Free concerts offer cultural enrichment to city residents

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Roger Humphries and RH Factor (Photo by Frank Greenlee)

In an effort to provide people of different backgrounds and economic levels to enjoy the arts, Citiparks is offering its three popular summer concert series–”Stars at Riverview Jazz Series,” “Bach, Beethoven and Brunch” and Reservoir of Jazz,” again this year. Each series is sure to whet the appetite of all music lovers in the Pittsburgh area.

“These concerts are a great way to provide no-cost access to the arts for families in the City, increase utilization in our parks, and to enhance the quality of life for our residents. We know that everyone cannot afford to go to places like the Opera or the Symphony, so our concerts allow people of all backgrounds and abilities access to the arts,” said Tim Ishman, assistant director Pittsburgh Parks and Recreation.

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Roger Humphries (Photo by Tracy Edmunds)

“Stars at Riverview Jazz” brings some of today’s best jazz artists to Riverview Park on Saturday evenings. Running through August 31, attendees are encouraged to bring a lawn chair or spread a blanket on Observatory Hill. After the concerts, Cinema in the Park” is held where family-friendly movies are shown at dusk.

Artists scheduled to perform during the remainder of “Stars at Riverview Jazz” include Kevin Howard on Aug. 3; Marty Ashby Quartet on Aug, 17; Kenny Blake on Aug. 31. Sponsors include the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition and the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts.

Now through Aug. 11, classical music lovers can enjoy some of their favorite arias from 10:30 a.m. to noon at Mellon Park along Fifth and Shady Avenues in the Point Breeze Squirrel Hill area of Pittsburgh. Some of this year’s entertainment include Cincopation on August 4 and East Winds Symphonic Band on August 11. The event is sponsored by BNY Mellon, the Highland Park Community Council and the Allegheny Regional Asset District.

If you want to spend a Sunday evening relaxing under the stars listening to some great music, then Reservoir of Jazz is the place to be. Located in Highland Park along Highland and Reservoir Drives, the event is sponsored by BNY Mellon, Highland Park Community Council and Allegheny Regional Asset District. It runs from August 4-25 and will feature some of the city’s best jazz artists including Joe Negri on August 11 and Michele Bensen on August 25.

“All of our concerts are wonderful ways to enjoy not only free music, but some of the city’s many amazing parks in a different way,” said Brian Katze, Citiparks special events program coordinator.

The events have been a stable in the city for decades. Stars at Riverview began in 2002 and is in its 11th season; Bach, Beethoven & Brunch started in 1984 and is currently in its 29th season and Reservoir of Jazz began in 1995 and is currently in its 18th season.

“We’ve had record attendance at all of our concerts. The feedback we get via face-to-face discussions or by way of the Mayor’s 311 Call Line has been amazingly positive. Communities love to have the free cultural entertainment right in their backyards,” Ishman said.

With statistics like that, its no wonder Citiparks is gearing up for the 2014 season.

“There are many world-class musicians living in Pittsburgh. We are lucky to be able to hear them play when they are home from national tours and international festivals,” said Tracy L. Edmunds, Stars at Riverview Jazz programmer. “The performers are selected so that we have a wide variety of musical representation: seasoned veterans and highly revered musicians like Roger Humphries as well as young, up and coming artists like Chelsea Baratz and Elevations makes the series diverse.”

For more information visit www.citiparks.net

 

Eric Johnson (Photo by Frank Greenlee)