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soulBlog: Medeski w/STH at T’Bird, A. Merrell at Katz, Kevin Howard’s 2020 release, Beni Rossman to LA

Medeski w/Steeltown Horns

Keyboardist John Medeski visited Thunderbird Café in September with his Mad Skillet Quartet. He is best known for membership in the avant-groove trio Medeski, Martin & Wood. He visited the 2018 Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival with the group Hudson.

Steeltown Horns opened for Mad Skillet, then joined them on stage for the second half of the evening. It was a wall of four horns, including the sousaphone of Skillet’s Kirk Joseph.

Kirk Joseph of Mad Skillet

Alton Merrell & Impact at Katz Plaza

Dr. Alton Merrell & Impact are probably Pittsburgh’s preeminent gospel. He and they brought church to Katz Plaza to one of the last outdoor JazzLive summer outings. (The indoor Backstage Bar schedule will be posted to the Concert Calendar very soon.)

Keyboardist Kevin Howard stopped by the performance. He told me his new album will be out shortly, so we’ll hear it together on the Three Rivers at Three segment of The Soul Show.

Beni Rossman

Bassist Beni Rossman, co-founder of the Pittsburgh psych-funk outfit Starship Mantis, mentioned on FB this week that he’s headed to LA permanently in February 2020. Over the years, Beni has worked with The Regulators, Afro Yaqui Music Collective and Soul Distribution. One of his most important recent projects was Songs In The Key Of Life, an installment of The Rex Theatre’s Legendary Album Series. We will miss you, Beni. Best of luck.

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