Negri a respected figure in Pittsburgh music since the 40's, founded Duquesne's jazz guitar program in 1973. At the time he began teaching there, he'd only been "Handyman Negri" on Mister Rogers' Neighborhood since 1968, when the show began. Since 1960 he'd been Channel 4's fulltime music director. In those days many local TV stations employed musicians to create original theme songs, to play on air for local programs, etc.
Five years ago, numerous donors created the university's Joe Negri Jazz Guitar Endowed Scholarship, awarded to undergraduate or graduate Music students studying Jazz Guitar, who meet the merit requirements.
If you wonder how he's playing now,here's a brief sample from May (before his 92nd birthday) with his quartet: Max Leake, piano, Tony DePaolis, bass and Tom Wendt on drums. A loose connecting cord was tightened in mid song by Leake. Take it to full screen for the best effect.
45 years later the guitar faculty has expanded, and for years, Duquesne has sponsored an annual Guitar and Bass Workshop in late July. Over the years a number of A-list players have come in to work with the faculty including Bucky Pizzarelli, Martin Taylor, Howard Alden and Sheryl Bailey.
Negri will conduct the Master Class from 1 to 2 PM
Members of Duquesne's guitar faculty, including Bill Purse, Tom Kitka (guitar), Brian Strahursky and Jeff Mangone ( bass) will conduct classes on specific topics, as will local jazz guitarist Eric Susoeff. Click here for the complete schedule.
Complete details are available here.