Tickets are on sale for a black-tie premiere of a documentary about jazz musician Roger Humphries, a Pittsburgh native and musical prodigy whose talent for drums was evident by age 31/2 and who was sitting in with a band a year later.
By 14, he was playing professionally and his long illustrious career has included performing alongside musical giants such as Stanley Turrentine, Horace Silver and Ray Charles.
"Roger Humphries: Pass It On," made by filmmaker Billy Jackson, will be shown Feb. 22 at the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild, 1815 Metropolitan St. on the North Side. The evening will include a VIP cocktail jazz jam session with CAPA performing arts students and hors d'oeuvres passed by butlers.
After the movie, there will be a presentation of awards made by celebrated sculptor Thaddeus Mosley along with a dessert and coffee reception. Honorary co-chairs of the event, Mayor Bill Peduto and MCG founder Bill Strickland, are expected to attend.
Filmmaker Jackson, principal owner of NOMMO Productions, which made such films as "Enough Is Enough: The Death of Jonny Gammage," "Didn't We Ramble On?" and "We Are Universal," chose to document the premier jazz drummer because of his eagerness to nurture young talent.
"Roger is a musical icon, yet accessible and down to earth," Mr. Jackson says. "I wanted to share Mr. Humphries' world view with others. Perhaps it will inspire us all to give back that which we have been given in some tangible manner."
Mr. Humphries, whose discography stretches from 1963 to his most recent CD "Keep the Faith," says, "I am a musician who loves what he does and has stayed true to his gifts and talents. Having the option to live and work anywhere in the world, I chose to live and raise my family right here in Pittsburgh.
"I have been blessed to make a living doing what I love and I equally feel a responsibility to uplift and nurture the children who are coming up in later generations," says Mr. Humphries, 70, a North Side resident.
Tickets are $125 for the full event including admission at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 22 and the cocktail jam session, with general admission tickets of $50 granting entry at 7:30 p.m. A portion of the ticket price is tax deductible, with proceeds from the evening going to nonprofits with programs devoted to developing musical talents of young people.
To order: www.rhpassiton.com or mcgjazz.org. Or visit Stedeford's Records, 417 E. Ohio St. on the North Side; Centre of Attraction, 2019 Centre Ave. in the Hill District; or Dorsey's Records, 7614 Frankstown Ave. in Homewood.
A limited number of $30 general admission tickets for young professionals, age 30 and under, will be available at the door.
Movie editor Barbara Vancheri: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1632. Read her blog: www.post-gazette.com/madaboutmovies.
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