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Monday, August 15, 2005

Jazz Musician Chris Parker Receives Inaugural Pittsburgh Jazz Society/Mellon Jazz Scholarship

Jazz Musician Chris Parker Receives Inaugural Pittsburgh Jazz Society/Mellon Jazz ScholarshipJazz Musician Chris Parker Receives Inaugural Pittsburgh Jazz Society/Mellon Jazz Scholarship

PITTSBURGH, Aug. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Jazz drummer and guitarist Chris Parker has been selected as the recipient of the inaugural Pittsburgh Jazz Society/Mellon Jazz Scholarship, a $5,000 tuition award presented by the Pittsburgh Jazz Society and Mellon Jazz as part of their support for jazz education in the Pittsburgh area.
Parker will receive his scholarship prior to the Mellon Jazz at South Park concert featuring internationally acclaimed jazz pianist and composer Dave Burrell on Friday, August 19, 2005, at the South Park Amphitheater. Presentation of the Pittsburgh Jazz Society/Mellon Jazz Scholarship will be followed at 7:30 p.m. by a performance by The Pittsburgh Jazz Society Student All Stars, a group which includes Chris Parker and is directed by Mike Tomaro, Director of Jazz Studies at Duquesne University and a member of the Pittsburgh Jazz Society board of directors. Burrell's performance is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m.

A panel of nationally recognized jazz musicians and educators selected Parker on the basis of his scholarship application and accompanying audition tape. "His recording featured outstanding tracks on both drums and guitar, and solo performances that covered a broad gamut of jazz styles," said Tony Mowod, president and founder of The Pittsburgh Jazz Society. "We're delighted to be adding this promising young musician to the long list of jazz students who have benefited from the commitment of The Pittsburgh Jazz Society and Mellon Jazz to jazz education in the Pittsburgh area."

"Dave Burrell is a superb jazz educator and an accomplished composer and performer. His appearance at South Park as part of the Mellon Jazz-sponsored County Parks series provides the perfect setting for the presentation of this first Pittsburgh Jazz Society/Mellon Jazz scholarship," said Rose M. Gabbianelli, Mellon executive vice president and director of corporate affairs. "We're proud of Mellon Jazz's long record of support for jazz education, the Pittsburgh Jazz Society and concerts featuring great jazz performers."

Entering his sophomore year at Duquesne University this fall, Parker has studied drumming and percussion under a number of local jazz masters and percussionists from The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Majoring in guitar at Duquesne University's Mary Pappert School of Music, Parker is studying with, among others, Mellon Jazz Community Awardee Joe Negri. Active in a number of jazz and classical ensembles at Duquesne, Parker performs with the Pittsburgh Jazz Society Big Band, and has been the drummer for the Duquesne University Jazz Ensemble since his senior year in high school. Parker, 19, is a 2004 graduate of Baldwin High School and is the son of Paul and Marci Parker of Whitehall.

A non profit 501(c)(3) all-volunteer organization, The Pittsburgh Jazz Society is dedicated to the promotion, preservation, and perpetuation of all jazz through education, performance, partnering and community outreach for members and the general public. Mellon Financial Corporation's year-round celebration of jazz excellence, Mellon Jazz supports non-profit organizations engaged in live jazz performances and jazz education, and recognizes individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to each city's rich jazz tradition. More information on Mellon Jazz activities is available via the Mellon Jazz link at Both the Pittsburgh Jazz Society and Mellon Jazz are celebrating 19th anniversaries of support for jazz in the Pittsburgh area this year.

CONTACT: Tony Mowod of the Pittsburgh Jazz Society, +1-412-343-9555, ; or Ron Sommer of Mellon Financial Corporation,+1-412-236-0082, or

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