MCG Jazz Announces Its 2023-2024 Jazz Concert Series ‘In The Moment’

The season features 13 moments to choose from, including the reigning queen of bossa nova, Eliane Elias; NEA Jazz Master Hubert Laws, Smooth jazz saxophonist Gerald Albright, and a lineup of trending rising stars such as Pasquale GrassoVeronica SwiftJazzmeia Horn, and, making his debut at MCG Jazz in October 2023, Matthew Whitaker

Experience a futuristic moment with Sean Jones: Dizzy Spells featuring Brinae Ali. There are historic moments with Blue Note Records 85th Anniversary featuring Gerald ClaytonJoel RossImmanuel WilkinsKendrick Scott, and Matt Brewer and The Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra celebrating the 125th anniversary of Duke Ellington. Vocal ensemble moments include New York Voices and, according to Quincy Jones, “ther baddest vocal cats on the planet!” Take 6. MCG Jazz closes its series with a family moment in May with urban jazz artists Kim and Kayla Waters

The MCG Jazz concert series is one of the country’s longest-running subscription-based jazz performance series. Down Beat Magazine has named MCG Jazz 2023 “One of the Best Jazz Venues in the world!” The brand-new MCG Jazz Music Hall renovations feature a new customer and archives center and an expanded concession area.  

In the Moment Season Lineup

An Evening with Eliane Elias – September 30, 2023 

The reigning queen of bossa nova, Eliane Elias’ new album, “Quietude” is #1 Billboard Traditional Jazz Charts, #1 iTunes Latin & Jazz Charts, and #1 Amazon Jazz, Latin & Brazilian Best Seller. Her recent double GRAMMY wins for her duet recording with the late Chick Corea exemplified the virtuosity of her piano playing.

Matthew Whitaker – October 14, 2023 

Matthew began playing piano at the young age of 3, and at nine he began teaching himself how to play the Hammond B3 organ. Four years later, he became the youngest artist to be endorsed by Hammond in its 80+ year history. He was also named a Yamaha Artist at 15, becoming the youngest musician to join the stellar group of jazz pianists. Now 21, Matthew is taking the musical world by storm. 

Hubert Laws – October 21, 2023 

NEA Jazz Master and internationally renowned flutist Hubert Laws is one of the few classical artists who has mastered jazz, pop, and rhythm-and-blues genres, moving effortlessly from one repertory to another. Hubert is considered to be the finest jazz flutist of all time. 

Sean Jones – “Dizzy Spellz” featuring Brinae Ali – November 11, 2023 

“Dizzy Spellz” offers an Afro-futuristic lens into a deeper look at the intersecting cultural and spiritual dilemmas within the African Diaspora through the music of Dizzy Gillespie. Sean Jones (trumpeter/musical director) and Brinae Ali (choreographer/tap dancer/vocalist) have teamed up to create a piece that fuses elements of jazz, tap, Hip Hop, and Bebop to articulate the social vernacular language of the African American experience. 

New York Voices “Let It Snow” – December 2, 2023 

New York Voices has fashioned a Christmas program that honors beloved traditional and sacred classics and secular favorites while incorporating sophisticated jazz and swing elements. Their performance will feature the group’s “greatest hits” and their unique holiday arrangements. 

Gerald Albright – December 16, 2023 

Gerald Albright launched his solo career in the infancy of what became the smooth jazz format in 1987 and has been a core part of the genre with chart-topping albums, countless radio hits, and as a member of many all-star tours. 

Diego Figueiredo Solo and Pasquale Grasso Trio – January 27, 2024 

Guitarist Diego Figueiredo was born in Franca, Brazil. He has a unique interpretation of jazz, with a ton of technique and tremendous emotion. He has released 26 albums and played in more than 60 countries worldwide. His style fuses Jazz, Bossa nova, and Classical music. In his interview for Vintage Guitar magazine’s February 2016 cover story, Pat Metheny was asked to name some younger musicians who had impressed him. “The best guitar player I’ve heard in maybe my entire life is floating around now, Pasquale Grasso,” said the jazz-guitar icon and NEA Jazz Master. “This guy is doing something so amazingly musical and so difficult.” 

Blue Note Records 85th Anniversary Celebration – February 24, 2024 – Starring The Blue Note Quintet featuring Gerald Clayton, Joel Ross, Immanuel Wilkins, Kendrick Scott, and Matt Brewer. 

The hottest young names in jazz join forces to perform classic tunes from the legendary Blue Note label and original compositions. 

Veronica Swift – March 9, 2024 

Having made her mark on the international jazz scene as one of the star vocalists of her era, Veronica Swift has now expanded her style, establishing herself as a skilled rock and soul singer as well as a dynamic performer mixing jazz and classical with rock, soul, and funk paying homage to greats like Janis Joplin, David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, and Duke Ellington. 

Jazzmeia Horn – March 23, 2024 

Award-winning vocalist Jazzmeia Horn showcases her perception of the world and her endlessly unfolding talents with the combination of her assured delivery and spoken word segments, deft arrangements, and fiery musical ideas. 

The Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra Celebrates Duke Ellington at 125 – April 6, 2024 – Under the Direction of Charlie Young

In celebration of the 125 anniversary of Duke Ellington’s birth, the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra brings the Ellington archive collection to life with a performance directed by Charlie Young, the current Artistic Director and Conductor of both the Duke Ellington Orchestra and the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra

Take 6 – April 27, 2024 

Take 6 (Claude McKnight, Mark Kibble, Joel Kibble, Dave Thomas, Alvin Chea, and Khristian Dentley), heralded by Quincy Jones as the “baddest vocal cats on the planet!,” is the quintessential a cappella group and the model for vocal genius.

Kim and Kayla Waters – May 11, 2024 
Kim Waters’ instantly recognizable sound has found the perfect equilibrium between sensitivity and brawn, intellect and emotion and technique and soulfulness. The daughter of jazz saxophonist Kim Waters, Kayla Waters is an award-winning urban jazz pianist, chart-topping recording artist, composer, producer, and music director. 


Choose-your-own concert subscription packages of four or more concerts are available now. Visit https://www.mcgjazz.org/season-brochure or call the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild Jazz Box Office at 412-322-0800 for more information. The series is held at the MCG concert hall at 1815 Metropolitan Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15233. 

MCG Jazz is a social enterprise of Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild, a subsidiary of Manchester Bidwell Corporation, a non-profit arts and learning center in Pittsburgh, PA. 

Categories: Season Listings, Show Previews

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: