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Watch: Pittsburgh's Jazz Legacy

Musicians such as George Benson, Ahmad Jamal, Stanley Turrentine, Billy Strayhorn and Mary Lou Williams as well as Joe Negri and Roger Humphries, all Pittsburghers, are featured in a new film to be broadcast on WQED.




Photo by Chuck Stewart provided by Fireball Entertainment Group

 

A new documentary premiering this month on WQED will examine the lives and legacies of many great jazz musicians who share one thing in common: they’re all from Pittsburgh.

“We Knew What We Had: The Greatest Jazz Story Never Told” documents the history of jazz in the city, most notably in the Hill District, where many musicians got their start. It was written, directed and co-produced (with Marty Ashby from MCG Jazz) by Pittsburgh writer and filmmaker Jeff Sewald.

“It’s a story that has been around … but I don’t think a lot of Pittsburghers knew about it,” he says. “And I think it might be a surprise to people who lived here that we have this jazz history that goes far beyond the run-of-the-mill.”

Musicians such as George Benson, Ahmad Jamal, Stanley Turrentine, Billy Strayhorn and Mary Lou Williams as well as Joe Negri and Roger Humphries, all Pittsburghers, are featured in the film.

The documentary will air at 8 p.m. Feb. 15 with an encore broadcast at 7 p.m. on Feb. 18. American Public Television will distribute the film, which will be broadcast around the country on public TV stations during Black History Month and beyond.
 

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