Ron Carter is celebrating his 85th birthday and still creating new music; while Vanisha Gould is making her distinctive mark and will be seen and heard for the first time in Pittsburgh at PIJF. People will be able to catch performances by their favorite artists and discover new interpretations of this music. We thank Citizens Bank, our additional sponsors, and Highmark Stadium, which has been a valued partner for the second year in a row.”
The Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival presented by Citizens supports the AWAACC mission to celebrate African American culture and the African diaspora. The AWAACC is a leading presenter across genres. To learn more about the Center and its year-round activities, please visit https://aacc-awc.org/.
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Ticket Information: Pre-sale tickets for both the performance at AWAACC and the weekend of performances at Highmark Stadium are available to AWAACC members on April 30 at 10 a.m. ET, and tickets for non-members go on-sale starting May 9 at 12 p.m. ET at pittsburghjazzfest.org. For additional details and the complete festival lineup, please visit pittsburghjazzfest.org.
Tickets for Ron Carter Foresight at AWAACC on Friday, September 16 start at $55.
One-day Jazz Fest passes for Saturday or Sunday are available starting at $45, and two-day Jazz Fest passes are available starting at $85 for performances taking place at Highmark Stadium.
Student one-day passes for $30 and two-day passes for $55 will be available for purchase in-person at the venue, as well as $12 tickets for children (ages 4-12) and free Lap Passes for children under 3. These tickets must be purchased in person at the Highmark Stadium box office.
The Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival would like to thank its sponsors, including Citizens Bank, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, UPMC, UPMC Health Plan, UPMC Center for Engagement and Inclusion and Flyspace Productions. Partners include JazzCorner, Downbeat Magazine, JazzTimes Magazine, The Westin Convention Center Hotel, Sheraton Station Square Hotel, the Pittsburgh International Airport, Drury Hotel, and others.
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Ron Carter Foursight
Ron Carter is among the most original, prolific, and influential bassists in jazz. He has recorded over 2,200 albums; a Guinness world record. Over his 60-year career, he has recorded with many of the jazz greats: Lena Horne, Bill Evans, B.B. King, Dexter Gordon, Wes Montgomery, Bobby Timmons, Eric Dolphy, Cannonball Adderley and Jaki Byard to name a few. From 1963 to 1968, he was a member of the acclaimed Miles Davis Quintet. After leaving the quintet he has a prolific 50-year freelance career that has spanned vastly different music genres. He recorded with Aretha Franklin; appeared on the seminal hip-hop album Low End Theory with a Tribe Called Quest;wrote, and recorded pieces for string quartets and Bach chorales for tow to eight basses; and accompanied Danny Simmons on a spoken word album. Carter spends at least half the year on world tours with his various groups: The Ron Carter Trio, The Ron Carter quartet, the Ron Carter Nonet and Ron Carter’s Great Big Band. He is also an author, educator, film scorer, and multiple award-winner, including two Grammy Awards.
Stanley Clarke Band
Long before he became a four-time Grammy Award-winning recording artist, performer, composer, conductor, arranger, producer, a composer for recordings and film, as well as one of the most celebrated acoustic and electric bass players in the world, Stanley Clarke was a student. Stanley’s “school days” were not only the inspiration for his world-renowned bass anthem, but essential to the origin story of the pioneering bass virtuoso from the streets of Philadelphia. In his early teens, Stanley moved from the violin, his fingers were too big for, and the cello that never sat well with him, to an abandoned acoustic double bass in the corner of a school band room. It was the first of many moments that would shape his future and
the role of the bass player for years to come. With the guidance and encouragement of teachers like Eligio Rossi at the Settlement Music School, Stanley steadily developed technique and confidence on the bass. The tall, sports-minded kid began spending as much time on the bass as the basketball court, perfecting the mastery of the classical music repertoire he was studying, with aspirations of one day playing in his city’s symphony orchestra.
Incognito featuring Maysa Leak
Incognito is an acid jazz project rooted in the Brit-funk scene. Incognito are led by Jean-Paul “Bluey” Maunick, a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, producer, and arranger who has guided an ever-changing lineup since 1979. The group appeared to be a one-and-done deal after “Jazz Funk” (1981) but returned early the next decade to record and perform at a steady rate, continually refining their feel-good hybrid sound with Jocelyn Brown, Maysa Leak, and Tony Momrelle among an assortment of featured and longer-term vocalists. Although Maunick and company have placed 15 singles on the U.K. pop chart, including a Top Ten version of Ronnie Laws’ “Always There” and Top 20 cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing,” their devotion to modernizing ’70s soul, funk, disco, and crossover jazz has fostered a larger following in the U.S.
Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, jazz-soul singer/songwriter Maysa Leak embarked on a singing career at an early age. She placed second in Baltimore’s first annual Billie Holiday Vocal Jazz Contest and auditioned for Stevie Wonder’s vocal group Wonderlove. She was accepted into the group, which she joined only after she had earned her degree from Morgan State. She recorded with Wonderlove on the Jungle Fever soundtrack and appeared in live and televised performances to promote the film. To pay her rent, Maysa also recorded jingles on her days off from performing with Wonderlove and worked at local record shops. In 1991, she was recommended to the British funk-jazz group Incognito by producer Steve Harvey, a mutual friend of Maysa’s and of the band’s leader, Jean-Paul “Bluey” Maunick.
2021 Grammy winner Ledisi is a fourteen-time Grammy nominated vocalist. Over her career she’s garnered three Soul Train Music awards, an NAACP Theater Award and thirteen NAACP Image Award nominations. Most recently, Ledisi received two LA Alliance Ovation Award nominations, one for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. Born in New Orleans and raised in Oakland, CA, she has truly earned a place in the pantheon of the greatest singers of her generation. Ledisi is a favorite of The Obamas as well as a long list of icons including Prince, Patti LaBelle, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan and many more. In 2008, Ledisi landed a role in her first feature, singing in the George Clooney directed film, Leatherheads. In 2015, she portrayed the great Mahalia Jackson in the Oscar-nominated movie, Selma and had a notable performance in Gabourey Sidibe’s Shatterbox Anthology film, The Tale Of Four. Ledisi secured her first television role playing the legendary Patti LaBelle on the hit BET series, “American Soul.” She also starred in the BET+ plus drama, Twice Bitten. This year Ledisi landed the starring role in the film Remember Me: The Story of Mahalia Jackson. To cap off an amazing year, she will also portray the incomparable Gladys Knight in the long-awaited film based on Neil Bogart’s career, Spinning Gold, the story of Casablanca Records.
Average White Band
Average White Band from Scotland are widely regarded as one of the best soul and funk bands in the history of music. Though perhaps best known for their timeless instrumental mega-hit ‘Pick Up the Pieces’ the band’s strength lay in their consistently accomplished songwriting, stretching across several gold selling albums and multi-Grammy nominations for the legendary Atlantic Records. Somewhat incongruously, given their Scottish roots, the six pieces took the influences of their R&B heroes – people like Marvin Gaye, James Brown, Donny Hathaway and others – and developed their own ‘authentic’ sound which was eagerly adopted by black audiences in the US and elsewhere.
The Buster Williams & Something More
Buster Williams is a prodigious artist who has played, recorded and collaborated with jazz giants such as Art Blakey, Betty Carter, Carmen McRae, Chet Baker, Chick Corea, Dexter Gordon, Jimmy Heath, Branford Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis, Sonny Stitt, Herbie Hancock, Lee Konitz, McCoy Tyner, Illinois Jacquet, Nancy Wilson, Elvin Jones, Miles Davis, the Jazz Crusaders, Ron Carter, Woody Shaw, Sarah Vaughan, Benny Golson, Mary Lou Williams, Hank Jones, Lee Morgan, Bobby Hutcherson, Billy Taylor, Sonny Rollins, Count Basie, Errol Garner, Kenny Barron, and Freddie Hubbard. Mr. Williams has recorded soundtracks for movies including Les Choix desArmes; McKenna’s Gold with Gregory Peck; David Lynch’s, Twin Peaks “Fire Walk With Me”; Spike Lee’s Clockers, and more. TV shows include an appearance on the “Johnny Carson Tonight Show” with Errol Garner; and the “Jay Leno Tonight Show,” where he performed five of his original compositions with the Branford Marsalis Tonight Show Band. Awards include a Grammy in 1979; the Min-OnArtAward; the SGI Glory Award the SGI Cultural Award; the RVC Corporation RCA Best Seller Award; NEA recipient; New York Fellowship Grant; 5 Stars from Downbeat magazine for the album Crystal Reflections, listed in Who’s Who in Black America; and numerous proclamations.
Since coming to New York City a few years ago, Vanisha Gould has become an important young voice on the New York jazz scene, where she’s graced the stages of Dizzy’s Club at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Smalls, The Jazz Gallery, and other esteemed New York City venues. She’s also toured internationally and recently released an album entitled In Her Words, a collaborative open-hearted glimpse into the inner lives of women.
Grammy nominated saxophonist and composer Melissa Aldana recently released 12 Stars, her debut album as a leader for the legendary Jazz label. At 33, the Brooklyn-based tenor player from Santiago, Chile has garnered international recognition for her visionary work as a band leader, as well as her deeply meditative interpretation of language and vocabulary.
Orrin Evans Trio
For more than two decades, pianist Orrin Evans has made an art form of the unexpected. With more than 25 albums to his credit without ever relying on the support of a major label, Evans has become the model of a fiercely independent artist who’s made a habit of rattling the jazz world’s confining cages. That determination has paid off in accolades like topping the “Rising Star Pianist” category in the 2018 DownBeat Critics Poll and two Grammy nominations. As a daring pianist, Evans combines raw-edged vigor and left-field nuance into a sound wholly his own. As an adventurous composer he traverses stylistic boundaries with abandon, drawing on full-throttle swing, deep rooted blues, expressive soul or bracing excursions into the avant-garde. As an audacious bandleader, he delights in daring fellow musicians to take bold risks, whether in mutable small group settings or his raucous Captain Black Big Band. As an inventive collaborator, his projects range from the collective trio Tarbaby to the guitar/piano duo project Eubanks-Evans-Experience, and Brazilian project Terreno Comum.
Nate Smith + KINFOLK
Nate Smith is a drummer, composer, and producer from Chesapeake, Virginia. His visceral, instinctive, and deep-rooted style of drumming has led to three Grammy nominations and work with esteemed artists, including: Pat Metheny, Dave Holland, Brittany Howard, Van Hunt, The Fearless Flyers, Norah Jones, and Somi. Smith fuses his original compositions with an eclectic mix of music, including everything from jazz to R&B to hip-hop to pop. His latest album, “Kinfolk 2: See The Birds” (released September 2021 on Edition Records) is the highly anticipated follow up to his 2017 Grammy Award nominated album,
“Kinfolk: Postcards From Everywhere.” In recent years, Smith’s viral videos have been viewed by millions of people, underscoring his popularity as one of the most influential drummers of his generation.
Chief Adjuah (formerly Christian Scott)
Chief Adjuah is a two-time Edison Award-winning and five-time Grammy Award nominated musician, composer, and producer. He is the nephew of jazz innovator and legendary sax man, Donald Harrison, Jr. Adjuah has released twelve critically acclaimed studio recordings, three live albums and one greatest hits collection. According to NPR, Adjuah “ushers in new era of jazz.” He has been heralded by JazzTimes Magazine as “Jazz’s young style God.” Adjuah is known for developing the harmonic convention known as the “forecasting cell” and for his use of an un-voiced tone in his playing, emphasizing breath over vibration at the mouthpiece.
Aymée Nuviola and Gonzalo Rubalcaba
Aymée Nuviola is a Grammy- and Latin Grammy-winning singer, pianist, composer, and actress. As one of the finest timba artists — a furious brand of Afro-Cuban dance music — Nuviola is regarded globally for her cross-genre diversity and her powerful singing voice. While her tunes are rooted in Latin jazz, timba, son, guaguancó, guaracha, and charanga — all decorated with urban electronic sounds — she delivers these styles in unique juxtapositions as steamy boleros, tangos, rhumbas, bossa nova, and occasionally rock and even classical music. She has been favorably compared with Celia Cruz (whom she played in a Colombian telenovela about the singer), Billie Holiday, and Sarah Vaughan. In addition to her own recordings, she is a noted collaborator. She has worked with a wide range of artists including Negroni Trio, Rey Ruiz, Kat Dahlia, and Charlie Aponte, to name a few. From her first single, 2008’s furious dance hit “Salsa con Timba” to 2013’s scorching son “Fiesta,” from her sophomore long-player En La Intimidad, Nuviola’s resonant voice, trademark phrasing, and innate sense of tradition is juxtaposed with an artful restlessness and innovation, be it in arrangements, lyrics, polyrhythms, or harmonies. Her vision and energy bore fruit almost immediately. 2014’s First Class to Havana won a Latin Grammy for Best Salsa Album and a Grammy for Best Tropical Album the following year. In 2016, she appeared with Septeto Santiaguero on their Grammy winner No Quiero Llanto: Tributo a los Compadres. She and Kat Dahlia worked together on the funky Cuban chart-topper “La Negra Tiene Tumbao,” from Nuviola’s hit album “Regreso a la Habana.”
The multi-GRAMMY® winner, pianist and composer Gonzalo Rubalcaba was already a young phenom with a budding career in his native Cuba when he was discovered by Dizzy Gillespie in 1985. Since Piano & Keyboard Magazine selected him in 1999 as one of the great pianists of the 20th century, alongside figures such as Glenn Gould, Martha Argerich and Bill Evans, Rubacala has won three Grammys and two Latin Grammys, and has established himself as a creative force in the jazz world. Following graduation he stepped right into the life of the popular musician, touring Cuba, Europe, Africa, and Asia with the fabled Orquesta Aragón and also as a sideman in jazz groups and, beginning in 1984, leading his own Afro-Cuban jazz rock fusion band, Grupo Proyecto. Encounters with Gillespie and, in 1986, with Charlie Haden and then Blue Note Records president, Bruce Lundvall, set the stage to showcase Rubalcaba ́s talent before jazz audiences in the United States. These years are documented in a series of recordings in Havana and Frankfurt, Germany, including three superb recordings with his Cuban Quartet on the German label Messidor: “Mi Gran Pasión” (1987), “Live in Havana” (1989) and “Giraldilla” (1990). Rubalcaba moved to the Dominican Republic in 1991 and settled in Miami in 1996.
Growing up in Akron, Ohio, Dan Wilson spent the majority of his youth within the church community, where his musical path began. Traces of his major guitar influences – including Wes Montgomery, Charlie Christian, Joe Pass, and George Benson to name a few – can be discerned through his playing, but his musical identity has been shaped by everything from gospel and blues to traditional jazz, hip-hop and horn players like Sonny Rollins and Joe Henderson. After graduating from Hiram College, Wilson made his recording debut with pianist Joe McBride and performed to worldwide acclaim with Joey DeFrancesco and Christian McBride’s Tip City, eventually recording his debut as a leader To Whom It May Concern.
Samara Joy featuring Pasquale Grasso Trio
Following her 2019 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition win, Samara Joy released her debut album Samara Joy and has seen her career flourish, performing on TODAY with Hoda and Jenna and at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Dizzy’s Club. As one of America’s most promising young vocalists, the 22-year-old Bronx native and recent SUNY Purchase graduate puts her spin on jazz standards from the Great American Songbook.
Laurin Talese’s debut album, Gorgeous Chaos, was released in 2016 and charted at 14 on Billboard. In 2018, Talese won the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition, and the following year she made her debut at the Newport Jazz Festival. In 2019, Talese represented the United States as a cultural ambassador with American Music Abroad – an initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and the following year, Talese was awarded the New Jazz Works grant funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Laurin’s latest project, Museum of Living Stories premiered on live format at the Kennedy Center and Kimmel Cultural Campus in February 2022.
ABOUT AUGUST WILSON AFRICAN AMERICAN CULTURAL CENTER
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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Cydney Nunn August Wilson African American Cultural Center email@example.com
Julie Danni / Josh Balber Resnicow and Associates Jdanni@resnicow.com / Jbalber@resnicow.com 212-671-5173 / -5175
Concern. McBride produced Wilson’s 2021 release Vessels of Wood and Earth for his imprint Brother
Mister Productions through Mack Avenue Music Group. Dan is the recipient of the Letter One Rising Jazz