June 12, 1957 - June 27, 2017
The 50th anniversary presented an opportunity to celebrate the deep legacy of University of Pittsburgh’s jazz offerings by pointing to important contributions of past program directors Dr. Nathan Davis and Geri Allen. Unlike past years, all events for the Jazz Seminar, including concerts, will be streamed.
Throughout the week, former students and colleagues of Dr. Davis and Ms. Allen will convene for YouTube panels, sharing their memories and the notable contributions of each former director. On Monday November 2, Pitt faculty member, Dr. Aaron Johnson, will lead a panel with previous Pitt students of Dr. Nathan Davis to highlight his innovations as a trailblazer in jazz and education. On Thursday November 5, Pitt faculty member Dr. Michael Heller and Columbia University faculty colleague Dr. Ellie Hisama will convene Feed the Fire, an all day cyber-symposium on Geri Allen which serves as a launch for Pitt’s Jazz and Culture journal focused entirely on Allen’s contributions and influence. Keynote speakers include Terri Lyne Carrington, Dr. Farah Jasmine Griffin, Dr. Gina Dent and Dr. Angela Davis.
Also, in response to the Black Lives Matter movement and the origins of jazz as an expression of the Black community, Nicole Mitchell will discuss the topic of Racial Equity in Jazz and Jazz Education with Gail Austin (Kente Arts Alliance), Ayana Contreras (WBEZ-FM, Vocalo Radio) and Willard Jenkins (DC Jazz Festival, WPFW-FM).
In addition, pianist Vijay Iyer, drummer Terri Lyne Carrington and bassist Dwayne Dolphin will meet online with groups of Pitt students and youth organizations in sessions throughout Jazz Week, that are closed to the public.
All online events can be found on the Pitt Music Department YouTube channel.
For further info visit
All events are free
"'Was She Happy?' An Inside View of Kassa Overall and Vijay Iyer's Tribute to Geri Allen"
"Pianist Geri Allen, born on this day in 1957, was the common bond for countless musicians."
"Among them are Vijay Iyer, a sworn disciple, and Kassa Overall, her longtime drummer. Last summer they recorded a duo session that would yield the closing track on Overall’s daring and acclaimed recent album, I Think I’m Good (Brownswood Recordings)."
Read the full article by Nate Chinen for WBGO
"Geri Allen Tribute Quintet: Paying Respect to a Jazz Queen"
"... the Spoleto Festival USA Wells Fargo Jazz Series presented a special tribute to her life and legacy by presenting a Geri Allen Tribute Quintet program, which was held on May 30, 2019. The event took place on a warm, slightly humid night at the College of Charleston Cistern Yard.
This celebrated quintet, who gathered in the Lowcountry to performed this musical extravaganza in her honor, were drummer Terri Lyne Carrington, pianist Craig Taborn, bassist Robert Hurst, saxophonist Ravi Coltrane and tap dancer Maurice Chestnut. They came to Charleston to celebrate the life of a true jazz queen, and did exactly that."
Read the full review by Hakim Abdul-Ali at The Charleston Chronicle
Here is her aptly titled composition, "Unconditional Love" performed with Esperanza Spalding and Terri Lyne Carrington. Thank you Geri Allen for sharing unconditionally, your beautiful gift.
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Geri's Latest Recording
- Mirror of Youth
- Barbara Allen
- The David, Geri & Terri Show
- The Nurturer
- D Special (Interlude)
- Samsara (for Wayne)
- For Fr. Peter O’Brien
- Cycles and Seasons
David Murray – saxophone
Geri Allen – piano
Terri Lyne Carrington – drums