THIS IS B-PEP 2014—Anna Hollis, Jack Simmons, Ellen Estomin, John Wilds, Charlie Batch, Esther Bush, Richard Carrington, Valerie Dixon, Cary Harris, Tim Stevens and Tony Mowad (Photos by Debbie Norrell)

On Easter Monday in Pittsburgh, B-PEP Jazz has become a staple. On April 21, at the Wyndham Hotel University Center, a six-hour jazz mara­thon featuring over 70 of Pittsburgh’s best jazz musicians and vocalists came together to support the Black Political Empowerment Project. With support from BNY Mellon Jazz and with former Steeler and founder of the Best of Batch Foundation Charlie Batch as honorary chair it was an extraordinary evening.

Each year B-PEP honors community champions; this year’s honorees included: Carey Harris, executive director, A+ Schools; Esther L. Bush, president & CEO of the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh; Richard Carrington, executive director of Voices Against Violence; Mark Nordenberg, chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh; and Amachi Pittsburgh led by Executive Director Anna E. Hollis. Amachi Pittsburgh works to empower the minds and overcome the challenges for children of incarcerated parents. The awards were presented by Andrew Stockey of WTAE TV.

Roger Humphries and the RH Factor and the Tim Stevens/Leonard Johnson Project were the host bands and remembered three of Pittsburgh’s jazz artists, the late James “Buster” Alston, Jimmy Ponder and Harold Young.

B-PEP is a non-partisan community collaborative, consisting of agency, organization and religious leaders, as well as committed individuals who seek to build political power and influence for the African-American community.


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