Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild (Pittsburgh, PA)


Musician at the xylophone on stage

Vibraphonist Buddy DeFranco and clarinetist Terry Gibbs perform during the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild Jazz Concert Series in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Photo by Bob Bowman

The Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild (MCG) of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania was founded in 1968 to employ the visual and performing arts for connecting diverse urban populations and educating and inspiring inner-city youth. MCG has been especially focused on the field of jazz, with programs for not only presenting and promoting jazz music and artists, but also preserving the art form for future generations.

In FY 2003, MCG received an NEA Heritage/Preservation grant of $50,000 to preserve the 17th season of the MCG Jazz Concert Series and catalog the Stanley Turrentine archives given to MCG by the Turrentine family. Since 1987, MCG has been presenting a jazz concert series in Pittsburgh that comprises of eight concert weekends. The concerts, featuring some of the brightest new and established jazz musicians in the country, are recorded on audio and video tape as well. In this way, MCG captures an oral history of jazz through the performances and interviews with the artists. The more than 600 concerts that already have been recorded are kept in the MCG Jazz archives, one of the largest collections of live American jazz recordings in the United States.

With the NEA grant, MCG was able to add the 2003-2004 season to the archives, including performances by Dave Holland, Pat Metheny, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Russell Malone, Benny Green, and Sergio Mendes. In addition, MCG is preserving and sharing with the public the vast archival material on jazz great Stanley Turrentine, including personal photographs, music scores, unreleased recordings, and other memorabilia.

(From the 2003 NEA Annual Report)