Jazz Greats Warren Vache and Joe Negri to Perform at Scholarship Benefit
Renowned trumpet soloist Warren Vaché and Pittsburgh treasure Joe Negri will be the featured musicians at Penn State McKeesport’s third annual All That’s Jazz scholarship benefit on Saturday, November 4, 2006, at 7:00 p.m. in the campus’ Student Community Center. Proceeds will be added to the Penn State McKeesport Scholarship Fund.
In just two short years the event has provided almost $60,000 in student aid. This year the Penn State McKeesport Advisory Board hopes to raise $50,000 for student scholarships. Event Chairs Nancy Seifert and Nancy Traina and the All That’s Jazz Committee are planning an exciting evening of classic jazz, delicious food, a live auction, and the popular Blue and White “mystery” auction.
The public is invited to join in the festivities to help support this worthy cause. Tickets are $75 each and 10 for $600. Sponsorship opportunities are available. Information on tickets, sponsorships and the auctions can be obtained by calling the Penn State McKeesport Office of Institutional Advancement at 412-675-9048.
Assisting Co-Chairs Nancy Seifert and Nancy Traina in leadership roles are: Sponsorship Co-Chairs Mary Del Brady, Joseph M. Hohman and Advisory Board President Jacob N. Skezas, along with Host Committee Co-Chairs Reverend Earlene Coleman and Cliff Wise. They are joined by Dr. George Crawford and David J. Pasternak, co-chairs of the Auction Committee, and Christopher P. Miles, chair of the Publicity Committee. Honorary Committee members include: Arthur L. Baldwin, Suzy and Jim Broadhurst, Franco Harris, Tom Hollander, The Honorable Dan and Shelly Onorato, Brandon Short, Bill and Rose Strickland, and William E. Trueheart and Carol A. Word. These volunteers are supported by Advisory Board members, community leaders, alumni, friends, and faculty and staff, all working to make the event a success
All That’s Jazz underwriters include: Entertainment Underwriter Nancy Seifert, and Benefactors Duquesne Light and Jay and Kim Weitzel. Supporters at the Patron level include Directed Electronics, Eat’n Park Hospitality Group, Ruth Hunt and Nancy and John Traina. Members of the Chancellor’s Circle include: Mrs. Nadine E. Bognar, Lou Anne Caligiuri, Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania, Mark R. Gruskin, George and Ann Kemp, Curtiss E. Porter, RedPath Integrated Pathology, Inc., Resource Development Management, Inc., Margaret L. Signorella, H.B. South Printers, and Clifford and Barbara Wise. Sponsors also include event Ambassadors: Judy and Tom Bruney, Edward and Dorothy Datemasch, Tom Hollander, Mr. and Mrs. Michael Kutsenkow, Vic and Patty Orler, David J. Pasternak, Penn State McKeesport Faculty and Staff and Jay and Pat Winter.
Vaché and Negri to Headline Musical Entertainment
Headlining the event will be Warren Vaché, who has a style that has been described as "lyrical," “daring," "warm," and "exciting." Vaché is a supremely accomplished, versatile and rare performer who has performed at every major jazz venue and festival throughout the globe including concerts at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, The Vienna Opera, and the Royal Festival Hall in London. He has recorded more than 35 albums and has performed and recorded with such luminaries as: Benny Goodman, Rosemary Clooney, Benny Carter, Hank Jones, Gerry Mulligan, Woody Herman, Ruby Braff and Bobby Short, to name but a few.
As a charter member of the Juilliard Program for Jazz Studies, Vaché offers the breadth of his experience in the arts which includes acting, performing and music direction for the film "The Gig" by Frank Gilroy, on stage appearances in "Dr. Jazz," and music direction for the Richard Burton-Elizabeth Taylor revival of "Private Lives." He composed and performed the music for the movie "The Luckiest Man In The World," and has performed on the soundtrack for numerous films including "Money Pays," "Biloxi Blues," "Simon," and "The Dain Curse." He also trained actor Richard Gere to play trumpet for his role in the movie "The Cotton Club."
Joining Vaché will be Pittsburgh treasure Joe Negri, who began his career performing on the radio at the age of three. Negri is a visible presence in Pittsburgh as a performer and an instructor. He is well known for his work on television, including “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” and doing soundtracks for local documentaries.
Along with his popularity from television, he has spent the last 20 years as an adjunct professor at the University of Pittsburgh, with similar appointments following at Duquesne University and Carnegie Mellon University. In 2006 Negri received an Elsie Award, an honor given to Pittsburghers who have demonstrated love of community, compassion for others and use of communication to have a positive effect on society.
Proceeds to Benefit the Penn State McKeesport Scholarship Fund
All proceeds from the benefit will be added to the Penn State McKeesport Scholarship fund. Close to one-half—46%—of the students enrolled at the campus represent the first generation in their family to attend college, and many depend on grants, loans, and scholarships to pay for their education.
“Scholarship funds have become increasingly important to our students and their families. These funds can make the difference between students staying in college or having to make some hard decisions about their futures,” said Penn State McKeesport Chancellor Curtiss E. Porter, Ph.D. “By supporting the scholarship fund, we are helping the next generation of leaders achieve their educational and personal goals.”