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Keystone Jazz Collective Announces Concert Dates

New group aims to highlight Pennsylvania’s contributions to jazz

Reggie Watkins
Reggie Watkins (Photo: courtesy of the artist)

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The Keystone Jazz Collective, which describes itself as “a collaboration of jazz artists, based in the state of Pennsylvania, coming together to bring to light the historical and contemporary contributions to jazz music by Pennsylvanians,” has announced an ongoing series of concerts and recordings. The newly formed group’s summer kickoff concerts take place on July 27 at Alphabet City, Pittsburgh; July 28 at the Philadelphia Clef Club; and July 29 at the Community Education Center, also in Philadelphia.

Co-founded by Philly bassist/composer Nimrod Speaks and Pittsburgh-based trombonist Reggie Watkins, the Keystone Jazz Collective, which also calls itself “a statewide, multi-generational ensemble that honors the past, plays in the present and creates for the future,” compares itself in a press release to the San Francisco Jazz Collective as a “a multifaceted performance ensemble. Uniquely, it is also a project of the jazz community.”

According to Speaks, “The KJC has the potential to grow by featuring prolific and inspiring artists within Pennsylvania, musicians and composers coming together to create something unique featuring the modern and historical contributions of the Keystone State’s many artists. Every time I share the concept in the local music communities, people react with great interest and want to hear more about it.”

The goal of the KJC, says the press release, is “to bring musicians from these cities and towns together to honor both the traditions and the new music in the most exciting creative music, ensembles, formats, and venues in the state and internationally.”


In addition to Speaks and Watkins, the group includes pianist Luke Carlos O’Reilly and drummer George Heid III.

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Originally Published