Tuning up MCG Jazz 2013-2014 Subscription Series Concerts

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The 27th annual MCG Jazz season will be another star-studded affair featuring such musical luminaries as Ahmad Jamal, Joshua Redman, Diane Schuur and David Sanborn, touring with Bob James for the first time.

More than 20 headliners will perform during the series, which will begin with a special party on Sept. 28 and run through May 3, 2014.

The season will celebrate a number of milestones, including Gary Burton's 70th birthday tour with the New Gary Burton Quartet, Take 6's 25th anniversary tour and the 50th anniversary of the Paul Winter Sextet's performance at the White House.

Newcomers to the series are British guitar ensemble Acoustic Alchemy, Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Kevin Eubanks, Cassandra Wilson and Chucho Valdes.

Native son Allan Harris will honor generations of male jazz vocalists with The Gentlemen Sing: Three Generations of Song, featuring Philadelphia-born Ernie Andrews and a new male jazz vocalist that MCG Jazz will discover through a nationwide search. Details on the selection process will be announced this summer.

The season will begin Sept. 28 with the MCG Jazz Legends Party 2013 featuring Pittsburgh native Ahmad Jamal and the Pittsburgh Jazz Legends. MCG Jazz will induct the new class of Pittsburgh Jazz Legends: Don Aliquo Sr., Harold Betters, Cecil Brooks II, Frank Cunimondo, Joe Dallas, Nelson Harrison, Roger Humphries, James Johnson Jr., Art Nance, Joe Negri, George "Duke" Spaulding, J. Warren Watson, John Wilson and two artists who died last year, Charles "Chuck" Austin and Gene Ludwig.

Oct. 5: The New Gary Burton Quartet -- featuring guitarist Julian Lage, drummer Antonio Sanchez and Scott Colley.

Oct. 11: Take 6 -- 25th anniversary with a new tour full of new arrangements

Oct. 25: Bob James, David Sanborn featuring drummer Steve Gadd -- The pianist and saxophonist unite 27 years after the release of "Double Vision," their million-selling Grammy Award-winning collaboration.

Nov. 8-9: Paul Winter Sextet -- celebrating the 50th anniversary of the group's invitation to play at the White House.

Nov. 14: Acoustic Alchemy -- With styles ranging from straight-ahead jazz to folk to rock to world music.

Nov. 23: Joshua Redman -- saxophonist who has performed with musicians such as Ray Brown, Dave Brubeck, Chick Corea, The Dave Matthews Band and The Rolling Stones.

Dec. 7: Diane Schuur -- Grammy-winning vocalist and pianist.

Dec. 14: Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra Holiday Celebration -- featuring vocalist Freddy Cole

Jan. 24, 2014: Spanish Harlem Orchestra -- Grammy-winning 13-member orchestra directed by world-renowned pianist, arranger and producer Oscar Hernandez.

Feb. 7: Chucho Valdes -- Pianist hailed as "the dean of Latin jazz" has recorded more than 80 CDs and performed with such greats as Herbie Hancock, Dizzy Gillespie, Wynton Marsalis and Chick Corea.

Feb. 15: Newport Jazz Festival: Now 60 -- The star-studded ensemble celebrates the history of the Newport Jazz Festival and features Anat Cohen, Karrin Allyson, Randy Brecker, Mark Whitfield accompanied by the rhythm section of pianist Peter Martin, drummer Clarence Penn and bassist Larry Grenadier.

Feb. 28: The Gentlemen Sing: Three Generations of Song with Allan Harris & Ernie Andrews -- New project curated by MCG Jazz executive director Marty Ashby

March 14: Ramsey Lewis: The Sun Goddess Tour -- The pianist has assembled an electric funk group to revisit the classic album.

March 28: Kevin Eubanks -- former "Tonight Show" band leader and guitarist touring on second Mack Avenue Records release, "The Messenger."

April 12: Bobby Watson & Horizon -- After an eight-year hiatus, the quintet (nicknamed "The Happy Band" by fans) is back with a brand new album and tour titled "Horizon Reassembled."

April 26: Brad Mehldau Trio -- Jazz pianist who has recorded and performed extensively since the early 1990s will be joined by Larry Grenadier and Jeff Ballard.

May 3: Cassandra Wilson -- Two-time Grammy-winning singer incorporates blues, country and folk.

Subscriptions for the MCG Jazz 2013-14 season are on sale now. Patrons can choose from a pre-packaged concert series or create their own package from the available artists. Single tickets range from $45 to $65 and will go on sale in July. Call the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild Jazz Box Office at 412-322-0800 for more information or visit www.mcgjazz.org.


Scott Mervis: smervis@post-gazette.com or 412-263-2576.


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