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Manchester Craftsmen's Guild Jazz Unite for Educational Outreach

Duquesne University’s Mary Pappert School of Music and MCG Jazz, Pittsburgh's internationally recognized concert venue and recording label, are collaborating to achieve common goals of educational and community outreach.

MCG Jazz, a non-profit affiliated with the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild, began to expand its concert offerings and attract world-class jazz artists in the late 1980s. Since then, Duquesne University music students have realized a number of benefits from having MCG Jazz attract world-class performers to Pittsburgh.

Mike Tomaro, chair of jazz studies and director of the Duquesne Jazz Ensemble, has encouraged students to attend the concerts and has been instrumental in bringing a number of MCG performers to campus to give master classes for students in the jazz studies program. He and other Pappert faculty members have performed on MCG recordings, and once each year for the past several years, students in the Duquesne Jazz Ensemble have performed live on the MCG stage.

In addition, the Music School also will help MCG host a series of brunches for local middle and high school students, at which the members of the Jazz Ensemble will perform.

“This year, we will be doing a lot more together,” said Edward Kocher, dean of the Mary Pappert School of Music. “MCG Jazz is placing greater stress on educational outreach, and to that end the two organizations will be sharing talent and resources more than ever.”

Several artists in this season’s MCG Jazz concert lineup, including the singers of the New York Voices, members of the Latin Side ensemble, pianist Randy Weston and guitarist Chuck Loeb, will teach master classes for Duquesne music students. Loeb also will perform as a guest soloist with the Duquesne Jazz Ensemble at a special concert, April 14, for which Tomaro is creating arrangements.

The future, according to Kocher, may bring even greater cooperation between MCG Jazz and the Mary Pappert School of Music, including the creation of a graduate-level ensemble that plays an integral part in the MCG performance series and the possibility of housing the digitized MCG Jazz archives at the Gumberg Library.

About the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild
The Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild is a local nonprofit organization founded by Pittsburgher Bill Strickland to encourage hope among young people and strengthen communities, particularly minority communities, through programs in the arts.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.