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Arts, Sports & Culture

Pittsburgh Jazz Festival Puts Steel City On International Stage

One Pittsburgh summer tradition, the Three Rivers Arts Festival, is behind us and another one is ahead – the Pittsburgh JazzLive International Festival.

The fourth annual celebration of jazz has grown since it started and has attracted a wide audience that benefits the region.

“The restaurants that participate in the jazz crawl, they have their highest sales that weekend,” said Janis Burley Wilson, director of jazz programs for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. “Eighteen percent of the audience came from out of Pittsburgh, not out of town like Wexford and Cranberry but Chicago, Detroit, New York City – they’re traveling, they’re spending money, it’s a great audience.”

The festival this year will feature a lineup that includes not-widely-know group, Snarky Puppy, along with some other better-known artists such as Gregory Porter, Raul Midon and Dianne Reeves. Wilson said each year, the JazzLive International Festival tries to introduce Pittsburgh to fresh sounds.

“A lot of these festivals, I mean I love jazz festivals, I love traveling to jazz festivals, but I find that you have the same group of artists on tour and they stop in a different city,” said Wilson. “While we do some of that, I wanted to add new flavor, something fresh, I wanted people to discover something at our festival.”

The festival starts Friday June 20 and runs through Sunday at venues in the Cultural District. A full lineup can be found here.