Downtown Cultural District

June 19 – 21
Various times

Ginger Baker’s Jazz Confusion
Ginger Baker’s Jazz Confusion.

Come Friday, sounds from all over world will be heard throughout the streets, clubs and cafes of downtown’s Cultural District, when the Pittsburgh JazzLive International Festival presents three packed days and nights of musical programming.

From Afro-Caribbean rhythms and soaring vocals, to soul, funk and symphonic sounds—the 5th annual installment of the highly anticipated festival will showcase the breadth, depth and diversity of jazz music.

One of the things that makes this festival highly unique is that although it’s a major festival—some 15,000 jazz fans attended last year from around the US—it still manages to retain a laid-back intimate vibe. Presenting established and emerging jazz stars in a variety of settings–from outdoor stages and special ticketed engagements to indoor gigs at 20-plus small venues—this year’s festival is focus on dynamic artists with both international reputations and musical origins.

Etienne Charles_750
Etienne Charles.

Featured artists include Ginger Baker’s Jazz Confusion, Average White Band, Christian McBride Trio, Bebel Gilberto, Somi, Etienne Charles Calypso Review, Camila Meza, Sammy Figueroa’s Latin Jazz Explosion, Joey DeFrancesco, Aaron Abernathy & the Nat Turner Band, Craig Handy & Second Line Smith, Mavis “Swan” Poole and Soul Understated, Murray-Allen-Carrington, Rachelle Ferrell and more.

Festival highlights include the free Jazz Crawl boasting 150 local and regional musicians at multiple venues, late-night club performances, jam sessions. Also not to miss is Song for My Father Reimagined featuring acclaimed drummer Roger Humphries and star trumpeter Sean Jones re-interpreting the timeless music of legendary jazz pianist and composer Horace Silver.

Bebel Gilberto_750
Bebel Gilberto.

While taking in all of the music, attendees can also shop for handmade wares at the Showcase Noir African American Designer Market, dig for records at the Trust Vinyl pop-up store and peruse the booths at a special three-day Night Market. New this year at JazzLive will be a craft beer tasting with North Coast Brewing Company, and a special event with Raise Your Spirits.

Since this just a taste of all of the music happening this weekend, be sure to check the festival’s recently updates website for a complete schedule and to see all ticketing options.

Jennifer BaronArts & Entertainment / Jobs Editor

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator of Handmade Arcade. Musically, she is in a band called The Garment District and is a founding member of Brooklyn's The Ladybug Transistor.