University of Pittsburgh’s Jazz Studies Program Celebrates Pianist Erroll Garner’s Centennial During 51st Annual Pitt Jazz Seminar and Concert Week


The University of Pittsburgh’s Jazz Studies Program headed by award-winning flutist, composer, bandleader, and educator Nicole Mitchell will celebrate its 51st Annual Pitt Jazz Seminar and Concert, January 24th through 29th, 2022. Jazz week will feature student and faculty performances streamed online, a Musicians’ Rights Symposium with keynote speaker Robin D.G. Kelley, an online exploration and discussion of the Erroll Garner archives, and a concert with our featured artist Orrin Evans.   

For the 51st Jazz Seminar, the Jazz Studies Program will highlight and pay tribute to the incredible Erroll Garner archives and Garner’s legacy as a pianist and a Pittsburgh Hill District native. The Jazz Studies Program will host a VIRTUAL tour of the Garner Archives, given to Pitt's University Library System in 2015.  All music performed during the week will be Garner’s compositions or pieces inspired by his work. The Jazz Program is also pleased to have pianist Orrin Evans as the featured artist who will perform with local Pittsburgh musicians during the jazz seminar week.

All events are VIRTUAL ONLY. Access to all events is FREE and available to the general public. Information and links for all events can be found at


Monday, Jan. 24 at 8 p.m. — Kickoff  (STREAMING ONLY)
Performances by the student-based Pitt Jazz Ensemble as well as by Pitt graduate pianists Samuel Boateng and Irene Monteverde streamed LIVE from Bellefield Hall Auditorium

Find out more and access the stream here.


Wednesday, Jan. 26 at 7 p.m. — Jazz Talk, Episode 5: Celebrating Erroll Garner (WEBINAR)
"Jazz Talk," the podcast of Pitt Jazz Studies Director Nicole Mitchell, will feature an episode on Erroll Garner with comments from guest pianist Orrin Evans and Irene Monteverde, a Pitt jazz PhD student pianist whose dissertation focuses on Garner. There will also be a 15-minute virtual tour of the Erroll Garner Archives at Pitt, which the University Library System acquired in 2015.

Register Online at 


Thursday, Jan. 27 — Musicians’ Rights Symposium (Webinar)

Part 1: 1-2:30 p.m.
A panel discussion on musician’s rights, including the difficult terrain musicians must travel to secure ownership of their own music. Panelists include:
Michael Heller, Pitt associate professor of music
Aaron J. Johnson, Pitt assistant professor of music
Tina Rivers Ryan, art historian with expertise in media art
Anjali Vats, associate professor at Pitt Law
Matthew Garrison, jazz bassist with his own record label: Garrison Jazz

Part 2: 3-4 p.m. — Keynote presentation
“The Liberation of Erroll Garner: A Conversation about Music, Money, and Power”
by Robin D. G. Kelley, the Gary B. Nash Professor of American History at UCLA, who has knowledge of Garner’s own problems with artistic rights. Garner and his manager, Martha Glaser, sued Columbia Records in the late 1950s in an attempt for Garner to start his own record label, virtually unheard of at that time. Garner and Glaser were ultimately successful.

Register Online at


Friday, Jan. 28 at 7 p.m. — Jazz Faculty Showcase  (STREAMING ONLY)
Members of the Pitt Jazz Studies Program faculty who will be performing Erroll Garner compositions include: Frank Cunimondo, piano; Jeff Grubbs, bass; Ralph Guzzi, trumpet; Aaron J. Johnson, trombone; James Johnson Jr, piano; James Johnson III, drums; Nicole Mitchell, flute; Kenneth Powell, saxophone; Mark Strickland, guitar; and Yoko Suzuki, saxophone.

Find out more and access the stream here.


Saturday, January 29th at 7 p.m. — Collaborative Concert (STREAMING ONLY)
Featuring Orrin Evans, Jeff Grubbs, James Johnson III, and Nicole Mitchell streamed LIVE from Bellefield Hall Auditorium

FInd out more and access the stream here.


For any questions about these events, email or call the jazz program’s office at 412-624-4187.