Easter Monday has turned into a jazz marathon featuring some of Pittsburgh’s best jazz musicians and vocalists. On April 9, at the Holiday Inn, Oakland, hundreds enjoyed a night of jazz presented by the Black Political Empowerment Project in association with the Pittsburgh Jazz Society, with support from BNY Mellon Jazz. B-PEP Chairman and CEO, Tim Stevens says their annual “fun-raiser” has become the most highly anticipated Pittsburgh based jazz event of the year. “There is no other night which features more Pittsburgh Metropolitan jazz artists in one location on one night than B-PEP Jazz.”
|THE HOSTS—Bill Hillgrove, Tony Mowod and Tim Stevens (Photos by Debbie Norrell)
The landmark night featured guest emcees like Tony Mowod, founder of the Pittsburgh Jazz Society; Vince Sims (WPXI); Laura Varner Norman (WAMO 100); and Bill Hillgrove (the voice of the Pittsburgh Steelers).
B-PEP also honored a few of the community’s trailblazers. The B-PEP Life Time Achievement Award for Community Service and Advocacy was presented to Sarah B. Campbell. She was the founding member of the Homewood-Brushton Community Improvement Association, which later became HBCIA. The B-BEP Lifetime Achievement Award for Business went to Luther J. Sewell Jr., who has published Talk Magazine for 50 years. The B-PEP Artistic Achievement Award for Justice and Accountability went to Attilio “Buck” Favorini, who is currently professor and director of Graduate Studies in Theatre Arts at the University of Pittsburgh. He also received wide spread acclaim for penning The Gammage Project, about the deadly incident in the suburb of Brentwood in 1995. Brandi Fisher received the B-PEP “Unsung Hero” Award. Fisher is the chair, spokesperson and one of the founders of the group Alliance for Police Accountability, founded in 2010. The B-PEP “Unsung Hero” Award was also presented to Mark Clayton Southers. Southers was personally mentored by the late August Wilson and is artistic director of theater initiatives for the August Wilson Center for African American Culture.