The music makes the magic at Andrew Carnegie Free Library

Q: How do you get to Carnegie Hall?

A: Practice.

Q: How do you get to Carnegie Carnegie Hall?

A: Well, from the Studio performance space, you can either take the elevator or walk up a flight of stairs to the Music Hall lobby.

In January, Pete Hewlett and Scott Anderson performed in our intimate, club-vibe Studio, kicking off this year’s Listen Locally Downstairs series.

As I welcomed that evening’s audience to the Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall, aka Carnegie Carnegie, the duo mentioned how they’d always wanted to play Carnegie Hall. Executive director Maggie Forbes informed them that they’d only made it to the basement and that the Hall was upstairs.

“Basement” or no, Pete and Scott presented a spectacular and exciting evening of music to a sold -out audience, leaving us all wanting more.

Just a week and a half later, someone in attendance at Pete and Scott’s performance returned to the Studio for the next installment of the 2023 Listen Locally Downstairs series. Except this time, that audience member took the stage, himself.

Pittsburgh’s sax man, Benny Benack II offered up an evening of smokin’ jazz with his quartet, swapping places with his friend and sometime collaborator, Pete Hewlett, from audience seating to the spotlight. After a second sold-out performance that delighted its audience, Benny mentioned he’d be interested in “checking out” the Music Hall sometime.

So … I had two great evenings of music, with two sets of fantastic and friendly musicians, both expressing interest in playing our Carnegie Carnegie Hall. In addition to “brown paper packages tied up with strings,” these are a few of a Music Hall Director’s favorite things! (Well, this Music Hall Director, anyway ….)

So, mark your calendars for May 5: a rousing evening with an eclectic mix of classic rock and popular hits leavened with favorite jazz standards. The ACFL&MH is proud to have Pittsburgh rock and jazz royalty in Carnegie Carnegie Hall.

Carnegie-Collier Rotary presents: Pete & Scott & Benny & Joe – the Hewlett Anderson Band (Pete, guitar and vocals; Scott, keys and vocals; and drummer Joe Waslousky), with special guest Benny Benack II.

The concert will be followed by a full-facility open house, including tours of our rare Civil War Room, the Capt. Thomas Espy Post and our lovely Library. Carnegie-Collier Rotary will provide light food and drink, and Pete, Scott, Benny & Joe will join us for the after-concert festivities.

If you meet Rotarians while in line at the bar, please be sure to thank them for their sponsorship of this concert!

And speaking of fabulous concerts, you don’t want to miss the one coming up on Saturday, June 10! The Library & Music Hall is pulling out all the stops for its 2023 annual benefit, Menard Presents A Night to Remember: Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra Comes to Carnegie Carnegie Hall.

This will be the last benefit before the Music Hall closes for ambitious renovations in early 2024.

The Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra is comprised of the region’s finest and busiest jazz musicians. However, this fabulous 17-piece ensemble rarely performs as a full band. In terms of both PJO’s sound and size, the acoustically superb Music Hall is the rare perfect fit!

Anqwenique Wingfield, one of Pittsburgh’s most versatile vocalists — equally at home interpreting jazz, opera, classical music and soul — joins PJO for the evening.

For those who arrive early, the evening begins with an ACFL&MH tradition: prosecco at the Library’s circulation desk.

PJO and Anqwenique are sure to bring the audience to its feet, and the post-concert party throughout the ACFL&MH’s 35,000-square-foot historic landmark will extend the effervescence.

In revisiting my list of favorite things, I have trouble deciding whether my favorite part of the evening is the pre-concert prosecco, the tempting assortment of delicacies at the after-party, or the concert itself. Just kidding — the music makes the magic!

The $150/$75 benefit ticket supports the Library & Music Hall’s wide range of services, programs and affordably priced performances that take place throughout the year. And you won’t forget the sparkle of this Night to Remember.

Tickets for Pete & Scott & Benny & Joe on May 5 and tickets for A Night to Remember on June 10 can be found at

On-site parking is available on a first-come, first served basis. Free overflow parking and shuttle service is available from the Nortek Building, 102 Broadway St., Carnegie, next to WesBanco.

Heidi Matthews is music hall director for the Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall in Carnegie.

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