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MUSICIAN Born:

Reggie Watkins

Trombonist Reggie Watkins has toured and recorded with Maynard Ferguson, the Temptations, and pop artist Jason Mraz. Within the last year, Watkins has worked with the Orrin Evans Quintet, the Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra, Postmodern Jukebox, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, and Blood Sweat and Tears, Currently Watkins leads his own groups in the Pittsburgh area including the Reggie Watkins Quartet, the Steeltown Horns and the newly formed Keystone Jazz Collective. Watkins has released three critically acclaimed solo albums: A-List (2004), One for Miles, One for Maynard (2010), and Avid Admirer (2016), a tribute to the great trombonist Jimmy Knepper

MUSICIAN Born:

Thomas Wendt

Thomas Wendt has been playing the drums professionally since the age of 14. A graduate of The Pittsburgh High School for the Creative and Performing Arts, he has studied with master drummers Roger Humphries, Joe Harris, and Kenny Washington. Thomas maintains a busy freelancing schedule with Pittsburgh’s top jazz artists such as Dwayne Dolphin, Joe Negri, Sean Jones, David Budway, Kenia, the Latin jazz group, Salsamba, and the newly re-formed Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra. He has also played with many visiting international artists like David “Fathead” Newman, Donald Byrd, James Moody, Jimmy Heath, Clark Terry, Benny Golson, Phil Woods, Freddy Cole, Monty Alexander, Bill Watrous, Paquito D’Rivera, Curtis Lundy, Wycliffe Gordon, Ann Hampton Calloway and Javon Jackson

Joyful Jazz

Label: MCG Jazz
Released: 2015
Track listing: Jingle Bells; Jingles, the Christmas Cat; Carol of the Bells; A Cradle in Bethlehem; Do You Hear What I Hear?; It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year; White Christmas; Merry Christmas, John Coltrane; Snowfall; Sleigh Ride; The Christmas Song; Joy to the World.

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra: Joyful Jazz

Read "Joyful Jazz" reviewed by Jack Bowers

One way in which to launch an appraisal of this outstanding seasonal album, the first ever by the world-class Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra, is to check out its candid--and uncommonly accurate--title. Joyful? Most definitely. Jazz? Without a doubt. For five years, the orchestra's annual holiday celebration has been a welcome tradition for families in the greater Pittsburgh ...


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