PITTSBURGH, PA - August 22, 2013 - America, in the time of Ragtime, will be featured at this year's 6 th Annual "The Americas-In Concert" event. Pianist, composer, arranger, and historian, Tom Roberts and his Allegheny City Ragtime Orchestra (ACRO) will present an evening of "Rediscovery, Rebirth, Restoration, and Remembrance in Ragtime," featuring works from Pittsburgh and Latin American composers on Saturday, October 5, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. at Hillman Center for Performing Arts, Richard E. Rauh Theater, Shady Side Academy Senior School, 423 Fox Chapel Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15238.
Presenting the annual event for a sixth consecutive years are "The Americas-In Concert" founders, members and sponsors Med Health Services, Pittsburgh Cardiovascular, the "University of Pittsburgh Center for Latin American Studies" and Shady Side Academy. The event is free to the public.
Formed in 2013, The Allegheny City Ragtime Orchestra (ACRO) takes its name from Allegheny City, the beautiful city that was home to Stephen Foster, Andrew Carnegie, Gertrude Stein, and later seized by Pittsburgh in 1907. Today it is known as Pittsburgh's North Side. The orchestra is dedicated to restoring the lost history of the ragtime era in Pittsburgh. The ensemble will perform recently rediscovered compositions by Pittsburgh composers from the turn of the 20 th century. These works have not been heard in almost one hundred years. In addition, the ACRO will perform Latin American inspired pieces by composers from Harlem's Clef Club, an African American musical organization formed by James Reese Europe in the 'teens. The concert will also feature compositions by composers from Latin American countries who were inspired by American Ragtime music.
One of the leading exponents of early jazz piano in the world today (as stated by Ricardo Sciavales in The Heart and Soul of Stride, Blues, and Swing Piano), Tom Roberts is originally from Pittsburgh and is recognized as one of the leading authorities on ragtime, stride and early jazz piano in the world. He is undoubtedly one of the most influential and accomplished pianist of our time. Roberts has performed on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, and A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Kiellor. He was the featured pianist at the International Stride Piano Summit in Zurich, Switzerland in 2001 and 2009. He was pianist for Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks in New York City (recent Grammy winners for the soundtrack to Boardwalk Empire) and pianist and musical director for Leon Redbone for six years. As an arranger, Roberts has arranged and performed music for the soundtrack of Martin Scorsese's film The Aviator, starring Leonardo Di Caprio; for the syndicated PRI show Riverwalk Jazz, Live from the Landing with the Jim Cullum Jazz Band; and a number of pieces for Wynton Marsalis and The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra for a concert of the music of Louis Armstrong.
Recently, Roberts has composed new musical scores for The Charlie Chaplin films, One A.M., and, The Rink, through a commission from The Pittsburgh Symphony. The scores were premiered at The Leopold Mozart Conservatory in Augsburg Germany and then performed in Pittsburgh at Heinz Hall in May 2012 as part of the Pittsburgh Symphony Paris Festival The City of Light. He is currently working on a score for a newly restored version of The Pawnshop.