The collection is made up of five series that are stored in eight linear feet (eleven boxes).
The collection ranges in date from 1908 to 2010, however many of the documents are
undated. Many of the dates listed are the copyright dates on the materials or the
performance dates listed. The majority of the collection is made up of music manuscripts
and printed music. There are many arrangements and original works by Joe Negri
throughout the collection. The collection also features music arranged and/or written by
Negri’s peers and musical influences. A number of set lists, and documents related to
performances are also included. In addition, the collection includes recordings of Joe Negri
and a number of other musicians.
Joseph (Joe) Negri is a composer, performer, actor, and educator from Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania. He is well known as a jazz guitarist and for his role as Handyman Negri on
Mr. Rogers Neighborhood.
Negri began performing music as a child in theatrical and radio productions. He started
studying guitar at eight years old, and was performing professionally by age 16 when he
became a featured soloist for an orchestra led by Shep Fields. Negri was drafted in 1944
and he spent two years in the military before returning to Pittsburgh.
Negri attended Carnegie Tech (now Carnegie Mellon University) in the 1950’s, and studied
composition. After leaving Carnegie Tech he began working for the television station
KDKA-TV where he led his own trio. Negri later moved on to WTAE –TV, where he was a
performer and the musical director for the station for twenty years. In addition, Negri
played the role of Handyman Negri for thirty years on Mr. Rogers Neighborhood (PBS).
In addition to his TV work, Negri is a recognized jazz guitarist and composer as well as a
music educator. He has composed documentary scores, and compositions for jazz
instrumental and choral ensembles. Negri also created the Mass of Hope, a mass in the jazz
idiom, and has released several albums. Throughout his career, Negri has continued to
perform, and he is also an adjunct professor for Duquesne University, Carnegie Mellon
University, and the University of Pittsburgh.