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More highlights of the Pittsburgh JazzLive International

Outside stages set up along Penn Avenue allow listeners to catch multiple performances all day


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The Pittsburgh JazzLive International, now in its fifth year, took a hint from the Detroit Jazz Festival, with multiple stages set up outside and a schedule that, by and large, allows listeners to move up and down Penn Avenue to catch performances throughout the weekend of June 24-26. With few exceptions, all performances are free to the public. Highlights from the festival include the following acts:

NU GRID. “We use the jazz impulse, free-form funk, beat music, Afro-phonics and any technologies that might lead us into new meaningful musical spaces,” says guitarist Jean-Paul Bourelly — who founded Nu Grid with Graham Haynes (trumpeter and son of drummer Roy Haynes) — in a press release. The group also includes former Living Colour guitarist Vernon Reid and beat master DJ Logic. 2:45 p.m. Sat., June 25

JEFF “TAIN” WATTS & BLUE 3. Hometown hero Watts blew into Pittsburgh last February, courtesy of the Kente Arts Alliance. But no one will object to a return by the drummer who made a name for himself with both Wynton and Branford Marsalis. Watts can still produce rolls of thunder at the kit, but the winter performance and his recent Blue album series emphasize his skill as a composer and arranger. Expect good-natured banter that plays up his Pittsburgh pride. 6 p.m. Sat., June 25

CHICK COREA TRIO. Pianist Chick Corea is the stuff legends are made of. He became a figurehead of the fusion era with Return to Forever, but he has repeatedly come back to the acoustic piano, including recent work with vibist Gary Burton. One week after turning 75, Corea comes to town with some hefty trio mates: drummer Brian Blade and bassist Christian McBride. Both die-hard fans and casual observers should appreciate seeing musicians of this caliber for free. 7:15 p.m. Sat., June 25


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