TERRI LYNE CARRINGTON
On Drums (Photos by J.L. Martello)
The concerts—Community Engagement Concert held on May 31 and Live From The Hill held on June 1--featured the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra on Thursday and Grammy-winning jazz vocalist and bassist Esperanza Spalding and Grammy Award winning drummer Terri Lyne Carrington and Pianist Geri Hall on Friday.
“This has been an opportunity to bring another genre of music to the community,” said Terri Baltimore, vice-president of Neighborhood Development for the Hill House. “People show up and it’s a different experience listening to music live on stage. The whole idea is to play on the tradition of the city with live music.”
Both concerts were held at the Kaufmann Center in the historic Hill District section of Pittsburgh.
After enjoying the soothing sounds of Jazz artist Kenny Blake in the courtyard, attendees were treated to a night of beautiful cultured music as the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra serenaded them with arias from Franz Schubert, Gustav Holst, Fredrick Delius and Mozart. Mozart’s “Sinfonia Concertante in E-Flat” featured symphony soloists, Canadian violinist Jennifer Orchard and Canadian violist Marylene Gingras-Roy.
“It’s really interesting that at the turn of the 20th century there were symphonies in the Hill District,” Baltimore said.
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Resident Conductor Lawrence Loh was glad to be able to serve as conductor for the event.
“It’s tremendously exciting to be conducting the concert. I love when we bring the symphony to the community,” Loh said. “The Kaufmann Center is a beautiful, intimate venue.”
Hill House Association President and CEO Cheryl Hall-Russell echoed Loh’s sentiments about the Kaufmann Center and the legacy of the Hill District.
“Music is in our DNA in the city and this is a great venue for Jazz artists because of its intimacy,” Hall-Russell said.
A self-taught bassist, singer and composer, Spalding returned to Pittsburgh after a stellar performance a few years ago.
The Portland native knew at the tender age of four, while most little girls were playing with dolls, she was meant to make a career in music.
Spalding taught herself to play the violin after seeing Yo Yo Ma perform on an episode of “Mr. Rogers Neighborhood.”
“That was when I realized I wanted to do something musical,” said Spalding on her web site. “It was definitely the thing that hipped me to the whole idea of music as a creative pursuit.”
Spalding landed a spot in the Chamber Music Society of Oregon, a community orchestra that was open to children and adult musicians. She stayed with the group for 10 years, leaving at the age of 15 as concertmaster.
In 2008, she released “Esperanza,” which went straight to the contemporary jazz charts and stayed there for more than 70 weeks. 2010’s “Chamber Music Society” earned the multi-lingual singer the 2011 Best New Artist Grammy. It was the first time a Jazz artist was ever honored with the award. “Chamber Music Society” featured Hall and Carrington as well as Milton Nascimento.
In March of 2012, Spalding released “Radio Music Society,” as a way to showcase Jazz musicians in a manner suitable for mainstream artists. The album reached the number 10 spot on the U.S. charts and number one on the U.S. Jazz chart.
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