In response to the struggles musicians were experiencing due to the pandemic, MCG Jazz created the Musicians Performance Fund to engage musicians to either compose new music or create new arrangements for an ensemble of regional artists.
Yoko Suzuki is an alto saxophonist working in Pittsburgh and New York City. She started to play the alto saxophone upon joining a jazz ensemble at Osaka University in Japan, teaching herself jazz theory, improvisation and repertoire. She received a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology and a PhD certificate in women’s studies, and currently teaches at the University of Pittsburgh.
Thomas Wendt has been playing the drums professionally since the age of 14. A graduate of The Pittsburgh High School for the Creative and Performing Arts, he has studied with master drummers Roger Humphries, Joe Harris, and Kenny Washington. Since 1998 he has been on the faculty at the Afro-American Music Institute in Homewood.