All arts and music programs of Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild share a common vision born from founder Bill Strickland’s personal experience – that through direct involvement in the making of art and through exposure to the masters who teach and perform it, our lives will be enriched, even transformed.
MCG Jazz’s mission is to preserve, present and promote jazz. Through our performances, we strengthen the long time Pittsburgh jazz community and contribute to the overall cultural and artistic diversity of the region. Through our live recordings we reach a national and international audience – a market we’d like to grow. Through our educational programs we are able to have students attend the concerts at low or no cost to them, make artists available for master classes and provide opportunities for internships in production and marketing.
Since 1987, MCG Jazz has brought audiences together with jazz artists at its 350 seat music hall in Pittsburgh for innovative performances and recordings. Many of these international masters of jazz would headline a list of jazz’s “Needs No Introduction” — Joe Williams, Billy Taylor, Dizzy Gillespie, Stanley Turrentine, Ray Brown. MCG Jazz Archives now contain over 300 CDs worth of jazz history by those who represent the past, present and future of jazz music. The performance series, one of the oldest in the nation, is an anchor of Pittsburgh cultural and community life.
The jazz artists come to the Guild to perform with an understanding that we’re a school. Most leave feeling that they got as much or more from their MCG experience than they gave. They frequently mention “hope” and “the spirit of the place.” You will hear what they mean in their recordings. MCG Jazz label recordings are unusually joyful. Artists spread the word and encourage others to perform here. Many come back time and again, choosing to record something unique on the MCG Jazz label. They generously give proceeds to support our programs.