by Kevin Amos
For New Pittsburgh Courier

Dr. Nathan Davis at the University of Pittsburgh continues to shine with the area’s premier music event through Nov. 3.


The 42nd annual Pitt Jazz Seminar hosts world famous jazz musicians who hold free on campus lectures, music demonstrations, visit area schools and community venues. It culminates in a Saturday evening concert at Oakland’s Carnegie Music Hall. At intermission, bassist Laboriel will be presented with the International Academy of Jazz Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award and trumpeter Soloff will be presented with the University of Pittsburgh Jazz Seminar Committee Award. Two other musicians (one living and one deceased) whose selection by an international panel is not divulged in advance will be inducted into the University Of Pittsburgh International Academy Of Hall of Fame.

Davis said “I can hardly believe it has been 42 years!” “I guess I’ll do what Eubie Blake said and keep on keeping on”.

Founded by Davis, director of Pitt’s Jazz Studies Program, the Pitt Jazz Seminar and Concert was the first academic Jazz seminar in the country to feature international artists connecting with aspiring students in a lecture format, then performing together as an ensemble. Beginning in 1969, the event combines the best in scholarship, performance, community involvement, cultural diversity, and musicianship. This four-day event is a true celebration devoted to the teaching, performing, and documenting Jazz.

“I have been slowly transitioning into retirement but always busy with various projects,” Davis said when asked about his future. “I just recorded some tracks with Pierre in his studio and I’m working with folks at the University of Munich on a program similar to what I’ve done at Pitt. My hope is that this great legacy will continue with your help and others in the music community.”

The artists participating in this year’s concert are: Lew Soloff, trumpet; Bobby Watson, alto saxophone; Randy Brecker, trumpet; Javon Jackson, tenor saxophone; Yotam Silberstein, guitar; George Cables, piano; Abraham Laboriel, bass; Winard Harper, drums; Nathan Davis, saxophones.

Morning and Afternoon Lectures/Demonstrations free and open to the public. Nov. 2, William Pitt Union, Assembly Room. 10-11 a.m. “Guitar Summit” Yotam Silberstein, guitar, 11 a.m.-noon. “Saxophone Colossus: A Tribute to John Coltrane” Javon Jackson, tenor saxophone 3-4 p.m. “Dynamic Concepts in Rhythm”

Abraham Laboriel, bass, Nov. 3. William Pitt Union Assembly Room, 10-11 a.m. “A Tribute to Miles”

Lew Soloff, trumpet, Randy Brecker, trumpet, 11 a.m.-noon, “Artistry in Rhythm” Winard Harper, drums. 1-2 p.m. “The Piano in Jazz” George Cables, piano. Outreach Appearances in Schools and in the Community. Only the Hill House event is open to the general public. Nov. 2.

Falk Laboratory School, Allequippa St., Oakland. 1 p.m.

Abraham Laboriel, bass. Pittsburgh CAPA, 111 Ninth St., Downtown, 1 p.m. Javon Jackson, saxophone., Nov. 3 VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System H.J. Heinz Campus, 1010 Delafield Rd., 1 p.m.

Bobby Watson, saxophone, Hill House Association

Senior Services Center, 2038 Bedford Ave., Hill District 11 a.m.George Cables, piano.

In its more than 40 years, the Pitt Jazz Seminar and Concert has played host to some of the greatest names in Jazz history, including Grover Washington Jr., Sonny Stitt, Art Blakey, Dizzy Gillespie, and many others.

(For more information, call 412-624-4187.)

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