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A Documentary About the Murder that Sparked a Movement

City of Asylum (2017)

Sembène – The Film & Art Festival Presents

The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till

Thursday, November 2nd
7:00 pm

Abducted, severely beaten, and finally thrown into the Tallahatchie River with a weight fastened around his neck with barbed wire, 14-year-old Emmett Louis Till was murdered for one of the oldest taboos of the American South: addressing a white woman in public. While the murderers were later arrested, tragedy was compounded when they were ultimately acquitted by an all-white, all male jury.

The death of Emmett Till sparked the black resistance of the South, soon to become the American Civil Rights Movement.

Emmett Till

“As you watch the film…it is impossible not to be stirred by sadness and outrage.” – New York Times

Released to coincide with the 50th anniversary of his death, the 70-minute film’s investigation into new eyewitness accounts and evidence has already sparked the Justice Department to reopen the case.

After the screening, award-winning journalist Herb Boyd will lead a Q&A discussion about the history and themes of the film.

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Did you know that there is a restaurant in City of Asylum @ Alphabet City? During these events, Alphabet City will be set up so that you can have dinner during the event (or simply order drinks).

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Fall Jazz Series: Jeff Bush Showcases His New Ensemble Creations

City of Asylum (2017)

Jeff Bush Presents

4 & 7: Music for Quartet and Septet

Tuesday, October 29th
6:00 pm

Pittsburgh-based international jazz trombonist Jeff Bush presents his own take on the contemporary jazz ensemble.

4 & 7: Music for Quartet and Septet will feature Jeff’s own compositions, played by a jazz ensemble in different configurations. Jeff has played with other bands at Alphabet City to great acclaim from the audience.
Jeff Bush
Jeff’s music has taken him around the world. He has toured with The Glenn Miller Orchestra and the big band of superstar Harry Connick Jr., played in the pit of countless Broadway shows and made a number of network television appearances including special performances for the NBA All-Star Game and for Pope Benedict XVI. Now an instructor at Duquesne University, Pittsburgh is fortunate to have such a seasoned performer in our midst!

Jeff (on trombone) will be joined by Kent Englehardt (clarinet), Mike Tomaro (bass clarinet), Shanyse Strickland (french horn), Gavin Horning (guitar), Paul Thompson (bass) and Thomas Wendt (drums).

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Did you know that there is a restaurant in City of Asylum @ Alphabet City? During these events, Alphabet City will be set up so that you can have dinner during the event (or simply order drinks).

Reserve a Table for Your Visit

When making your reservation,
please add that you wish to see the film under special notes.

Cowboys and Frenchman Post-Bop Jazz

City of Asylum (2017)

Cowboys & Frenchmen

Tuesday, October 24th
8:00 pm

NYC-based quintet Cowboys & Frenchmen presents a new take on instrumentation, orchestration, and composition for the jazz quintet. The front line of two alto saxophones plays loose with the role of horns, in an inclusive post-bop style that seamlessly crosses the classic American song book with blues and improvisation.

The band is comprised of five creative musicians. Owen Broder on alto sax, clarinet and bass clarinet, Ethan Helm on alto sax, flute and clarinet, Chris Ziemba on piano, Ethan O’Reilly on bass and Matt Honor on drums.
Cowboys & Frenchmen
The inspiration for the quirky band name is a short Western by David Lynch called “The Cowboy and The Frenchmen.” Like the film, this quintet’s music has one foot firmly planted in a genre, while the other one is busy trying to kick down the genre’s door.

This concert celebrates the release of their new album, Bluer Than You Think.

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Did you know that there is a restaurant in City of Asylum @ Alphabet City? During these events, Alphabet City will be set up so that you can have dinner during the event (or simply order drinks).

Reserve a Table for Your Visit

When making your reservation,
please add that you wish to see the film under special notes.

“Moby Dick” Re-Imagined

City of Asylum (2017)

Paul Eprile

Tuesday, October 17th
8:00 pm

Translator Paul Eprile will be reading from his translation of winner Jean Giono’s Melville: A Novel. It has never been translated into English before.

Melville: A Novel is a work with a unique pedigree. Eighty years after it appeared in English, Moby Dick was translated into French for the first time by the Provençal novelist Jean Giono. The publisher persuaded Giono to write a preface, however Giono took unusual latitudes with this instruction, producing instead something that would transcend the original source material. The result was Melville: A Novel — part biography, part philosophical rumination, part romance, part unfettered fantasy. Paul Eprile’s expressive translation of this intimate homage brings the exchange full circle.

Paul Eprile

“Giono illustrates how an author’s artistic output enriches and illuminates his life, in ways that historical facts cannot provide…Giono expands Melville’s context, painting him as a transatlantic heir to Milton and Shakespeare. At the same time, he also expands Melville’s own influence, cementing his impact on French culture, which has been considerable.”
Los Angeles Review of Books

Paul’s passion for the French language and French literature, and a fascination with Provence, led him to begin translating the works of Jean Giono. His first translation, Hill (Colline) was published by New York Review Books in 2016. The second, Melville: A Novel (Pour saluer Melville) will appear in September 2017. Paul is now working on a third Giono novel, The Open Road (Les grands chemins).

Reserve Your Free Tickets

Did you know that there is a restaurant in City of Asylum @ Alphabet City? During these events, Alphabet City will be set up so that you can have dinner during the event (or simply order drinks).

Reserve a Table for Your Visit

When making your reservation,
please add that you wish to see the film under special notes.

The Warhol Presents a Talk About Iranian Art

City of Asylum (2017)

The Andy Warhol Museum Presents

Crossing the Red Line:
Exhibiting Iranian Art in the U.S.

Saturday, October 21st
2:00 pm

In conjunction with The Andy Warhol Museum’s “Go West” exhibition, The Warhol will host a conversation with independent scholar and curator Dr. Shiva Balaghi on what it means to exhibit, write about, critique, and view contemporary Iranian art at museums in the United States.

Shiva Balaghi

Author of Picturing Iran: Art Society and Revolution, Balaghi was among the first faculty to introduce the subject of Contemporary Middle Eastern Art at U.S. universities, teaching cultural history for nearly two decades at NYU and Brown University. Most recently she has contributed to the catalog for “Farhad Moshiri: Go West”, the first museum solo exhibit for one of Iran’s most prominent artists.

Warhol Stripe

This event is co-presented with The Andy Warhol Museum.

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Did you know that there is a restaurant in City of Asylum @ Alphabet City? During these events, Alphabet City will be set up so that you can have dinner during the event (or simply order drinks).

Reserve a Table for Your Visit

When making your reservation,
please add that you wish to see the film under special notes.

“One of the most spell-binding … documentaries ever made.”

City of Asylum (2017)

Sembène – The Film & Art Festival Presents

I Called Him Morgan

Monday, October 16th
7:00 pm

On a snowy night in February 1972, the 33-year-old jazz trumpet star Lee Morgan was shot dead by his common-law wife, Helen, during a gig at a club in New York City. The murder sent shockwaves through the jazz community, and the memory of the event still haunts the people who knew the Morgans. Helen served time for the crime and, following her release, retreated into obscurity.

Lee Morgan

“The movie has the perfect soundtrack for swirling. It’s mesmerizing, too vivid to be evanescent, too precious to hold.” – Vulture

Over 20 years later, a chance encounter led her to give a remarkable interview. Helen’s revealing audio “testimony” acts as a refrain throughout the film, which draws together a wealth of archival photographs and footage, notable figures and incredible jazz music to tell the ill-fated pair’s story.

Part true-crime tale, part love story, and an all-out musical treat, I Called Him Morgan is a stirring tribute to two unique personalities and the music that brought them together.

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Did you know that there is a restaurant in City of Asylum @ Alphabet City? During these events, Alphabet City will be set up so that you can have dinner during the event (or simply order drinks).

Reserve a Table for Your Visit

When making your reservation,
please add that you wish to see the film under special notes.

Explore a Sound Both Strange and Glorious

City of Asylum (2017)

Phat Man Dee’s Cosmic Cabaret

Friday, October 13th
8:00 pm

“Expressive and passionate, Phat Man Dee’s sensual voice pulls you in and takes you away to where the words no longer matter and you float along on pure emotion.” – WQED

Local cult sensation, cabaret songstress and part-time sideshow marvel Phat Man Dee is an old-fashioned jazz torch singer with a number of new twists.

Phat Man Dee

Voted a top jazz act by the Pittsburgh City Paper’s Readers’ Polls for six years running, Phat Man Dee sings original compositions as well as an eclectic repertoire of standards in English, Spanish, French and sometimes German and Hebrew. Her performance range is just as wide, spanning opera, theater and burlesque. From blues to “filk” (fandom-inspired folk music), from opera to indie, her repertoire has a little something sure to suit every unique taste.

Inspired by the issues of the day but always outside the box, Phat Man Dee’s performance is guaranteed to have a few surprises!

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Did you know that there is a restaurant in City of Asylum @ Alphabet City? During these events, Alphabet City will be set up so that you can have dinner during the event (or simply order drinks).

Reserve a Table for Your Visit

When making your reservation,
please add that you wish to see the film under special notes.

World Jazz Poetry Premiere (Catch It While It’s Here)

World Jazz Premiere

City of Asylum @ Alphabet City Presents

International Jazz Poetry Month 2017

Week 3

Coming to Pittsburgh direct from Poland, the musicians of LAM will perform two nights of solos and one as an ensemble.

Friday, September 22nd: Wacław Zimpel has been praised by the The New York Times as a “musical chameleon” and by All About Jazz as “one of the most promising musicians on the European continent.” He will play a solo concert, improvising to a pre-recorded track. And he will collaborate with COA exiled writer-in-residence Osama Alomar (Syria), Maung Day (Myanmar) and Cave Canem co-founder Toi Derricotte.

Saturday, September 23rd: All 3 musicians play together as a trio. This is inspired music, trancelike in a minimalist mode – dizzyingly polyrythmic and lyrical. We don’t use the word “awesome” often, but this concert is one you shouldn’t miss. In addition to their concert sets, LAM will collaborate with poets Kinga Tóth (Hungary), Maung Day (Myanmar) and Matjaž Pikalo (Slovenia).

Sunday, September 24th: LAM members Hubert Zemler (drums) and Krzysztof Dys (keys) will play extended solos, then collaborate with National Medal of the Arts winner Sandra Cisneros, Matjaž Pikalo (Slovenia), and Pittsburgh writer/activist Leon Ford.

Visit alphabetcity.org for the Full Schedule

Did you know that there is a restaurant in City of Asylum @ Alphabet City? During these events, Alphabet City will be set up so that you can have dinner during the event (or simply order drinks).

Reserve a Table for Your Visit

When making your reservation,
please add that you wish to see the film under special notes.

“Colombia’s most exciting writer” Launches the Translation of His New Novel

City of Asylum (2017)

Santiago Gamboa

Tuesday, September 19th
8:00 pm

Novelist, short story writer, journalist and Otra Orilla Literary Prize winner Santiago Gamboa (Colombia) will be debuting his newly published novel Return to the Dark Valley here at Alphabet City.

In a narrative that moves across continents, from Spain to Ethiopia and Latin America, Return to the Dark Valley examines the life of Manuela Beltrán — a poet haunted by a troubled childhood. Her vendetta takes her around the world and puts her in the company of a vibrant cast of characters each wrestling with their own demons. These characters animate Gamboa’s richly imagined portrait of a hostile, turbulent world where liberation is found in perpetual movement and determined exploration.
Santiago Gamboa
“Each novel by Santiago Gamboa is at the forefront of the best Latin American novels. Gamboa dismantles the legacy of Chandler and Hammett, adapting it to the craggy environs of Colombia, and adds to it a tireless sense of ethics. His novels revitalize a genre that we thought could do no more.” — Martin Solares

Gamboa — one of Colombia’s most exciting writers — infuses his stories with a dose of inky dark noir that makes his novels intensely readable, his characters unforgettable, and his style influential.

Reserve Your Free Tickets

Did you know that there is a restaurant in City of Asylum @ Alphabet City? During these events, Alphabet City will be set up so that you can have dinner during the event (or simply order drinks).

Reserve a Table for Your Visit

When making your reservation,
please add that you wish to see the film under special notes.

Save a Trip to Philadelphia (and the Cost of the Ticket)

City of Asylum (2017)

International Jazz Poetry Month Kick-off

Tom Rainey Trio

Thursday, September 7th
7:00 pm

The Tom Rainey Trio will be performing in Philadelphia on September 16th, but you can catch them a week earlier (and for FREE) right here in Pittsburgh as the opening program of Jazz Poetry Month!

This is a concert no jazz lover should miss — three world-class musicians at the top of their game. We could not think of a better way to open our month-long jazz celebration.

Tom Rainey Trio

Drummer and bandleader Tom Rainey has long been one of the most in-demand and influential drummers on the avant-garde scene. Known for his “off kilter” style, this trio is the perfect embodiment of his music. It hovers so tightly between composition and free improvisation that it gives the illusion of being completely arranged and intensely practiced.

Ingrid Laubrock (saxophone) and Mary Halvorson (guitar) are also powerhouses. Ingrid is known for her textural nuance, an intellectual player who also can let go with abandon. And many of us know Mary from several appearances at City of Asylum– with Thumbscrew, Stephan Crump, and as a soloist.

These three musicians have been described as “sonic adventurers significantly extending the lexicons of their instruments.” Translate this as: Together, they play a seamless improvised jazz that sounds like nothing else.

Reserve Your Free Tickets

Did you know that there is a restaurant in City of Asylum @ Alphabet City? During these events, Alphabet City will be set up so that you can have dinner during the event (or simply order drinks).

Reserve a Table for Your Visit

When making your reservation,
please add that you wish to see the film under special notes.