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Manchester Craftsmen's Guild season features first-timers, Jazz Legends Party

MCG Jazz - Anat Cohen
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>MCG Jazz</em></div>Anat Cohen
MCG Jazz - New Gary Burton Quartet: (from left) Antonio Sanches, Gary Burton, Scott Colley and Julian Lage
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>MCG Jazz</em></div>New Gary Burton Quartet: (from left) Antonio Sanches, Gary Burton, Scott Colley and Julian Lage
MCG Jazz - Ahmad Jamal
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>MCG Jazz</em></div>Ahmad Jamal

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By Bob Karlovits
Sunday, March 17, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

More that 100 performers will be featured in the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild's next season, which will include appearances by a number of jazz players making their first visits to the site.

The concerts will include pianists Ahmad Jamal and Brad Mehldau, saxophonists David Sanborn and Joshua Redman, singers Cassandra Wilson and Diane Schuur, and vibraphone master Gary Burton.

Marty Ashby, executive producer of MCG Jazz, says the season was built around an attempt to offer a broad variety of performers amd to react to responses on a survey of desired performers. That survey, he says, brought a response of 311 names.

He also expresses surprise at the players who have not been there as the guild goes into is 27th season of concerts. They include drummer Steve Gadd, who will perform with Sanborn and keyboardist Bob James, singer Wilson and pianist Mehldau.

The season will begin Sept. 28 with the Jazz Legends Party, which has a reception and concert for a $125 ticket. At that show, Jamal will be the highlight of the induction of five new members into the Pittsburgh Jazz Legends, performers who have decided to make this place their headquarters.

The subscription series is made up of:

• Oct. 5 — Vibraphone master Gary Burton will visit on his 70th birthday tour with his new quartet featuring guitarist Julian Lage and drummer Antonio Sanchez.

• Oct. 11 — Vocal group Take 6 marks its 25th anniversary.

• Oct. 25 — Bob James, David Sanborn and Steve Gadd collaborated for a hit album 27 years ago, but this is the first time they have toured together.

• Nov. 8 and 9 — Saxophonist Paul Winter reassembles the sextet that played at the White House in an invitation from Jacqueline Kennedy in 1962.

• Nov. 14 — Acoustic Alchemy is a group that produces its own form of “smooth” jazz in a guitar-oriented blend of jazz and folk-rock.

• Nov. 23 — Saxophonist Joshua Redman has worked with performers from the Rolling Stones to Yo-Yo Ma as well as presenting his own music.

• Dec. 7 — Singer Diane Schuur explores the Great American Songbook in ways that sometimes draw criticism for her jazz-pop blend,

• Dec. 14 — The Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra will present its holiday show with singer Freddy Cole.

• Jan. 24, 2014 — The Spanish Harlem Orchestra is a Grammy award-winning standard bearer for Latin jazz.

• Feb. 7 — Chucho Valdes is the middle member of three generations of powerful pianists.

• Feb. 15 — New clarinet-saxophone star Anat Cohen will lead an all-star band in a celebration of 60 years of the Newport Jazz Festival.

• Feb. 28 — The Gentlemen Sing will be a performance by Allen Harris, Ernie Andrews and the winner of a nationwide search by MCG Jazz.

• March 14 — Pianist Ramsey Lewis will visit with an electric, funk-oriented group.

• March 28 — Guitarist Kevin Eubanks will display a mainstream sound that has developed its own identity.

• April 12 — Saxophonist Bobby Watson has reassembled his Horizon band with trumpeter Terell Stafford.

• April 26 — Pianist Brad Mehldau has performed many forms, but will be here in his most familiar, the trio.

• May 3 — Singer Cassandra Wilson offers challenges to songs and was part of a Pulitzer Prize-winning jazz work with Wynton Marsalis.

All concerts are at 7 and 9:30 p.m. except for the Paul Winter shows, which will be at 8 p.m.

Subscriptions are available for full and partial seasons. Single tickets range from $45 to $65 and will go on sale in July.

Details: 412-322-0800 or

Bob Karlovits is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at or 412-320-7852.

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