Manchester Bidwell Corporation

> Menu

Latest Posts

  1. BCAT Graduation Ceremony Focuses on Opportunity

    By Gant News Team

    Opportunity. That was the theme at the third graduating class at the Brockway Center for Arts and Technology Wednesday, as 22 students received certifications as Medical Assistant and Pharmacy Technicians.

    BCAT is a unique collaboration between Pittsburgh-based Mancheste-Bidwell and its founder, Bill Strickland, state Sen. Joe Scarnati and Brockway businessman Peter Varischetti.

    Manchester-Bidwell’s model offers adult job training and education opportunities for youths. The Brockway center was the first foray into a rural setting. It is situated in a portion of the former Brockway Glass Main Office headquarters building.

    The training that culminated in Wednesday’s graduation is a nine-month course of instruction offered tuition-free to the students and including two national certification examinations.

    “BCAT is growing,” Varischetti said. “We hit a home run and the ball is still sailing.”

    “This is truly a model for education, across the state and the nation,” Scarnati said. Addressing the graduates, he said, “You took the initiative; that is what separates those who succeed from those who don’t. Initiative and courage will carry you a long way.”

    Brittanei Neubert of Ridgway, co-valedictorian n the Medical Assistant Class, said, “I am ready to face anything that is thrown my way. Bring it on.”

    Co-valedictorian Courtney Walker of Penfield said, “I will always cherish” the experience at BCAT, adding that all 22 graduates passed their national certification exams.

    Ashley McAninch of Brookville, Pharmacy Technician valedictorian, said, “I can’t help feel that this is just a dream” and thanked Scarnati, Varischetti and the Varischetti family for “making this dream a reality.”

    BCAT Executive Director Deborah Heigel said she is “extremely proud” of the class, noting that “They’ve worked very hard. We’ve worked together. We’ve worked diligently.

    “Always remember that you were here,” she said. “Appreciate your skills; share them. What you are going to do is important.”

    Individual members of the classes were presented by Deborah Grunthaner, director of MA, and Dr. Joseph Spencer, Pharmacy Tech instructor. The BCAT staff also includes Nicole Snyder, Kristine Gasbarre, Shelley Hanes, Dr. Gary McGee and Dr. David Parrott.

    The BCAT board of directors includes Peter Varischetti, president; Dan Hawkins, vice president; Sue Snelick, secretary; John Sutika, treasurer,  and John Blasdell, Duane Vicini, William E. Strickland Jr. and Ray Calhoun.

    Megan Hoy sang the National Anthem and Renee Tuning provided instrumental selections, the processional and the recessional.

    Medical Assistant graduates include Maureen Amacher of Ridgway, Kayla Bailey of Brockway, Christi Fleeger of DuBois, Megan Hoy of St. Marys, Hannah Johnson of St. Marys, Tiffany Knap of Brookville, Brittanei Neubert of Ridgway, Violet Richards of Curwensville, Miranda Tapper of Reynoldsville, Diane Thomas of Clearfield, Amber Vrobel  of Punxsutawney, Courtney Walker of Penfield and Christina Wingard of Falls Creek.

    Pharmacy Technician graduates include Juhaina Al-Tikrity of Karthaus, Tracy Bundy of Falls Creek, Stephanie Kingsbury of Falls Creek, Ashley McAninch of Brookville, Briana Salada of DuBois, Paul Schmidt of Punxsutawney, Karen Wachob of Brockport, Julie Whaling of Falls Creek and Breannna Wiggin of Brockway.


    See photos and the original post here.

  2. Hope Center seen as center of hope for many

    By Melissa Klaric / Sharon Herald

    Farrell High School junior Ramone Battle stood in front of a large group interspersed with community leaders on Friday morning and spoke from the heart about Hope Center for Arts and Technology.

    “I’m going through stuff at home and I just try to come to the ceramics program and cool myself down and just build stuff,” Ramone said.

    Ramone is one of 14 Farrell students taking the ceramics class offered through HopeCAT. The center is housed at Penn State Shenango while its future home is being remodeled at the former Sacred Heart School at 115 Anson Way, Sharon.

    In preparation for HopeCAT’s groundbreaking ceremony, Executive Director Tom Roberts placed 50 chairs in the gymnasium – the future site of the ceramics lab – and hoped there would not be too many empty seats. He never expected every seat to be filled along with every available floor space, with people standing into the hallway.

    “I didn’t know it was going to be this big,” Michael McQueen, Farrell junior, said of the number of people interested in the center. “It’s amazing because I feel like I helped to get everyone to start talking about this.”

    Two Farrell seniors in this first class offered by HopeCAT, neither of whom had considered college, have signed up to attend Penn State Shenango, Roberts said.

    State representatives from Pennsylvania and Ohio, a county commissioner, Sharon city council members, local business owners and curious community members were among the estimated 125 people who turned out to celebrate the progress made in the reconstruction of the school.

    “I’m thankful for everyone who’s made this possible for us,” Ramone said. “I know everyone in Farrell that’s here right now that’s doing this is very, very grateful.”

    Foundations, individuals, and the HopeCAT board have raised almost $2 million toward the center.

    Construction, including new windows, new roof and first-floor renovation, will be completed in phases as more funds are procured. Phase I is slated to be completed by the end of the summer and school officials are hopeful that the school will be in operation by the end of the year.

    When completed the school will be a replication of the Manchester Bidwell Training Center in Pittsburgh. HopeCAT is the ninth training center to open across the nation using this educational model. A 10th center will be opening soon in Israel.

    The training model is designed to help high school students transition to higher education and give adults skills needed in the area job market.

    “A lot of people are hurting,” William E. “Bill” Strickland Jr., president and CEO of Manchester Bidwell Corp., said.

    “They’re unemployed. They don’t have skills. They’re on public assistance. They need a chance. And something like this will provide them with a lifetime opportunity.”

    Although the program is of no cost to the student, it is not free.

    “It’s the combination of legislatively-directed money,” Roberts said.

    “In working with the state, the county, employers and with people like you and me that just live and work in this community, you’re truly able to take people and get them off of assistance and put them to work.”

    Roberts said the cost to taxpayers for housing and food assistance is $13,000 per year, compared to the approximately $12,500 it costs to train someone.

    “So you train them one time and after 10 months they graduate, pass their certification, and start working,” Roberts said.

    “Now they’re off of assistance and they’re paying taxes.”

    “This is why this resonates – because it’s truly a hand-off not a hand-out,” Roberts said.

    “It’s a public-private partnership, and the beauty of this model is economic development at its best.”

    Strickland said the program works. He and Roberts noted that the center in Brockway, Pa., has graduated two classes – and every person got a job and almost everyone got a raise in their first year of employment.

    “What you’re doing is building a tradition of excellence in Hope,” Strickland said, “so that we can begin to break this cycle of sadness and build something that has permanence and opportunity associated with it.”


    See the original story here.

  3. Hope Center for Arts and Technology breaks ground in Sharon

    By Danielle Cotterman/ WFMJ

    An idea sparked in Pittsburgh is inspiring children and adults all across the U.S. to dive into the arts and find what motivates them.

    Piles of rock and boarded up windows at the former Sacred Heart Elementary school in Sharon don’t look like much. But, a little “HOPE” could go a long way after a ground breaking ceremony took place Friday.

    “It means everything to have this building, it’s a home. When you have a picture and when you have a concept what do you have? It’s a hard sell,” said Executive Director Hope Center for Arts and Technology Tom Roberts.

    But, one that’s already been made.

    The former school building is in the process of being transformed into the Hope Center for Arts and Technology.

    “The secret to this is we are teaching ceramics but, it has nothing to do with ceramics. It’s really truly all about mentorship and about working with the kids to help them discover what really drives them and what their motivations are,” said Roberts.

    The Hope Center’s ceramic program is currently housed at Penn State Shenango but, once construction at the new facility is finished later this year, their program can expand to not only offer art education but, career training for adults.

    An education model started by Bill Strickland, Founder and CEO of Manchester Bidwell Corporation in Pittsburgh.

    “Public school kid got excited about the arts in the 60’s and started working with kids in the streets, during the riots,” explained Strickland. “After awhile I figured it out. The kids were fine they just needed somebody to believe in them. So I started the program literally in 1968, and have been doing it ever since.”

    And as local students testify, it’s a program already taking affect in their lives.

    “It helps us express who we are,” said Ramone Battle, Farrell High School Junior.

    For more information on the Hope Center for Arts and Technology, visit

    For more information about Bill Strickland, Manchester Bidwell Corporation, and the National Center for Arts and Technology, visit


    See the original story and video here.

  4. Bill Strickland to speak at “Israeli Arabs and Jews: A Shared Society,” a presentation by the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh

    The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh will hold a program of four panelists that will present “Israeli Arabs and Jews: A Shared Society,” on Sunday, April 3 from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Rodef Shalom Congregation, 4905 Fifth Ave. The panelists will present constructive approaches to help all members of Israeli society progress together. The presentation is free and open to the community.

    Panelists will include American and Israeli leaders with collective experience in education, government and the nonprofit sector: Amnon Be’eri-Sulitzeanu, Dalia Fadila, Michal Steinman and Pittsburgh native Bill Strickland.

    Amnon Be’eri-Sulitzeanu is co-executive director of The Abraham Fund Initiatives, an Israel-based nonprofit that promotes coexistence and equality among Israel’s Jewish and Arab Palestinian citizens.

    Dalia Fadila, Ph.D., was the first female dean of an Islamic college in Israel. She is the current president of Al-Qasemi Engineering and Science College and past provost of Al-Qasemi Teacher Training College. Both colleges are near Haifa, Israel. Fadila is the founder of Q Schools, private schools for teaching English and personal empowerment. Q Schools offer special outreach to women as future educators, entrepreneurs and leaders. She is a fellow at the Taub Center for Social Policy Studies in Israel and participates in other national and international forums dealing with education and Israel’s Arab minority.

    Michal Steinman is the executive director of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Israeli Arab Issues (IATF) in New York. The task force is a coalition of American Jewish organizations dedicated to learning about and raising awareness of Israel’s Arab citizens.

    Steinman joined the IATF after directing the Bedouin Sheep Growers Project, which involved working with senior government officials to create incentives for Bedouin farmers to organize.

    William “Bill” Strickland, Ph.D., is president and CEO of Manchester Bidwell Corporation. While attending college, in 1968, Strickland founded Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild (MCG) to bring arts education and mentorship to inner-city youth in his neighborhood, Pittsburgh’s North Side. He later established Bidwell Training Center, which offers nationally accredited programs ranging from horticulture to medical technology; MCG Jazz, a venue for music performance and teaching; and the Drew Mathieson Center for Horticultural and Agricultural Technology. Strickland applied a vision of mentorship, education, and beauty to create educational environments similar to MCG outside Pittsburgh, through the National Center for Arts & Technology. Currently, center-affiliated programs operate in eight cities. In 2010, he was appointed to President Barack Obama’s White House Council for Community Solutions.

    Attendees are encouraged to continue the discussion during a dessert reception following the program. Dietary laws will be observed. Registration is requested; visit the online registration form at Contact Eric Probola at 412-992-5247 or for more information or to submit questions to panelists in advance.

    Read more: The Jewish Chronicle – Metro Briefs March 17

  5. Jazz preview: Masterworks Orchestra pays tribute to Leonard Bernstein at MCG

    Leonard Bernstein wasn’t known for composing jazz, but that hasn’t stopped the Smithsonian, through its Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, from paying tribute to him, which it will do for two concerts Friday and Saturday at the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild Jazz Concert Hall.

    Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra Celebrating Leonard Bernstein

    Where: Jazz Concert Hall, Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild, North Side.

    When: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

    Tickets: $49.50 (Saturday sold out), 412-322-0800,

    Charlie Young, the orchestra’s musical director for the past three years, notes that it was created by an act of Congress in 1999, with the purpose of “bringing written music to life.” “There’s a locomotive in the museum,” Mr. Young says, offering an example, so “some music might be arranged” with a train theme.

    The project kicked off in advance of Mr. Bernstein’s centennial, which will be in two years. After looking into the archives and consulting with composer, Brazilian native and Franklin Park resident Flavio Chamis, who had been an assistant conductor to Mr. Bernstein, Mr. Young came up with a dozen songs that the orchestra might perform.

    Because big-band charts didn’t exist for that instrumentation, he enlisted Mike Tomaro, Jay Asbhy, Scott Silbert, Stephen Williams and Darryl Brenzel to write them. In addition to Mr. Tomaro’s and Mr. Ashby’s local connections, Mr. Silbert plays lead tenor saxophone and clarinet with the orchestra and Mr. Williams serves as its lead alto saxophonist.

    Because of the classical origins of some of the pieces, “I wanted to have a wide array of color, and the arrangers were able to grasp that,” Mr. Young says, noting the five reed players occasionally double on flutes, clarinets and bass clarinet, and the brass players use appropriate mutes.

    “This music is strong enough to be performed in numerous places,” Mr. Young says.

    Among the dozen selections are “The Great Lover Displays Himself,” “Lonely Town” and “Times Square Ballet” from “On the Town”; “Symphonic Suite” from “On the Waterfront”; and “Mediation No. 1” from the Mass for Cello and Orchestra. That arrangement, Mr. Young notes, includes guitar and vibes — “more spirited” than the original.


    See the original story here.

  6. Home show exhibit honors city luminaries with planted art

    By Doug Oster / Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

    Gary Baranowski always seems to be in high gear, a blur moving quickly from one side of the “Rooted in Pittsburgh” exhibit to another, adjusting this and changing that.

    The director of the horticulture technology program at Bidwell Training Center is making sure everything is just right before the Duquesne Light Home & Garden Show opens for the day at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. The show runs through March 13.

    “I’m a bit of a nut job when it comes to detail,” he says with a hearty laugh.

    It’s something his students certainly have discovered about him, because learning to design innovative, successful garden spaces is all about attention to those details.

    Every home and garden show offers something different for visitors, and each person comes for a different reason. It might be for windows, hardscaping, a hot tub or a mop. But for gardeners, the Bidwell garden has been a welcoming and fun destination for over a decade. The school’s main display is upstairs this year with a renaissance garden downstairs.

    Bidwell is a post-secondary school, a training center for adults, teaching seven career areas, including horticulture. “It’s an opportunity for people to make a change for themselves,” he says with a smile.

    The school’s “Rooted in Pittsburgh” display has 14 different “rooms,” which showcase Pittsburghers who have made their mark on the cultural, historical or environmental aspects of the city.

    “We’re really happy to be to one of the inaugural events kicking off this bicentennial year in Pittsburgh,” Baranowski says. The ‘Burgh is celebrating its incorporation on March 18, 1816.

    Everyone knows about Andy Warhol and H.J. Heinz’s connection with the city, but one of the interesting parts of the show is discovering others.

    As a woman walked though the exhibit she could be heard saying, “I didn’t know Martha Graham was from Pittsburgh,” as she looked at a purple ballet mannequin wearing an ivy topiary tutu. The choreographer was born here in 1894.

    Baranowski pushed his students to think creatively about the person each chose to highlight.

    “It’s kind of like an aesthetic interpretation of their life or their contributions to the region,” he says.

    Each display uses a giant seed packet sign with a photo of the person being highlighted. Even those seed packets were prepared specially for the show. Students used tea bags to stain the paper for a vintage look, another small detail with big impact.

    So, how do you present Andy Warhol when thinking about gardening?

    “It’s not so much of a stretch,” Baranowski says. “Andy’s pop art — it’s colorful, it’s trendy, it features pieces of Pittsburgh. It was a very easy transition to bring some of his artwork to life. If you look at the line and the color that’s used in the arrangement, it mimics the iconic Marilyn Monroe.”

    Students kiddingly wanted Baranowski to purposely mess up his white hair and be photographed for the signage, as they think he resembles the artist.

    A giant ketchup bottle seemingly has its contents pouring into the garden in the form of red kalenchoe flowers in honor of H.J. Heinz. Right next to the bottle is a bushel of cucumbers used to make pickles, tomato plants and ripe tomatoes, actually harvested fresh from Bidwell’s greenhouse.

    Arnold Palmer’s golf bag includes garden tools and, in front of the display, are golf clubs arranged to look like giant golf tees with a topiary ivy acting as the golf ball.

    “The fun thing about our space is that it’s non-intimidating,” Baranowski says. “Just walk in and enjoy, soak it up. Sit a few minutes and enjoy.”

    The segment showcasing “Silent Spring” author Rachel Carson resembles her laboratory and highlights some of the insects she studied. Several visitors spent time looking through a microscope, revealing the amazing details of a bee’s wing.

    In Henry Phipps Jr.’s room, there is an old chair completely covered in planted succulents. It’s a hit with visitors as they gather around it, some reaching out to gently touch the plants.

    “I have a special place in my heart for Phipps,” says Baranowski, who was the former director of the conservatory and spent 18 years working there.

    Just across the hall is a tribute to Gene Kelly‘s 1952 “Singing in the Rain,” with the falling water represented by trailing vinca vine. A silhouette of Kelly’s famous image swinging on the light pole is included.

    Another clever display champions Roy and Rachel Hunt, who helped create the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, one the world’s greatest collections of botanical art, located on the Carnegie Mellon University campus. Two-dimensional books and paintings are transformed into 3-D works by the addition of real flowers.

    Baranowski and his students have been working for nearly a year on the project. That’s evident walking through the exhibit and enjoying all those details.

    The day the home and garden show opened was Baranowski’s most rewarding one, watching students react to visitors.

    “The smiles on their faces and the sense of accomplishment that they have walking away from it,” he says. “It’s an amazing opportunity for them, showcasing their abilities to the greater community.”

    Watch the video and see great photos here.

  7. Hot Sardines channel ‘vintage pop’

    By Bob Karlovits / Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

    Elizabeth Bougerol says the Hot Sardines are in business basically to have a good time.

    “Our ambition was just to play music that was fun,” says the lead singer of the band that specializes in a melting pot of music from the first half of the 20th century.

    The eight-piece group will make its first appearance in Pittsburgh on March 11 at the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild on the North Side.

    The band started as a duo of Bougerol and pianist Evan “Bibs” Palazzo, who met in a jam session in 2007 in Manhattan. They discovered they each liked that early material and “started doing it as a hobby,” with Bougerol adding some rhythm lines on washboard.

    “And then we thought, ‘Well, maybe we ought to do some gigs,’ ” says the singer, who goes by Miz Elizabeth.

    Tap dancer Edwin “Fast Eddy” Francisco saw them when they were practicing one day and added another level to their act.

    By 2010, Bougerol says, they started adding horns to the group as they fleshed out their sound with music from Fats Waller to Thelonious Monk.

    “There is a lot to go on,” she says of their material, which she reluctantly calls “vintage pop.”

    Miz Elizabeth explains she is a little worried about the term “vintage” because it would appear to date their act, but she says she doesn’t know of any description that is “so concise.”

    Besides the three original members, the Hot Sardines feature Jason Prover on trumpet, Mike Sailors on cornet and trombone, Nick Myers on clarinet and saxophone, Evan Crane on upright bass and sousaphone and Alex Raderman on percussion.

    “There was no master plan for putting together a band,” she says. “We just added musicians as we tried to reach other sounds.”

    As they assembled the group, they decided they needed a name, too. Bougerol and Palazzo wanted the adjective “hot” in there, a term that was common in the days of Louis Armstrong and Sidney Bechet.

    Then, the singer was inspired by the togetherness of a can of sardines in a grocery store. A moniker was born.

    The group put out three self-produced albums, and then did another for the Decca/Universal Music Classics label in 2014. She says the band hopes to have its second with Decca out in June.

    Like other groups that focus on a time frame, the Hot Sardines always are looking for little-known songs so they can add a fresh touch to this older material, she says.

    “I don’t know if you can call it research as much as obsessive listening,” she says with a laugh.

    Busy MCG weekend

    Bassist Martin Wind and guitarist Philip Catherine will create an international evening of jazz March 13 at the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild on the North Side.

    Wind was born in Germany but came to study at New York University in 1996. Catherine is a native Belgian who hasn’t been in the United States for 15 years.

    He also is the performer who the bassist says turned him on to jazz when he heard an album by Catherine and bassist Niels-Henning Oersted Pedersen.

    They will present an evening of duo jazz rooted in the swing tradition.

    Music begins at 7 p.m. Admission is $20 and $10 for students.

    Details: 412-322-0800 or

    See the original story here.

  8. Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild brings ‘true string of pearls’ for 30th anniversary

    By Bob Karlovits / Pittsburgh Tribune Review

    The Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild’s 30th season as a concert venue will present shows that celebrate Pittsburgh’s jazz legacy as well as the North Side site’s history.

    Marty Ashby, executive producer of MCGJazz, says the series will bring back many popular artists from past seasons and present concerts focused on some of the area’s legends.

    “The 30th anniversary is the pearl anniversary, and we think we have a true string of pearls, with no one being the same as another,” he says.

    The season, which opens Sept. 23 with vocalist Bobby McFerrin, will feature some of the performers who have made the guild a home over the years.

    For instance, pianist Monty Alexander will play in his trio with bassist John Clayton and drummer Jeff Hamilton. Alexander played in a trio in 1988 with bassist and Pittsburgh native Ray Brown and guitarist Herb Ellis.

    The series also will feature such frequent visitors as Take 6, the Bob Mintzer Big Band, the Diva all-female big band, pianist Bob James, and the New York Voices.

    It will have Pittsburgh-aimed concerts such as drummer Lewis Nash leading a concert in tribute to drummers Kenny Clarke and Art Blakey. That show also will feature Roger Humphries.

    Bassist Rufus Reid will pay tribute to Ray Brown in a show with the Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra

    The season:

    Sept. 23 and 24: Vocalist Bobby McFerrin

    Oct. 7: Keyboardist Lao Tizer with guitarist Chiele Minucci, violinist Karen Briggs and saxophonist Eric Marienthal

    Oct. 22: The Summit: Manhattan Transfer and Take 6

    Oct. 29: Freddy Cole 85th Birthday Bash with singer Nnenna Freelon and saxophonist Joel Frahm

    Nov. 19: Ramsey Lewis and Ann Hampton Callaway

    Dec. 3: Monty Alexander Trio including John Clayton and Jeff Hamilton

    Dec. 16: Guitarist John Pizzarelli and singer Jessica Molaskey holiday concert

    Feb. 4: 30th anniversary Under 30 Celebration put together by trumpeter Etienne Charles

    Feb. 10 and 11: Ray Brown Tribute with Rufus Reid, the Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra and a bass choir

    Feb. 25: Lewis Nash in Clarke-Blakey tribute

    March 10 and 11, 2017: Diva with Ken Peplowski, Maurice Hines, Bobby Cranshaw and more

    March 17: Joey Alexander Trio

    March 31 and April 1: Bob Mintzer Big Band and the New York Voices

    April 8: Bob James and Howard Paul with Benedetto Guitar’s “Future Stars”

    April 21: 30th Anniversary All-Star Smooth Jazz Celebration with guitarists Peter While and Chuck Loeb, keyboardist Gregg Karukas and saxophonist Vincent Ingala

    Single tickets, from $49.50 to $65, will go on sale Sept. 1. Packages are on sale now.

    Details: 412-322-0800 or

    See the original story here.

  9. Orrin Evans and company play a show about ‘Goin’ Home’

    “No matter how much time you spend on the road, there’s nothing like going home,” says pianist Orrin Evans.

    That would explain the title of the concerts, “Goin’ Home,” taking place Friday and Saturday at the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild Jazz Concert Hall and featuring musicians from McKenna Group Productions, managed by Brian McKenna.

    ‘Goin’ Home’

    Featuring:  Orrin Evans, Marcus Strickland, Darryl Tookes, Gregory Generet, Dominick Farinacci, Luques Curtis and Donald Edwards.

    Where: Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild Jazz Concert Hall, North Side.

    When: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

    Tickets: $20-$40, 412-322-0800,

    The collective includes tenor saxophonist Marcus Strickland, trumpeter Dominick Farinacci and vocalists Darryl Tookes and Gregory Generet, with bassist Luques Curtis, drummer Donald Edwards and trombonist Jay Ashby rounding out the ensemble — “and there are some other special guests.”

    Mr. Evans, a native of Trenton, N.J., grew up in Philadelphia and attended Rutgers University, but he says he got his musical education from the “university of the streets,” moving to New York in the early 1990s and touring over the years with Bobby Watson, Branford Marsalis and Wallace Roney.

    The idea of the concert represents the thinking, according to Mr. Evans, that “we just did a great monthlong tour — now what?

    “We’ve all known each other for 20 years [and] we’ve had rehearsals. This will be our first gig of the collective.”

    They are all coming with their own tunes, all of them having something to do with home or having “home” in the title, including Pat Metheny’s “Last Train Home.”

    The appearance at the Guild is somewhat of a homecoming, as Mr. Evans’ wife comes from this area — “Her family is in South Park,” with other relatives in Homewood and on the North Side. “We go back all the time,” Mr. Evans says.

    The group will put its “goin’ home” idea to the test with this tour because “We’re all on the road in different places for the month of March,” Mr. Evans says.

    Will an album result?

    “That’s the goal,” Mr. Evans says. “Record and put this out as a record.”


    See the original story here.

« Previous PageNext Page »