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Musical celebration inspired by New Orleans gets Pittsburghers moving and grooving

Pittsburghers celebrate like New Orleans
Pittsburghers celebrate like New Orleans 02:26

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Hill District in Pittsburgh felt a little bit more like the New Orleans French Quarter on Friday.

Dozens of senior citizens gathered along Roberts Street in the Hill District to move and groove down to a jazz lunch-in at the August Wilson House.

This event was organized by Brenda Tate, the founder of Senior Jazz Connection, who says Jazz for her and this group of seniors makes them feel young again.

"It touches you like no other music can. It speaks to your heart," said Tate.

Tate is a 40-year veteran of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police. Tate said that when she retired, she still wanted to find a way to serve and bring some joy to fellow seniors in Oakland and the Hill District. And what started in 2022 as a few lunches with jazz music in high rises around the city has grown into big events like this one.

"It's magic," said Tate. "Magic happens every time we bring senior jazz to these places. To see the people that I grew up with in the community, now we have aged and now we are still smiling and this brings the smile out."

One of the people experience that magic of the music on Friday was Marlene Ellis from the Hill District.

"This event is fantastic," Ellis said. "It is for the seniors, it's free, we get lunch, and we hear good jazz. And it is in the local area of the Hill District, and you can't go wrong with that."

When Ellis was asked if she would like to see more events like this for seniors, she said she absolutely would.

If you would like to book a Senior Jazz Connection session or found out more information, you can email them at

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