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Stars align for 15th annual Monroeville Jazz Festival

Mary Pickels
| Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017, 9:00 p.m.
Pittsburgh jazz vocalist Etta Cox performs during the 'Let Freedom Sing! A Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.' concert on Monday, Jan. 18, 2016, at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville, Pa.
Ken Reabe Jr. | For The Tribune-Review
Pittsburgh jazz vocalist Etta Cox performs during the 'Let Freedom Sing! A Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.' concert on Monday, Jan. 18, 2016, at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville, Pa.
Tony DeSare
Bill Westmoreland
Tony DeSare

Jazz aficionados will want to save the date on Aug. 19, when the 15th annual Monroeville Jazz Festival is held at the Tall Trees Amphitheater in Monroeville Community Park.

The Funky Fly Project, a group of high school students gaining national attention for their fusion of classic jazz styles with contemporary funk, will open the festival at 4:30 p.m. Members are Winston Bell, Henry Schultz, Brandon Terry and Eric Dowdell Jr.

Pittsburgh jazz icon Etta Cox, who has appeared on Broadway, with the Pittsburgh Public Theater and City Theater, will serve as local headliner, taking the stage at 6 p.m.

Cox, who has been voted "Best Jazz Vocalist" in Pittsburgh for eight consecutive years and has received the Harry Schwalb Award for Excellence in the Arts, is also known for numerous television and film appearances. She also is a vocal instructor with Pittsburgh's Creative and Performing Arts High School.

National headliner Yamaha piano master Tony Desare and Quartet will perform at 7:30 p.m.

DeSare, a jazz singer, pianist and songwriter who performs in theaters, jazz clubs and with symphony orchestras internationally, will play a $124,000 grand piano Yamaha ships on a flatbed truck for his use, according to festival officials.

Admission is free.

Details: monroevillejazz.org

Mary Pickels is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-836-5401 or mpickels@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MaryPickels.

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