Joe Negri, a Pittsburgh icon and guitar legend, has distinguished himself as a nationally acclaimed performer, recognized composer, renowned actor, and respected educator. He may be most familiar to national audiences for his 30-year tenure as the affable Handyman Negri on Mister Rogers' Neighborhood (PBS). However, he has appeared with a roster of Platinum artist including Michael Feinstein, Tony Bennett, Andy Williams, Wynton Marsalis, Branford Marsalis, Buddy Defranco, and YoYo Ma. Negri's discography includes the Pittsburgh Symphony's Cinema Serenade with Itzhak Pearlman and John Williams. Compositions by Negri include scores for TV documentaries and major works for jazz instrumental and choral ensembles.
His Mass of Hope, a work in the jazz idiom for SATB choir and jazz quartet, has received both critical and public acclaim.
Negri serves as adjunct professor of guitar at Duquesne University (where he is an Honorary Doctor of Music). In 1998, he was named Man of the Year by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, and in 2004, he received the coveted Elsie Award. In 2008, Joe was chosen Man of the Year by Audia Caring Heritage Foundation.
Negri served as WTAE-TV's musical director for more than 20 years.