Pittsburgh guitar legend Joe Negri joins PSO’s feline musical ambassador in Fiddlesticks’ family concert celebrating ‘City of Steel’

This weekend’s concert at Heinz Hall includes PSO musicians Jeffrey Grubbs and Andrew Reamer as soloists, CLO Academy Tap Dancers paying tribute to another Pittsburgh legend, Gene Kelly

PITTSBURGH – Pittsburgh icon and jazz guitar legend Joe Negri will join the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) and its musical ambassador to children, Fiddlesticks, this weekend in a family concert celebrating this great ‘city of steel.’

The concert, “Celebrate Pittsburgh,“ will be at 11:15 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 2, at Heinz Hall. Tickets, ranging from $12 to $22.25 can be purchased by calling the Heinz Hall box office at 412.392.4900, or by visiting the PSO online at www.pittsburghsymphony.org.

PSO Resident Conductor Lawrence Loh will lead the concert that also features PSO musicians Jeffrey Grubbs, bass, and Andrew Reamer, drum set, as soloists.

Negri is one of the most recognized names in Pittsburgh music circles and is quite possibly one of the finest jazz guitarists in the country. He was a musical prodigy at 4, and was touring nationally by the age of 16. He has performed with such diverse performers as Johnny Mathis, Tony Bennett, Andy Williams, Eartha Kitt, Johnny Costa, Yo-Yo Ma, and Wynton, Branford, and Ellis Marsalis. His career has spanned several decades and he has performed in every aspect of the music business.  He appears frequently as a guest with the PSO, and is featured on the PSO’s Cinema Serenade CD with Itzhak Perlman and John Williams.

Joining Negri at the concert will be vocalist Katy Williams and the CLO Academy Tap Dancers, who pay tribute to Hollywood legend Gene Kelly in Singin’ in the Rain.

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This fun-filled concert will feature music from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, works by the legendary movie composer John Williams, John Philip Sousa and the very popular The Pink Panther theme, written by another multiple Oscar-winning composer, Henry Mancini.

Enhance your child’s musical journey with DISCOVERY TIME ADVENTURES beginning at 10AM before every Fiddlesticks concert! (Free to all ticket holders.) During the pre-concert DISCOVERY TIME ADVENTURES, children may meet and listen to PSO musicians, create a take-home craft and experience a variety of other musical and educational explorations unique to each concert.

From infancy on, children are exposed to the music of lullabies, sing-a-longs, folk tunes, and pop music, and the Fiddlesticks Family Concerts continue to explore various genres of music. Each of the performances is preceded by a pre-concert event called Discovery Time Adventures. These educational activities begin at 10 a.m. and allow young audiences and their parents to meet the PSO musicians, learn songs, and take part in various musical activities. The 45-minute concert begins at 11:15 a.m. and is filled with engaging music and interaction with everyone’s favorite friendly feline!

The Fiddlesticks Family Concert Series is proudly sponsored by Macy’s Foundation, PPG Industries Foundation, and Bobby Rahal Volvo. This series is endowed by Gerald and Audrey McGinnis, honoring the Center for Young Musicians.

Resident Conductor of the PSO and music director of both the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic and the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra, Lawrence Loh is one of the most exciting young talents on the classical music scene today.  He was brought to national attention in February 2004, when he substituted last-minute for an ailing Charles Dutoit with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Conducting Stravinsky’s Petrouchka and Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique, Loh received enthusiastic acclaim from orchestra players, audience members and critics, alike. Since his appointment as music director of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic in 2005, the orchestra has flourished artistically, defining its reputation as one of the finest regional orchestras in the country. His leadership has attracted such artists as André Watts, Anne Akiko Meyers, Jon Nakamatsu, Zuill Bailey and Sharon Isbin.

Katy Williams has performed extensively in the Pittsburgh area with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Opera, Mendelssohn Choir, Pittsburgh Opera Theater, River City Brass Band and Pittsburgh Concert Chorale. She was a featured soloist for several Pittsburgh Symphony Holiday Pops concert series and made her PSO BNY Mellon Grand Classics debut in September 2005 with Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She was a soloist in the Heinz Hall performance of The Lord of the Rings and has been the special guest vocalist for the PSO’s Fiddlesticks and Tiny Tots children’s concerts hosted by the PSO.

Jeffrey Grubbs joined the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in 1996 after having played for two seasons in the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and five seasons in the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Grubbs received his musical training at Youngstown State University, the Cleveland Institute of Music and the University of Southern California, and is a student of Lawrence Angell, Paul Ellison, Ralph Jones, Anthony Knight and Tony Leonardi. He started as a violinist at age 9 and later switched to the Double Bass at age 18. While a student at USC, he won the position of Orchestral Fellow with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra through the Music Assistance Fund. In addition to his orchestral achievements, he is also an accomplished jazz bassist.  In 1986, he won Downbeat magazine’s “Dee Bee” award for Best Collegiate Bass Soloist from a submittal of a recording of his work with the Youngstown State University Jazz Ensemble, and has since performed and recorded with many touring, internationally-known jazz artists, including Nat Adderly, Kenny Burrell, Joe Lovano, Diane Schur, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Ira Sullivan and Joe Williams.

Andrew Reamer joined the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra percussion section in 1989. He was appointed Associate Principal Percussion in 2003 and Principal Percussion in 2008. He earned Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from Temple University, and is Chair of Percussion at Duquesne University. He also plays jazz with PSO colleagues in The White Tie Group. He has composed a popular collection of etudes for marimba entitled “Reamer’s Elixirs Two-Mallet Fixers” and is an endorser for Zildjian Cymbals, Evans Drumheads, and Innovative Mallets. He carries on a drum- and stick-making tradition that can be traced to the mid-19th century, and his work and innovations can be viewed at drummersservice.com.

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Jan 31