Like a maturing adult, the Pittsburgh JazzLive International Festival is moving out on its own.
“At first, there was a natural synergy,” says J. Kevin McMahon of the first three years of the festival, when it was held on a weekend with the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival. “But we found we were competing with ourselves.”
He is the president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, the organization that organizes the jazz festival. He has watched the festival grow during its first three years to the point where he and other planners decided it was time to move it to its own weekend — June 20 to 22.
It has drawn enough people — jazz fans, not simply strays from the arts festival — that it deserves to be on its own, he says. It adds another exciting weekend to the city, he says, and allows employees of the Cultural Trust to concentrate on the jazz festival rather than dividing their efforts.