The Pittsburgh JazzLive International Festival is a three-day celebration, Jun 16-18, with FREE live music at various downtown locations. This is the festival's seventh year, and with Pittsburgh's rich jazz history, it's a huge party you won't want to miss.
The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, a non-profit committed to revitalizing the Pittsburgh region through the creation and development of the Downtown Pittsburgh Cultural District, showcases the jazz legacy in Pittsburgh and brings this festival to life. With various free events including stage presentations, Jazz Crawl performances and late-night jam sessions, the Pittsburgh JazzLive International Festival welcomes everyone to celebrate jazz in the city.
Jazz History in Pittsburgh
Believe it or not, Pittsburgh was a jazz hub in the 20th century. The city's Hill District was known as "Little Harlem" and attracted jazz legends including Miles Davis, Billy Eckstine, Lena Horne, Duke Ellington and others. Earl "Fatha" Hines was a local pianist and bandleader from Duquesne, PA who influenced Pittsburgh jazz for decades to come. He groomed jazz legend and Pittsburgh native Billy Eckstine who continued to grow jazz in the city. Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn were also major contributors to the success of Pittsburgh jazz. This was just the beginning to Pittsburgh's extraordinary jazz scene which continues to thrive. Learn more about jazz in Pitttsburgh on our #LovePGH blog.
Jazz in Pittsburgh is everywhere – you just need to look a little! In addition to the Pittsburgh JazzLive International Festival, you can find jazz performances in the city throughout the whole year. Some of the city's notable jazz joints and clubs include Little E's Jazz Club, James Street Gastropub & Speakeasy and Andy's Wine Bar at the Fairmont.
Located on Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh's August Wilson Center for African American Culture showcases performing and visual art programs that celebrate African-American culture. The building is named after American playwright and Pittsburgh native August Wilson whose late play "Fences" was nominated for the Academy Awards. The 490+ seat theatre is in a modern building that offers multiple exhibition galleries, an education center, gift shop and cafe.
Named after two Pittsburgh legends, Gene Kelly and Billy Strayhorn, the Kelly Strayhorn Theater (KST) in East Liberty is an innovative theatre space that highlights the Pittsburgh renaissance era. Encouraging diverse, inclusive, artistic and educational performances, the KST continues to grow Pittsburgh's jazz and theatre culture.
The Jazz Crawl is one of the festival's featured events taking place in 15 different venues on Friday, June 16 from 5:30 - 9 PM. It is a fan favorite offering so many different types of jazz in some of Pittsburgh's most unique places. Some of the new locations added this year include Cafe 808 on Penn Avenue and Social House on 7th Ave.