Annual Pitt Jazz Ensemble Spring Concert

Pittsburgh-Internationally renowned horn players Curtis Fuller and Michael Mossman will be the featured guests at the annual Pitt Jazz Ensemble Spring Concert to be held at 8 p.m. April 18 in the Assembly Room of the William Pitt Union (WPU), 3959 Fifth Ave., Oakland.

The 25 students who comprise the Pitt Jazz Ensemble have served as artists-in-residence in Jamaica for one week every year, performing for schoolchildren in rural villages, absorbing Caribbean culture, and building goodwill and friendships. Proceeds from this year's concert will help fund the annual trip.

Curtis Fuller, of Millbury, Mass., is regarded as one of the most distinctive trombone stylists in jazz. He emerged from the thriving Detroit music scene of the late 1940s and early 50s, and after just eight months in New York City, the 22 year old had made six albums as a leader and appeared on 15 others. He performed and recorded with John Coltrane, Bud Powell, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Lester Young, Art Blakey, and many others. He toured with the Count Basie Band, led the quintet Giant Bones, and performed and recorded with the revamped Jazztet. Fuller is featured on the famous tune "Moment's Notice" on Coltrane's classic "Blue Train" album. Still actively touring around the world, Fuller was honored last month with a Living Legend Jazz Award at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. He was a 2007 recipient of the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) Jazz Masters Awards, the highest honor the government bestows upon jazz musicians.

Philadelphia-born trumpeter Michael Mossman has been active on the international scene since the age of 17. His group, Metaphysical Mambos, features Ray Barretto, Paquito D'Rivera, Patato Valdez, and many others. Earlier releases were "Mama Soho" on the TCB label and "Springdance" on the Claves Jazz label. Both feature Mossman's much-sought-after expertise as a composer and arranger of Afro-Cuban and Brazilian jazz. Mossman graduated from Oberlin College and Oberlin Conservatory with degrees in sociology and anthropology as well as orchestral trumpet and jazz composition. He studied film scoring and is a graduate of Anthony Robbin's Mastery University. Mossman recorded four albums for Blue Note Record's group, Out of the Blue, before moving on to join the Horace Silver Quintet. He has toured and recorded with Dizzy Gillespie, Art Blakey, Joe Henderson, McCoy Tyner, Gerry Mulligan, Joe Zawinul, Slide Hampton, The Carnegie Hall Jazz Orchestra, the Charles Mingus Orchestra, Benny Carter, and many others. Classical and contemporary classical pieces are also part of his repertoire.

Local musicians-Greg Humphries on drums, Dwayne Dolphin on bass, James Johnson on piano, and Cecil "Valdez" Washington on Latin percussion-will accompany Fuller and Mossman.

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