info@alleghenywest.org
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“Madonna Before Madonna, Prince Before Prince”

City of Asylum (2018)

Sembène – The Film & Art Festival Presents

Betty: They Say I’m Different

Monday, December 10th
7:00 pm

A songwriter from a small local steel town, Betty arrived on the 70’s scene to break boundaries for women with her daring personality, iconic fashion and outrageous funk music. She befriended Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone, wrote songs for the Chambers Brothers and the Commodores, and married Miles Davis. Despite being banned and boycotted, went on to become the first black woman to perform, write and manage herself.

Betty: They Say I'm Different

Then suddenly – she vanished.

Creatively blending documentary and animation, Betty: They Say I’m Different traces the path of Betty’s life, how she grew from humble upbringings to become a fully self-realized black female pioneer the world failed to understand or appreciate. After years of trying, the elusive Betty, forever the free-spirited Black Power Goddess, finally allowed the filmmakers to creatively tell her story based on their conversations.

 

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Cowboys & Frenchman Post-Bop Jazz

City of Asylum (2018)

Cowboys & Frenchmen

Sunday, December 2nd
6:00 pm

NYC-based quintet Cowboys & Frenchmen returns to Alphabet City to present their unusual take on instrumentation, orchestration, and composition for the jazz quintet. Their 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.

“jazz that is fresh and defies easy categorizing, and offers rewarding listening” — Cadence Magazine

Cowboys & Frenchmen

The band is comprised of five adventurous 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.

The inspiration for the band’s quirky 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 foot is busy trying to kick down the genre’s door.

 

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Chinese Restaurants and the Asian American Identity

City of Asylum (2018)

Taste Makers:
Chinese Restaurants and the Asian American Identity

Monday, November 26th
5:30 pm

How is the growth of the Chinese community shaping Pittsburgh? Why has the Asian community grown so quickly among Pittsburgh’s universities, and what opportunities come with this growth? And how do the Trump Administration’s changes in immigration policies affect local businesses such as restaurants?

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter Melissa McCart follows up her Pulitzer Center research with a panel exploring how those originally from Taiwan and China are contributing to the changing dynamic of Pittsburgh.
Chinese Restaurant Event
This program will feature a panel discussion with restaurateur Mike Chen of Everyday Noodles in Squirrel Hill, community crusader Marian Lien (executive director of the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition and commissioner on the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Asian and Pacific American Affairs in Pennsylvania) and Chris Briem (University of Pittsburgh regional economist and analyst of population trends).

There will be beer, wine and Chinese snacks.

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Stravinsky to Nirvana

City of Asylum (2018)

Adam Hopkins:
Crickets

Wednesday, November 28th
7:00 pm

New York composer-bassist Adam Hopkins and his sextet celebrate the release of their new album, Crickets! This is a special treat for us–how often do we get to hear a sextet on tour?!

Adam Hopkins

“…compelling and unconventional jazz compositions juxtaposed with blowouts. This is a singular release and hopefully the first of many from Hopkins.” – Avant Music News

Crickets is a head-on collision of the various musical worlds influenced by Tim Berne, Henry Threadgill, Michael Formanek, and Igor Stravinsky. Crickets takes classic and jazz traditions with the bands of Adam’s youth like Nirvana, Pavement, and Fugazi.

Adam will be joined by Anna Webber (tenor saxophone), Ed Rosenberg (tenor saxophone), Josh Sinton (baritone saxophone/bass clarinet), Jonathan Goldberger (guitar), Devin Gray (drums) for this album release event.

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Tayo Aluko brings the life of Paul Robeson to the Alphabet City

City of Asylum (2018)

Tayo Aluko:
Call Mr. Robeson

Monday, November 12th
7:00 pm

Paul Robeson was a great and famous actor, singer and civil rights campaigner. When he became progressively too radical and outspoken for the establishment’s liking, he was summoned to appear before the House Un-American Activities Committee to give the most difficult and important performance of his career.
Call Mr Robeson

“”For those who know little about Robeson, this touring production offers an admirable introduction to a great pioneering performer.” — The Guardian

Nigerian-English baritone Tayo Aluko’s one-man show Call Mr. Robeson presents a roller-coaster journey through Robeson’s remarkable and eventful life.

Through some of the most famous songs and speeches from Robeson’s tempestuous career, this one-night-only theater performance highlights how Robeson’s pioneering and heroic (but largely forgotten) political activism led many to describe him as the forerunner of the civil rights movement.

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“The most important African novelist in 25 years”

City of Asylum (2018)

Nuruddin Farah

Thursday, November 1st
7:00 pm

Winner of the Neustadt International Prize for Literature, Nuruddin Farah is one of Africa’s most respected contemporary writers. Maps is the first novel in his acclaimed Blood in the Sun trilogy, set in his native Somalia.

Askar lost his father in the bloody war between Ethiopia and Somalia, and his mother died giving birth to him. Taken in by Misra, a kindhearted woman, he grows up in a small village. But as an adolescent, a true child of his times, he begins to feel suffocated there and goes to live with his cosmopolitan aunt and uncle in the capital.

Nuruddin Farah

“Startling … passionate. Farah’s masterpiece.” — The New York Times

Askar throws himself into radical political activity in the midst of the turmoil and civil war. As allegations of murder and treason are leveled at Misra, Askar’s personal sense identity and Somalia’s political boundaries are challenged with a ferocity he could have never imagined.

This program is presented in partnership with Paul A. Bové, distinguished professor at the University of Pittsburgh and editor of Boundary 2 — a journal of literature and politics around the world.

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Lessons Learned from Post-Industrial Cities

City of Asylum (2018)

Remaking Post-Industrial Cities
with Don Carter

Tuesday, October 23rd
7:00 pm

How did different cities respond to the rapid collapse of “big industry” in the 1980’s? Are there lessons to be learned? What can we do now to create just, equitable communities?

Remaking Post-Industrial Cities

Don Carter — the David Lewis Director of Urban Design and Regional Engagement of the Remaking Cities Institute — examines the histories of 10 American and European cities, their metamorphoses, and their prospects for the future. In these case studies he identifies and expands on the factors he has found to be crucial to the resilience of post-industrial cities.

Carter’s work tackles problems we cannot avoid. Sharing lessons from the experience of different cities, he ultimately shows us how to take control over our future.

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An Extraordinary Documentary – Followed by a Panel with the Filmmaker

City of Asylum (2018)

RealTime Interventions Presents the Film

The Rest I Make Up

Monday, October 8th
7:00 pm

Maria Irene Fornes is one of America’s greatest playwrights and most influential teachers, but many only know her as the ex-lover of writer Susan Sontag.

When Fornes gradually stops writing due to dementia, an unexpected friendship with filmmaker Michelle Memran reignited her creativity and triggered a decade-long collaboration. What began as an accidental meeting becomes a story of love, creativity, and connection that persists even in the face of forgetting. Theater luminaries such as Paula Vogel, Edward Albee, Ellen Stewart, Lanford Wilson and others also appear in the film to shed light on Fornes’s important contributions.

The Rest I Make Up

The Rest I Make Up has received an explosion of interest this summer, from laudatory reviews in the New York Times and New Yorker to a sold-out run at the MoMA and a Fornes marathon at NYC’s Public Theater. RealTime Interventions is thrilled to bring the film and its maker to Pittsburgh, making our city one of the first outside of New York to experience this extraordinary new work.

A panel discussion and Q&A will follow the film, including panelists Michelle Memran (the documentary filmmaker), Katie Pearl (co-producer), Michael Cerveris (star of Broadway, TV, & film), and moderator Molly Rice of RealTime Interventions.

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The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra returns to Alphabet City!

City of Asylum (2018)

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Presents

Bernstein: Activism and Engagement

Thursday, October 4th
7:00 pm

Join guest musicians of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra for Activism and Engagement, a program celebrating the eclectic work of Leonard Bernstein.

Leonard Bernstein — celebrated as one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century — ushered in an era of major cultural transition. Through his open attitude about what constituted “good” music, his work bridged classical music, Broadway musicals, jazz, and rock, reaching new and diverse communities of listeners, young and old. He had a deep love for the community-based musicianship of the symphony orchestra—which is the foundation of our partnership with PSO. With a delicious sense of humor, he also exhibited the courage to tackle the most profound questions of the human experience.

PSO + CoA

Hosted by Associate Conductor of the PSO Andres Franco, this program will feature Venezuelan born pianist Rodrigo Ojeda playing selections from Bernstein’s repertoire. Writers (TBA) will do short readings in response to Bernstein’s unique character, identity, faith and social activism.

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With Dwayne Dolphin, It’s All About that Bass!

City of Asylum (2018)

Dwayne Dolphin

Thursday, August 30th
8:00 pm

Join Dwayne Dolphin for Indigenous: his latest album release! Spanning smooth funk, jazz, world, Brazilian and many other styles, Dwayne’s new release brings “something for everyone” to the table.

Dwayne is a mainstay standout in the jazz scene, working with Pittsburgh greats such as Roger Humphries, Pete Henderson and Carl Arter. Throughout his career, Dolphin has also had the opportunity to play and record with the “Who’s Who” of national musicians, such as Nancy Wilson, Melba Moore, Fred Wesley, Abby Lincoln, soul saxophonist Maceo Parker and hard bopper Stanley Turrentine.

Dwayne Dolphin

Dwayne is regarded as a master instrumentalist, no matter whether he is playing upright, electric or even the “piccolo” bass. For this concert, he will be joined by Brett Williams (piano), Tony Watson (sax), Jevon Rushton (drums).

Dwayne’s prior concert at COA @ Alphabet City was a sellout, so make your reservations soon.  This release party makes a great entree to Jazz Poetry Month.

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