Local 471 was chartered in 1908 by Pittsburgh's African-American musicians in response to the American Federation of Musician's practice of segregating it's members by race. In it's 57 years of operation the local provided stable working conditions, improved pay and a pension program for it's members. In addition to being a job clearing house and a hiring hall, the union's musicians club became a gathering place for musicians and on weekends one of the most popular jazz venues in the city. A number of internationally known musicians honed their skills as members of local 471 and many musicians who remained in the city became top players in bands and combos throughout the area.
The African American Jazz Preservation Society of Pittsburgh is devoted to preserving and promoting Pittsburgh's African-American musical heritage. For the past 16 years the organization has met this objective by promoting concerts featuring nationally known musicians, by presenting programming using local musicians in senior residences and schools, by conducting jazz workshops for musicians of all ages and honoring Pittsburgh's veteran musicians for their contributions to the city's culture and by compiling an oral video history of their experiences.