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Category Archive: MCG Jazz

  1. MBC COVID-19 Closure Update

    Manchester Bidwell Corporation and its affiliates and programs have always acted with the health and safety of our students, staff, and patrons as our primary priority, and in accordance with all government orders during this crisis. Our past anticipated re-open dates were based on the latest government orders. Based on the indefinite nature of Governor Tom Wolf’s latest order, we do not want to set an arbitrary re-open date. With the new guidance from the federal government and under the best-case scenario we are hoping to resume full operations Monday, May 4, 2020. However, this can certainly change.

    For over 50 years, Manchester Bidwell Corporation’s success has come from adapting to the needs of the community and the market, and we are currently operating under that mindset. Please stay tuned to all our affiliates’ communications as they announce new, creative ways to provide the programming the community desperately needs.

    Our foundational principles are steering us now more than ever. We must fill our new confined environments with beauty, light, and hope to shape positive behavior. We are relying on our creativity more than ever to fuel enterprise. Finally, in a time filled with despair, we must always remember people are assets not liabilities.

    We appreciate your patience and help during this time.

  2. Manchester Bidwell Corporation Closure Extended to April 6

    In accordance with Governor Tom Wolf’s order, Manchester Bidwell Corporation and its affiliates and programs will extend its closure with hopes to reopen April 6.

    We continue to ask all to please stay tuned to our websites, social media outlets, and emails as the situation with COVID-19 remains fluid.

    We sincerely thank you for your patience during this time.

  3. Manchester Bidwell Corporation Temporary Closure

    Due to an abundance of caution and in concert with new state-wide guidance around COVID-19 (novel coronavirus), Manchester Bidwell Corporation (MBC) and its affiliates and programs will be closed effective immediately. We will reopen March 23. Performances held at MBC will be postponed through March 31.

    While there has been no report of COVID-19 infection in Allegheny County at the moment, we are prudently going to deep clean and sanitize all common areas and offices to help slow the spread of the virus. While closed, no one is allowed in any of our facilities without the approval of MBC President & CEO Kevin Jenkins.

    During our closure, staff will still be compensated.

    For our students and patrons, you will receive specific communication from our affiliates and programs, but we want to provide you with some basic information. Bidwell Training Center students, all programs will be extended by the amount of time missed due to the closure. For MCG Youth & Arts students, our upcoming spring enrollment and trimester will be postponed, and a new date will be announced. For our MCG Jazz patrons, customers with tickets to performances in March will be contacted with information on exchanges, donations, and rescheduled dates.

    We will continue to stay in contact with appropriate officials and entities regarding any new guidance in slowing the spread of the virus. We ask that all staff, students, and stakeholders, stay tuned to our websites, social media channels, and emails for any changes to the current closure.

    We sincerely thank you for your patience, cooperation, and understanding during this time.

  4. MCG Jazz’s “Diva + The Boys” album hits #1 on JazzWeek

    The Diva Jazz Orchestra’s “Diva + The Boys” album cover.

    Congratulations to The DIVA Jazz Orchestra for hitting #1 on JazzWeek with “DIVA + THE BOYS!” This is tremendous feat and we are honored that the album has touched so many people. We have enjoyed working with DIVA over the years. This album features four soloists Ken Peplowski, Jay Ashby, Claudio Roditi and our Executive Producer Marty Ashby with exciting arrangements filled with fire, finesse, and swing.

    “This is a well-deserved accomplishment by The DIVA Jazz Orchestra. MCG Jazz has enjoyed a wonderful relationship with the DIVA organization for over 25 years and we are thrilled to help bring their brilliant music to the public,” said Ashby.

    DIVA + THE BOYS is available for purchase: http://bit.ly/mcgjazz-diva.

  5. Join us for GiveBigPittsburgh 2019!

    It is officially the season of giving and there is no better way to end the year than by giving back to your community! Get ready to give! Starting at 12 a.m. on December 3rd, visit GiveBigPittsburgh’s website and make a donation to Bidwell Training Center, MCG Jazz and/or MCG Youth & Arts. Your donation serves as an investment in Manchester Bidwell Corporation (MBC) and the people whose lives we transform every day. Whether its $5 or $50, no gift is too small to make a BIG impact on your community.

    Donate to Bidwell Training Center: http://bit.ly/givebigbtc

    Donate to MCG Jazz: http://bit.ly/givebigmcgjazz

    Donate to MCG Youth & Arts: http://bit.ly/givebigmcgyouth

    About GiveBigPittsburgh

    GiveBigPittsburgh raises money for local nonprofits through a single online donation platform, providing a simple way to connect donors to the charitable causes they care about most. This 24-hour online fundraising effort, hosted by Pittsburgh Magazine and local sponsors, offers nonprofits the chance to raise funds to support their critical missions. Learn more.

    Thank you from all of us here at MBC!

  6. Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild Jazz publishes first book “Spirit to Spirit”

    Always looking to preserve, present and promote jazz, MCG Jazz has published its first book, “Spirit to Spirit: A Portrait of Pittsburgh Jazz in the New Century.”

    In 2018, MCG Jazz focused on Pittsburgh’s important jazz history with the release of the documentary “We Knew What We Had: The Greatest Jazz Story Never Told,” and now it is focused on the city’s current jazz community.

    Award-winning Pittsburgh chroniclers Abby Mendelson and David Aschkenas set out on a two- year-long quest listening, interviewing and photographing the city’s current, rich jazz life. Designer David Wachter crafted the material into this visionary book.

    Readers will enjoy profiles from prodigies barely out of high school to legendary icons like Roger Humphries.

    “Spirit to Spirit” is available for purchase at mcgjazz.org and on Amazon.

    Front cover of “Spirit to Spirit: A Portrait of Pittsburgh Jazz in the New Century.”

     

     

  7. Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild Jazz releases two new albums

    Jazz fans can enjoy two new albums from MCG Jazz this year that travel the spectrum between fierce and full of swing to quiet and introspective.

    MCG Jazz has been involved with The Diva Jazz Orchestra—an ensemble of 15 talented female musicians— since its inception. In 2017, the orchestra wanted to try a project working with male soloists and performed on the MCG Jazz stage with Ken Peplowski, Jay Ashby, Claudio Roditi, and MCG Jazz Executive Producer Marty Ashby. From that live performance came the album “Diva + The Boys.” The collaborations led to exciting arrangements filled with fire, finesse, and swing. “Diva + The Boys” debuted at #16 on JazzWeek.

     

     

    “For All We Know” is an album that was also built off a growing collaboration. Gloria Reuben’s last album “Perchance to Dream”—released on the MCG Jazz record label—ends with a duet between Reuben and Ashby. The chemistry behind creating that track led to this new collection of tunes that speaks to the deeply personal, often heart breaking, and eternally hopeful nature of love and relationships. Recorded in New Orleans, LA, all of the songs evoke in the listener the question: how do you face the denial, sorrow, and anger that arises from a break-up and pick yourself up to start over?

     

    Both albums are available for purchase at mcgjazz.org.

  8. MCG Jazz Inspires Collaboration in 33rd Season

    MCG Jazz’ 2019-2020 concert season features artists that explore the theme of creative connections. Internal collaborations of musicians and musical styles will demonstrate jazz music’s connectiveness to the listener and to the collective world culture.

    The diverse grouping of musicians and wide range of styles that make jazz music so vibrant today will be represented from traditional piano/vocal duo and standards settings to avantgarde and jazz fusion.

    Each concert will be performed twice for the public, and each performance will be recorded for inclusion in MCG Jazz’ archives collection. Select artists will participate in educational outreach or community engagement activities.

    If you are interested in subscribing, you can download an order form here.

    How to submit your order form:

    Mail your orders to MCG Jazz “Attn: Nick” 1815 Metropolitan Street, Pittsburgh PA 15233
    Email your completed order to npesanka@manchesterbidwell.org
    Phone in your orders by calling Nick at 412-322-0800. We will be experiencing high call volumes, so please leave a message if you aren’t connected!
    Fax your completed form to 412-322-1075.

     

  9. On the Passing of Our Dear Friend Nancy Wilson

     

    We are extremely saddened by the passing of our dear friend Nancy Wilson. The Manchester Bidwell Corporation (MBC) family will miss her gift and spirit as she was a great champion of the MBC mission, and it was a privilege to have her be a part of our organization.

    “Our thoughts and prayers go out to Nancy Wilson’s family and fans as we mourn her passing,” said Bill Strickland, Founder and Executive Chairman of Manchester Bidwell Corporation. “We are honored here at MBC to have been able to work with her so closely over the past 20 years. Her support of MBC’s vision and mission demonstrates only the tip of her boundless generosity.”

    Along with her support, we were honored to have recorded Miss Nancy’s last three solo albums through MCG Jazz.

    “All of us at MCG Jazz would like to send our thoughts and prayers out to Nancy Wilson’s family and fans around the world as we mourn her passing yesterday and at the same time celebrate her music that will live on forever,” said Marty Ashby, MCG Jazz Executive Producer. “It was a gift to producer her final three solo recordings—especially her only Christmas album. Her spirit will be with us all during this Holiday season.”

  10. MCG Jazz 32nd Annual Jazz Concert Season

    MCG Jazz 32 A Season For You

    MCG Jazz is pleased to announce our 32nd Annual Jazz Concert Series. The new season has been designed all for you. We have learned, through conversations, surveys and emails from you, the many artists whom you would like to see here on the MCG Jazz stage. The result is Season 32 For You.

    MCG Jazz will host almost 100 musicians for the 2018-2019 series, for you to enjoy. There are 21 headliners performing 13 concerts. More than half of these artists have never performed at MCG Jazz; for many this marks their Pittsburgh debut. The diversity of styles from straight-ahead jazz and fusion to rhythm and blues provides an opportunity for a unique experience at every show.

    Masterful vocalist Bobby McFerrin opens the season September 23, 2018 leading the way for veteran singers Kurt Elling and René Marie, as well as emerging 24-year-old vocal sensation Veronica Swift. We will celebrate the 100th birthday of the legendary Joe Williams with a world premiere program featuring award-winning actor/singer Keith David accompanied by a jazz orchestra to bring to life Williams’ personal stories and his days with the Count Basie Orchestra.

    We heat up winter and spring with Latin jazz. In February 2019, a pianist, percussionist, harpist, and harmonica player will present an eclectic evening of Latin jazz duos, and in April we have a triple-bill, Latin Jazz Festival for you featuring music from Brazil, Argentina, and Cuba with some of the top musicians performing in the world today. Contemporary jazz favorites including Take 6, Jeff Lorber, and Gerald Albright will be joined this season by artists who are sure to become new favorites, including Kirk Whalum, Booker T. Jones, Fred Hersch, and NEA Jazz Master Delfeayo Marsalis.

    Choose-your-own concert subscription packages of four or more concerts are available now. Please visit www.mcgjazz.org or call the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild Jazz Box Office at 412-322-0800 for more information. Tickets can also be purchased with the MCG Jazz free mobile app available through Google Play and the Apple store.