Ludwig, a star of the local jazz scene, was to have performed at this Sunday's opening night of Citiparks' Reservoir of Jazz concert series. It would have been a nice launch for this year's series, and probably heavy on the veteran organist's familiar favorites, like "It's You or No One."
But the show will have to go on without Ludwig, of Monroeville: This pillar of Pittsburgh jazz died July 14, at age 72. Instead, the Reservoir of Jazz (a Highland Park tradition) will open with a Tribute to Gene Ludwig. A quintet including Ludwig collaborators will honor him with a set including other favorites, like "Birk's Works," and such Ludwig originals as "Louie & Jazz" and "Duff's Blues."
The band will include Jay Willis (tenor sax), Mark Strickland (guitar), Tim Jenkins (piano), Jeff Grubbs (bass) and Thomas Wendt (drums).
Missing will be Ludwig's own tones, which the Cambria County native (who grew up in Wilkinsburg and Swissvale) honed for a half-century, playing jazz and R&B, locally, on the chitlin' circuit, and in Atlantic City, among other places. He was best known for his stylings on the classic Hammond B-3 organ.
The free tribute show is 5-7 p.m. Sun., Aug. 1 (412-255-2391 or visit www.citiparks.net).