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Multi-talented Jennings returns to Music Hall stage

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Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Patricia Prattis Jennings will be wearing a different hat when she returns to the Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall Thursday, Nov. 14 for readings from her new book: “In One Era and Out the Other.”

She last appeared at the ACFL&MH on June 1, 2008 on stage in the Music Hall. “An Afternoon with Patricia Prattis Jennings” was a concert performed by the then recently-retired pianist who had performed as the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra's keyboardist for more than 40 years.

Though renowned as a pianist, Jennings may well have writing in her DNA. Her father, the late P.L. Prattis, was the long-time editor of the Pittsburgh Courier, once the largest circulation African American newspaper in the country.

Jennings' own writing career began with a four-part series that she wrote for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette while on a 1994 European tour with the symphony.

That experience has evolved into nearly two decades of essays in which she shares her observations on everything from fashion to how the Internet impacts the American family.

A keen observer of societal changes, Jennings takes readers on several decades of time travel, with commentaries on politics, technology, culture, race and entertainment.

While there are elements of memoir in the book, the anthology is a sophisticated and amusing chronology of anecdotes and opinions in which Jennings shares her reactions to events of the second half of the 20th century and the first decade of the 21st.

Jennings will donate $1 from each book to the Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council; she serves as a member of the GPLC's advisory board.

Jennings will be doing a second reading on Sunday, Nov. 17, at the Mendelson Gallery in Shadyside

A reception follows the program. There will be music courtesy of Carnegie jazzmen Phil Salvato and Haywood Vincent. The free program begins at 7 p.m. in the Reception Hall.

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