The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is presenting the fourth annual Pittsburgh JazzLive International Festival (PJLIF) on June 20–22, 2014. PJLIF will consist of three days of free jazz and jazz-influenced musical performances on outdoor stages throughout downtown Pittsburgh’s Cultural District. PJLIF attracts more than 20,000 attendees from around the country. The Festival features local, emerging, and national and international musicians in a variety of performance settings, including outdoor performance stages and indoor performance locations within local restaurants, coffee shops and galleries.
“During this Festival we celebrate some of the world’s most important Jazz musicians and an art form that has merged several cultures into one distinct style.” says Janis Burley Wilson, Vice President of Education and Community Engagement and Director of Jazz Programs for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. “We are thrilled to host Grammy-Award winners, emerging talent, and local favorites in the heart of Pittsburgh’s downtown Cultural District.”
Dianne Reeves is among the preeminent jazz vocalists in the world. A multiple Grammy-winner, Reeves has recorded and performed extensively with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra featuring Wynton Marsalis, who said of Reeves, “She has one of the most powerful, purposeful and accurate voices of this or any time.” Reeves has also recorded with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Daniel Barenboim and was a featured soloist with Sir Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic. In addition, she was the first Creative Chair for Jazz for the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the first singer to ever perform at the famed Walt Disney Concert Hall. Reeves worked with legendary producer Arif Mardin (Norah Jones, Aretha Franklin) on the Grammy-winning A Little Moonlight, an intimate collection of standards. When Reeves’s holiday collection Christmas Time is Here was released, Ben Ratliff of The New York Times raved, “Ms. Reeves, a jazz singer of frequently astonishing skill, takes the assignment seriously; this is one of the best jazz Christmas CD’s I’ve heard.” More recently, Reeves has toured the world in a variety of contexts including a program entitled “Sing the Truth,” a musical celebration of Nina Simone in which Lizz Wright and Angelique Kidjo were also featured. In what has been a storied, extraordinary career, Beautiful Life features some of the most engaging songs Reeves has ever offered. “Even in a world with much sadness,” says Reeves, “at its essence, life is beautiful, and I wanted to celebrate that which can be easily overlooked.” Most certainly, among those things not to be overlooked is Beautiful Life.
Grammy-nominated trumpeter, composer, and educator Sean Jones returns to the festival stage with an installation of the lauded series Jazz Meets Funk, performing with Dwayne Dolphin and Fred Wesley, best known for his work with James Brown. Other artists participating in the Festival include Grammy Award-winning Snarky Puppy, Nancy Harms, Thomas Wendt, Joe Locke, El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico, harpist Brandee Younger, Raul Midón, Gregory Porter, and emerging artists and local favorites Benny Benack III and Emmet Cohen.