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The University of Pittsburgh's Annual Seminar on Jazz is an experience that 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 of one of America's most original art forms -- jazz. For over 30 years, the University, through the efforts of renowned jazz musician and educator, Nathan Davis, has been bringing the world's greatest jazz innovators to the city in the role of visiting "professors."

A roll call of just a few of the participants who have lectured and performed at the Annual Seminar represent the greatest names in American jazz history. They include: Art Blakey, Clark Terry, Dizzy Gillespie, Jim Hall, Sonny Stitt, Kenny Clarke, John Lewis, "Toots" Thielmans, Milt Jackson, Herbie Mann, Grover Washington, Jr., and Art Farmer, among many others.

The performers' enthusiasm for this annual event has been well documented. In an interview with the Pittsburgh Tribune Review (November 13. 1992), Grover Washington., Jr., noted that:

"I sincerely hope that your jazz community has a deep appreciation for what's been going on at the University of Pittsburgh over all these years... everyone agrees that coming to the Pitt seminar is an absolute joy... a joy not only in performing with the other musicians we really never get a chance to work with, but also sharing our experiences with others in a truly intimate one-on-one kind of setting."

In another Tribune Review (October 29, 1993) story, guest artist Randy Brecker praised the work of Pitt professor Nathan Davis in organizing the annual event.

"He knows we're (the jazz artists) all good friends who never get a chance to work with each other.... the electricity of this all-star Band is so great and the feelings so loose that the spontaneity on that stage is comparable to the best jam sessions you can find anywhere In the world."

Distinguished scholars and historians of jazz also participate in the programs. Some recent invitees include Leonard Feather, author of The Encyclopedia of Jazz; Dr. George Butler, Senior Vice President of Columbia Records; Mike Hennessey, editor and former bureau chief of Billboard Magazine, London, International lecturers have included Indian historian Niranjan Jhavcri, and Dionizy Piatkowski, a jazz historian from Poland.

Each jazz master is responsible for the content and direction of their own lecture presentation. Seminars usually attract a wide variety of individuals including local high school students, senior citizens, professional musicians, college students, and faculty members. Attendees learn directly from the musicians; they hear "first hand" about the lives and career development of performers; and they learn by listening to the jazz masters' music, performed live. For the musicians, the Seminar provides an opportunity for personal expression other than through the performance of their music.

If you need more information, please contact:

Jazz Studies
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA 15260

Telephone: 412 624-4187
Fax: 412 624-4186
Email:  pittjazz@pitt.edu