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Billy Bang & the Aftermath Band in Pittsburgh

The last time Billy Bang came to Pittsburgh, he played a university lecture hall in a trio with the late saxophonist Frank Lowe and drummer Abbey Rader, and less than 50 people were in the audience. This time he performed at a theater named for native sons Gene Kelly and Billy Strayhorn, located in a neighborhood where development is gradually overtaking the blight and bad architecture. The 349-seat Kelly-Strayhorn might have been only a little more than half full, but the mood in the room filled up the space.

Radio and television commentator Chris Moore emceed the evening, getting the audience excited by referencing the previous week’s election results, and spoke on the subject of Veteran’s Day, which the performance commemorated. Dressed in a veteran’s cap and jacket himself, Moore saluted fellow vets in the audience and plugged the concert’s organizers, the Kente Arts Alliance, repeatedly.

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