The DeFade Family - New Frontiers - MCG Jazz

The DeFade family is synonymous with Jazz in Pittsburgh and four generations of DeFade’s celebrate their legacy with a new album release. With Ray A. DeFade and Eric DeFade on saxophones, Ray DeFade on drums, Anton DeFade on bass, Dorette, Kelley and Kiela DeFade on vocals, that deep family history is revealed. The DeFade Family are accompanied by a big band for seven of the tracks to showcase the big band arrangements of Ray A. DeFade. And nine of the tracks are original compositions by members of the DeFade family. You will hear this family’s spirit as they commemorate the past, present and future of Jazz at this time.

Deanna Witkowski - Force Of Nature - MCG Jazz

“Deanna, you’re a force of nature.” When guitarist John Shannon made this comment in the fall of 2019 at Con Alma, the Pittsburgh jazz club/ restaurant where he serves as music curator, Deanna Witkowski’s first thought was that the phrase sounded like a potential tune or album title. Force of Nature as a title encapsulates Deanna’s view of how Mary Lou Williams lived her life and of the sounds that she projected in her music. Having chosen Mary as her lifelong mentor and soul companion, it is Deanna’s unequivocal belief that Mary herself—a “force of nature”—led her to Pittsburgh. Deanna’s bold new recording brings Mary Lou Williams’s forward-thinking, experimental compositions to a new generation of fans.